Amazon Software engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon software engineer Reviews

Updated May 24, 2017
1,530 reviews

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software engineer

3.6
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
1,010 Ratings

1,530 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is a challenge (in 1676 reviews)

  • No work life balance around the holidays (in 370 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing"

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

    Pros

    Great culture. Smart people. Customer focus.

    Cons

    Operational burden. Benefits and career development.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the customer focus


  2. "Great place to learn, schedule is a strain."

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

    Pros

    Learn the workings of a large distributed system and huge world-class website; learn technologies and software development ideas from coworkers. Good money.

    Cons

    The on-call load and pager duty is onerous for Software Engineers maintaining servers. Promotions are rare. There are many non-technical managers leading technical teams. Frequent re-orgs are confusing and disruptive. Java-obsession in some parts.

    Advice to Management

    Expand the software development platform and hire more software system engineers and specialist web developers; enable software engineers to write software more; and to set up, configure, and maintain servers less.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Office Space"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The office space is amazing. Lots of cubes: rows and rows of cubes. Some windows, some chairs, etc. Some kitchens and sinks if you know where to look.

    Cons

    The office space isn't that great. Lots of cubes: rows and rows of cubes. Not enough windows or chairs.

    Advice to Management

    Put more energy into improving the office space. I would prefer more windows and chairs in the offices, if that's possible.


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  5. "Great place, great pay, HARD work, fun atmosphere"

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

    Pros

    Amazon pays really well and lets you pursue your interests within the company. There are so many different types of engineering jobs available, you wouldn't believe it.

    Cons

    Only has offices in the city

    Advice to Management

    Keep on doing what your doing! Pay attention to the employees a little more than the customers though.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Are they really paying me this much?"

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

    Pros

    Very flexible. If you are on the right team then the work is awesome too. The pay was incredible, even as an intern. Overall I love working for Amazon. In general I get to work on interesting problems and the experience I am getting here will transfer well to anywhere I choose to go. Cloud Computing FTW!

    Cons

    Oncall. Politics. Lack of postive action for known issues. Some issues with reviews, especially when someone I consider incompetent gets promoted and I don't, but that is probably just localized to my team (I hope).

    Advice to Management

    Lighten up. If we miss a deadline it's not the end of the world.


  7. "amazon.com is a fantastic place to work"

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

    Pros

    being surrounded by very smart and passionate people who come from all over the country, great pay and options, job growth and opportunities if you demonstrate talent, they take technology very seriously and encourage experimentation and give more than enough resources, the pride that comes from working on a mass-scale consumer product for a globally recognized company

    Cons

    being in seattle, the weather is horrid, coworkers just running out the clock due to being discouraged to contribute big changes to a huge corporate bureaucracy with a million constraints,

    Advice to Management

    they are exceptional and make very smart decisions, though they are far too risk averse to protect the cash cow, which likely prevents amazon from making revolutionary break throughs, but it's not for lack of good ideas trapped within the bureacracy, with so many super talented people, the ideas and potential is there, it's just from people not wanting to get pinned with any failures


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Amazon is among the greatest large-company employers on the planet."

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

    Pros

    Amazon.com is the cure for the traditional, command-and-control work environment. Jeff and the rest of the S-Team (top executives) do an amazing and consistent job of setting and refining top-level priorities while doing everything in their power to empower engineers to be able to just build.

    There are a wide variety of teams at Amazon which work in a wide variety of ways. Teams whose software is core to the primary business (SELLING STUFF ON THE WEB HELLO!) tend to have to move much more slowly and carefully, and are obsessed with keeping software highly available and operating at maximum efficiency. The problems of scale are many and from this area of the business comes a continuous stream of innovation to allow the business to keep growing leaps and bounds each year.

    Teams whose mission is less central are free to innovate in a wide variety of ways. With a world-class technology platform powering thousands of distributed services, new businesses and programs come online every day with much less overhead than any other company I've ever seen!

    Compensation for top-performing individuals is extremely competitive. While here I've had offers from Apple and Microsoft which could not touch it.

    Amazon.com is a global powerhouse with exciting problems being solved all over the world. With decades of growth ahead of them there will continue to be significant opportunity for all of its employees.

    Cons

    For engineering and development teams, operational support is a pre-requisite. Most are oncall 24x7. With continued global expansion some teams are able to transition late-night support around the world. Although it can be painful, I find this creates the right incentive for product teams to build systems which are operationally sound and maintainable.

    At the corporate office, many of the lower level managers are actually quite terrible people managers. I have had very mixed experiences: some give very great feedback - others, none at all. One gave me a week's free vacation for top performance - another passed me over for a promotion for no reason at all.

    Amazon's recruiting machine is completely broken and doesn't care about you. Simply: if a group is interested in someone they can interview them - you will not be presented many options about where you land within the company. This is because recruiters are graded based only on filling a few specific positions. If you are considering working at Amazon and they are interested in