Amazon Reviews in Palo Alto, CA | Glassdoor

Amazon Palo Alto Reviews

Updated May 15, 2017
12 reviews

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Palo Alto, CA

3.0
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
8 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    "some Managers are hiring only people from India"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Company, great pay,nice benefits

    Cons

    Especially indian hiring managers are hiring only indians. So many crappy developers have come board because of their ethnicity. These managers throwing so many good engineers CV to garbage to hire & sponsor somebody from india.

    Advice to Management

    Please check all recently hired people from India. . So many fake qualifications and fake job experience.
    Resumes should be review at least by 2 managers to prevent conflict of interest.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "AWS great place with some career limitations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    AWS is a great environment to be in sales and engineering. The management is very tenured, the focus in clear and for individuals who focus on execution it is a great environment.

    Cons

    In sales a capped comp plan and aggressive quota growth is limiting for income. Propensity to hire experienced people from outside rather than develop and promote internally.

    Advice to Management

    Keep true to the LPs, reward people for successes and ensure there is growth opportunities for level 7s in sales and marketing.

  3. Helpful (11)

    "not a good place for experienced engineers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    * feels good working for a company that has a very good brand image and is frequently in the news for doing innovative stuff

    * as a software engineer, you get exposure to some smart people and get to learn from them.

    Cons

    * engineers are not treated well and beyond SDE 2, career growth is very difficult. so you'll see a bunch of engineers with 10-15 years experience but they are at the same level as those with 1-2 years experience. (they were down leveled when they were hired). they'll be doing the same kind of work as well -- routine, grunt, plumbing type. managers frequently string along engineers, giving them false hopes of promotion and many get frustrated and leave (i know 3 people who left because of this).

    * managers are incentivized to give negative performance reviews as much as possible and to put at least 5-10% of their employees on a so called performance improvement plan which is a path to getting fired. this is the case even if all the team members worked really hard and delivered all the planned features on time. i have seen a few people unfairly put on pips. one of them was someone who had gone on *unpaid* maternity leave!

    * no work life balance. in my team, i had on-call rotation every 6 weeks. 1 week of secondary oncall followed by 1 week of primary oncall. secondary oncall supports the primary oncall, does deployments, and responds to lower priority customer issues. primary on call had to respond to all high severity issues within minutes. i used to get woken up by the pager a few times per week very late at night.

    * lack of work life balance would have been ok if you got rewarded for the hard work. but most people don't. since the stock price has been going up last few years, the RSU refreshers have been limited. also, because promotions are super hard, your comp doesn't go up because you are already at the top end of your level's range.

    * overall, the culture favors managers over engineers. the review and promotion system is highly non-transparent. it's like a mafia. managers in an org sit together and decide the fate of the engineers, based on who they like or don't like. it's highly subjective and biased.

    * there are no perks.

    Advice to Management

    * assign work according to experience level of engineers. give high level and more complex tasks to more experienced engineers, and low level/routine/grunt tasks to junior people. this way, the experienced engineers who were downleveled when hired have an opportunity to shine and prove that they can do more complex tasks.

    * don't downlevel experienced people if you are hiring them! (bring them in at the right level). for some reason, amazon has put the SDE 3 position on a pedestal even though it's not that senior. (you have principal and senior principal after that).

    * be more honest with engineers. don't lie to them and give them false hopes. people will leave and they do. managers should do frequent 1:1s with their engineers. mine did a few 1:1s in the whole year.

    * for upper management: evaluate and scrutinize managers more carefully. pay attention to their engineers' retention. do something when the managers have really bad tech survey (the annual anonymous company wide survey) reviews (which usually happens when they don't treat their engineers well). i have seen really bad managers who treated their engineers really badly still working there after many years.


  4. "Amazon"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Good learning experience.

    Cons

    - Aggressive culture, less employee friendly


  5. "Tough conditions, awesome learning experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Product Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Product Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Super smart people, fabulous customer focused culture. As a Sr. Product Manager I swear I learned more about product management in a short time at Amazon (AWS) than I did in many years at other companies. They will pay you well, especially the first couple years.

    Cons

    That New York Times article is true, for the most part. But, you need to know that going in and be ready for lots of hours, constantly being "on." There is also high turnover among engineers which can be a challenge. If you want to advance you've for sure got to do that in Seattle. The satellite offices aren't really considered part of the mothership.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Intense & challenging work culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    * Get to work with pretty amazing people
    * Decent salary

    Cons

    * Not enough perks
    * no espp
    * no cash yearly bonus but you get stocks vested over 2 years period
    * Palo Alto office & Seattle communication is not that good


  7. "SDE I"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - SDE1 in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - SDE1 in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great team. Interesting and rewarding projects.

    Cons

    Not as competitive as other companies.

  8. "SDE1"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work related to cutting edge technology

    Cons

    Oncalls can be little annoying but manageable.
    Remote HQ creates some issue


  9. Helpful (15)

    "Opportunity like nowhere else"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to get things done and grow your resume. You are working with really smart people and have access to a lot of enablers. The culture here enshrines "bias for action" which is your license to cut through the red tape when it gets in the way.

    Cons

    Low titles, lack of performance pay. The appearance of frugality is valued beyond its business benefit. This can make you feel less valued regardless of your salary. Stack ranking encourages people to play the system rather than do the right thing. Negotiate hard before you arrive.

    Advice to Management

    The first few performance reviews here are tougher than they should be and lead to attrition. Managers have to play the system to give promotions and money where they can. Because overall Amazon has been so successful, upper management has failed to recognize the cost of this attrition and how much better performance could be without this problem. We are using up our talent pool and our competitors are skilled at playing up the negative aspects of the culture here.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Good Learning Experience, But can be hectic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Software Development Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Intern - Software Development Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great compensation
    - Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development
    - looks good on resume

    Cons

    - Depending on the team, work-life balance can be virtually non-existent. This is highly dependent on the manager
    - No perks such as free food, drinks, etc in majority of Amazon (In the palo alto office, we do get free snacks and drinks)

    Advice to Management

    Stop being so dam frugal, improve the perks to match other tech giants.


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