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Amazon Principal Software Development Engineer Reviews

1 review



Principal Software Development Engineer

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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
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Employee Reviews

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  • "work life balance is a struggle" (in 2687 reviews)

  • "No work/life balance for most employees" (in 549 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "ecstatic Amazon (>13 years now) lifer"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 10 years)


    * the culture of software engineer ownership of Amazon's offerings - I have repeatedly pitched ideas which Amazon funded two-pizza teams for to pursue
    * general engineering culture - it is *expected* that you have your own ideas and push back politely and with data in hand if you are asked to do something that you think is not the optimal thing to do right now - yes, even as a software engineer intern (this leaves some interns slack-jawed, from other employers I guess they sometimes expect that someone will tell them exactly what to do how)
    * Amazon (most certainly Amazon Web Service) expects and rewards engineering and operational excellence (stuff I happen to love and specialize in) - and has such scale that it is a top (the top?) place to work to drive engineering excellence at a giant scale
    * Amazon has world-class executive management - in the Amazon Web Service space I know and can vouch for pretty much every Vice President or higher - execs here are deeply technical while also focusing on employee happiness and career path, and typically have big actionable vision for the future, too. Yes, really.


    * (this is not actually a Con in many ways but many people would say) that being on pager duty for your service as a Software Development Engineer is a con - after all, software engineers want to write code more than get paged at night for some operational issue - that being said, being on-call for your stuff is deeply ingrained into the Amazon engineering culture and goes hand in hand with "engineer ownership of products" - being on-call also gives you license as the on-call SDE to insist on a minimum engineering quality to protect your customers from operational problems -my point is, if you do not want to be on pager on-call for your service, definitely do not join Amazon as a software engineer
    * generally speaking, if you don't love being a software engineer and dread going to work and are in it just for the paycheck, you probably really don't want to join Amazon - the people that I see thrive and be enthusiastic at Amazon the most are people who love what they do and have fanatical ownership (I am that way, so that's why I love being at Amazon so much, but I realize not everyone is) - note that you don't have to work 80 hours a week either, I choose to work 45-50 hours a week - indeed, I was promoted to Principal SDE about two years after I decided to work a lot fewer hours a week