Amazon Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon Reviews

Updated April 24, 2017
8,188 reviews

Filter

Filter

Current Employees

3.6
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
4,543 Ratings

8,188 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
  • Learn a lot of things and good working environment (in 335 reviews)

  • There are a lot of smart people in aws (in 753 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is a challenge (in 1487 reviews)

  • No work life balance around the holidays (in 317 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (898)

    "You Get What You Put In"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time

    Pros

    Really smart people, a lot of opportunity for growth, always encouraged to be innovative, think big, and create something new. Competitive salary and benefits with other major tech companies. 100% self motivating work environment. No dress code and 4 legged friends are welcome.

    Cons

    You have to be self motivated. NO ONE will hold your hand and tell you that you're doing a great job. If you need constant affirmations from management, this company isn't for you.

    Advice to Management

    More on-boarding training before new employees are thrown in the fire. The first couple of weeks can be very confusing on where to find the information you need that pertains to your job.


  2. Helpful (904)

    "Can be amazing for some people, horrible for others"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon is doing lot's of cool stuff...but lots of boring stuff too. There are really well run teams...and very badly run teams. The experience for software managers and engineers is all over the board, from really run low operational load teams to teams where people burn out after a year.

     - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. You can generally expect that anyone who's been here for more than 2 years is competent and motivated or they wouldn't have survived. You can count on them as long as your priorities are aligned. There aren't many slackers here, and they don't survive long.
      - We work on so much stuff that there's always an opportunity to find amazing cool stuff to work on (note that it's an 'opportunity', one that you have to pursue)
      - A chance to make a huge difference
      - A place where you can learn a lot about all kinds of things, both technical and about yourself
      - Amazon encourages high mobility - even your manager can't prevent you from moving to another team within 6 weeks (normally, more than a few months under unusual conditions).
      - Your friends and family have actually heard of the place you work and have at least a vague notion of what Amazon does without you having to explain

    Cons

    - You're responsible for your own career progression and finding the places and teams that are doing the stuff you want to do. No one is going to take you by the hand and help you with that.
    - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. The strong survive and the weak perish (metaphorically speaking) and the 'bar' is constantly increasing. The level of performance that would have been acceptable five years ago will get you canned today. It's a kind of crucible that'll help you develop a harder edge, if you can survive, that can serve you well in your career and in life, but it's often not a pleasant experience.

    I wouldn't recommend it as a place to work for just anyone.

    Advice to Management

    Stack ranking is a horrible practice since it's rife with favoritism. It's also not Amazonian in that it's not data based (arbitrarily designating a certain percentage of employees that must be put on performance management isn't a data driven criterion) and it's not frugal (effectively forcing an individual out of the company in one division who would make the grade in another is either retaining someone who doesn't meet the bar or a waste of talent). The goal is to force managers to actually make the hard decisions about how their team members compare with each other (not everyone can be exceptional), but it has more defects than virtues. Replace it with a common comparison of each person against the bar for their position, based on data. The percentages that are assigned to each performance category will turn out how they turn out, but there will be an evaluation mechanism that's fair and frugal.


  3. Helpful (514)

    "Exciting Work, Abusive Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Jeff Bezos and his "S-Team" are brilliant and continue to make great decisions for long-term growth.

    You work with smart people, you work on exciting projects, you are pushed to your limits...which can be rewarding when you accomplish great things. The diversity of the potential work and innovation can be very alluring. I've often called Amazon my "Sexy Mistress...she's emotionally abusive, but she's so sexy that I go back for more punishment."

    Cons

    The management process is abusive, and I'm currently a manager. I've seen too much "behind the wall" and hate how our individual performers can be treated. You are forced to ride people and stack rank employees...I've been forced to give good employees bad overall ratings because of politics and stack ranking.

    Advice to Management

    Don't pretend that the recent NY Times article was all about "isolated incidents". The culture IS abusive and it WILL backfire once stock value starts to drop. I'm an 8 year veteran and I no longer recommend former peers to interview with Amazon.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (379)

    "A huge diverse high tech company with all sorts of stuff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon full-time

    Pros

    Disclaimer: My opinions reflect that of an SDE in Amazon. Seems like some operational job functions are very tough.

    I have read through some of the other Amazon reviews and it seems to me that everyone has a very different experience! This is so true. Within the same team, you can have both workaholics and slackers coexisting and coworking together. I think I am more of the balanced type as I try to stay sane. The Amazon experience is basically the entire spectrum and it is what you make it out to be.

    Pros in Amazon certainly excludes great benefits, but compensation is competitive. Free food means average quality free coffee, once in a while free pizza for lunch where it is a working lunch, and free beer and finger food in special events. We get a free Orca card to take any bus in the Seattle area for free. $160 per month subsidy for office parking, which is better than nothing. Downtown monthly parking goes for about $200 per month. 401K contribution is 50% of what you put in, where you can put in max 4% of your salary. Not so great. Staff cafeteria food is average and not at all cheaper than outside food, or could be even more expensive. It is hard not to complain about the cafeteria. Vacation days are ok but note that there are no sick leaves. They count as part of your 5 personal days per year. Listing the benefits of Amazon is like listing the cons and not the pros.

    Work life balance seems to be ok for the most part, and seems to be individually-driven. No one will tell you that you have to come in at what time and stay till what time. I have team mates working every night and weekend, and others getting in at 10am and leaving at 5pm, all in the same team. Managers will focus on your project deliveries instead of how much time you spend working. If you work 40-hour weeks productively, you can definitely outperform someone who works 60-hour weeks but don't deliver stuff. Working less than 40 hours per week is somewhat common, but I can't say how many people are working how long. The view on work life balance is a bit skewed. All it comes down to are the managers and what they think. Projects are always never-ending but I have found that deadlines are very realistic and reasonable, without counting your nights and weekends. Getting some slack time once in a while is probably a sign of a healthy work environment. Everyone needs a break.

    On-call really really sucks. Basically all it comes down to is having SDEs double-duty as support operations engineers. Note that on-call does not improve the code quality of any team in any way. The on-call experience is particularly bad because you are using services from some other team, and their code is of low quality and fails for the wrong reasons. If the managers had given more time to up the quality, there would not be so many problems. Software is usually delivered with a tough deadline with code that meets the minimum quality bar and never gets improved for the next few years. The code review process does not seem to help improve the code but it really obstructs developers from making great changes as unconventional things will not pass code review in clumsy minds. Innovation and excellence are not the name of the game in Amazon. Searching through the Amazon code base is usually not going to turn up quality code that you can actually reuse.

    Integration is the name of the game in Amazon. You will need to spend a lot of time to figure out how to integrate your code with another team's services. Whether these other people are cooperative is a hit-or-miss. I have found that most people are responsive and helpful, but there are also quite a number of jerks who are out to make trouble for everybody. It is not easy to work across teams but the experience is mostly positive.

    Amazon is a huge behemoth and is hiring people like there is no tomorrow. This reflects well on a good growth momentum but also is worrying that the company is not turning much profit. If the company does not make money, where is our bonus going to come from? You can see new faces around the Amazon building almost everyday! Downside is that we are taking in a lot of average to above-average engineers and being an Amazonian SDE certainly does not share the same reputation as the top names. Amazon is a huge mixed bag of some very talented people and some very dumb people. I think the world is not turning up enough SDEs and the only way is for quality to go downhill.

    As an SDE, expect to spend most of your time talking, writing emails and documents, and maybe around 20-30% of your time coding. In most of the teams, you can work on interesting projects, but probably not revolutionary ones. Note that Amazon is a very down-to-earth company and the work is very down-to-earth as well. You will work on real things that people have actually requested for, and that people will start using as soon as you are done. Work is challenging but not to expect highly technically complex stuff. Most of the work has to do with solving everyday problems. To me, this seems to make sense because I have ever tried working on experimental projects before elsewhere and I did not feel it was a good use of my time.

    Internal mobility is a key strength of Amazon, and I am not sure which company has done better than Amazon in this aspect. Internal moves are easy. You only need to stay in your team for a year before moving to a different team. There is no easy way to tell which team is a good team to move to because they all have their different pros and cons and people and coming and leaving all the time!

    Seattle is by much rumour an easier place to live than the Bay area.

    Overall Amazon is a tough but yet sane place to work. The flexibility of this company is really its core strength. You have the freedom to excel as much as you want and also to slack as much as you want. Bummer. You shouldn't be slacking!

    Cons

    Beware of bad managers and horrible team mates. They are not specific to Amazon but they do exist in Amazon.

    I have to admit that Monday is usually a blue day at Amazon and it is very tough to look forward to getting into office. I don't know anyone in Amazon who looks forward to getting in on Mondays.

    Be realistic about SDE requirements. Coding skills are good to have but they are not the most important part of your job. I think we are hearing the same thing from every company.

    Medical coverage is average or below average. Expect to pay about $60 per month for singles and about $240 per month for families. $240 per month for families gives you $3000 in medical fees before you have to pay (more) anything out-of-pocket.

    SDE advancement is unreal difficult. They have about 6 levels total, SDE 1-4, then Senior Principal Engineer, and finally Distinguished Engineer. The number of SDE 1s and 2s are huge. Trying to get to SDE 3 seems to be all-of-a-sudden extremely difficult, but not impossible. So this essentially means that if you come to Amazon as a fresh grad SDE, expect to get about only one or two promotions in your entire career, which obviously is quite a lame expectation and reality. You will probably do much better in your career advancement anywhere else.

    Employee retention is horrible. I am not sure why the philosophy seems to be trying to undercut existing employees and then hire from external sources. Management all say that they are trying to retain people, but actions don't seem to suggest anything better. Rumour has it that annual pay raises are horrible. This basically mean that either you are a superstar in the company before they will try to retain you, or if you are smart you should not stay in Amazon for too long.

    Advice to Management

    The thing about thinking long-term is getting more and more worrying as the company has not turned a tidy profit and is trying to conquer the world with its lofty expansion strategies. I don't know what kind of secret recipe management is cooking but seeing the company not making much money never feels comfortable.


  6. Helpful (21)

    "Great place to learn, churn n burn culture in finance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Finance Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - super smart people, the best of the best from schools
    - if you get hired here, you will be hirable anywhere, recruiting process is tough
    - the pay is above average, probably 1.5 times elsewhere (but the expected results are 150% of elsewhere too)
    - lots of opportunities to work on new, innovative projects
    - cool SLU campus, lots of options for food and drinks after work

    Cons

    - frugality is taken to the extreme, only 2 weeks vacation, parking takes a year or more to get, zero perks (not even free Prime), no fitness allowance, poor 401k
    - your peers will stab you in the back, your manager will blame you for their errors, you can't trust anyone
    - people who throw others under the bus and take credit for other people's work get promoted
    - expectations 60 -70 hours a week, some teams expect Sunday to be an "in the office day", headcount never gets filled, teams are always short a few people but the work keeps piling on.

    Advice to Management

    The culture and reputation of amazon will never change unless you want it to and set the tone from the top. Try using some customer obsession with employees- as management, employees are YOUR customers. Making great products or margins is fine, but if you have a reputation/brand for treating people awful, then are you really a success? Also, there is visible lack of women or minorities in any leadership role compared to pretty much every other large company in Seattle. Seems like you have to try really hard in a city as diverse as this to be so undiverse.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Amazon Operations Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Reno, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Growth potential unlimited; I feel well compensated
    - Amazon hires great people so you have competent managers as peers, up, and down
    - The interview process is exaxtly as advertised. Its not easy but no mind gales and no surprises.

    Cons

    -If you aren't prepared to work hard, this is probably not the place for you
    -If you were entitled in your previous job with parking spaces and corner offices, Amazon is not your company. We don't have them.

    Advice to Management

    Keep pushing hard


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Supplemental Income"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Prime Now Associate in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Prime Now Associate in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible Schedules - I worked on a set schedule for 3 months then switched to a pick-your-own schedule. This works great to pick up shifts around school or another job, but is terrible to rely on.

    The Work - It's very repetitive, with just enough variety to keep it from being soul crushing. The repetitiveness let's you become very good at these tasks quickly. I've never been so skilled at organizing shelves, fridges, and paper bags of stuff.

    Active Job - This depends on your FC of course, but there isn't a moment of downtime and there's always something to do. This keeps things from slowing down.

    Job Variety - You're gonna start with one of the worst jobs at the warehouse (stowing items into bins). If you put forward a little effort, you'll move to other jobs. These jobs might be more physical or planning oriented, and present a more engaging experience.

    Coworkers - Everyone is pretty friendly.

    Managers - This is a mixed bag. Some are super friendly, understanding, and savvy. Others are disaffected, uninterested, and rude.

    Cons

    VTO - Voluntary Time Off can strike a warehouse when they need to get their labor hours down. While they can't force you to take vto when you're a scheduled employee, there's tremendous pressure placed for you to take it.

    Advancement - None. There's good job variety within the associate level, but everyone is paid the same. That means the guy working half the speed as you makes the same pay, and that really is disheartening. You're also rarely considered for any job advancement, as the only way up is into management positions that require management experience.

    Things Change, A Lot - You're going to have to be comfortable with processes and procedures changing business wide (like a new scanner software) or day-by-day with management. I've seen managers chastise us in all-group meetings for putting empty carts in a location and recommend another location, and for a different manager to berate us for putting them in the recommended spot.

    Pay - You're not going to get rich here. You should expect this, but that doesn't change it from being a con.

    Coworkers - I mentioned that they're friendly, but some of them you will constantly question why they're there. Very slow or don't put any effort. Sure, you're paid badly, and you don't have much room to advance, but you're still working as a team. Don't make others pick up your slack.

    HR - What a cluster. I was given an official hire letter 2 months before I actually started working. We weren't given online access to vital job systems, any instructions on sick leave, who's role was what, none of it. All had to be figured out on your own. This could be attributed to not having an FC-specific HR person, but the unpreparedness of such a large company baffled me. Once we eventually did get an HR person at the FC, she was a recent graduate and spends much of her time chatting about non-work things with managers while eating donuts. The fact I know she's making enough money to live comfortably, while I have sweat running down my back while worrying about being evicted, is morale-breaking while at work.

    Drivers - The drivers Amazon uses aren't the brightest, but hey, they get the job done (sometimes. If they feel like it. Etc.).

    Advice to Management

    Figure out who your poor managers are and correct this. Fix HR. Incentivize employees to stick around. Encourage improvement and reward it. Give opportunity for advancement in pay, role, and responsibility.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Senior manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Product Management in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Product Management in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great for independent employees. You get fair amount of autonomy with large scope. The company balances speed and scale in an impressive way.

    Cons

    Some employees find it hard to adjust to the direct style. Not for employees who want to be told what to do. Always under pressure to perform

    Advice to Management

    Amazon is starting to lose its agility. Some leaders just want to build their empires.


  10. "Work hard, Have Fun, Make History"

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

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

    Pros

    Good challenges, Interesting work, lot of opportunities to choose from

    Cons

    Pressure, not a con if you know how to handle it well!


  11. "My first job and I love it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Seasonal Sortation Associate in Brownstown, MI
    Current Employee - Seasonal Sortation Associate in Brownstown, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    they give very good pay almost $12.25 and also gives extra time. i worked as seasonal sortation associate

    Cons

    well I don't have negative comments about amazon



Showing 8,188 of 13,363 reviews
Reset Filters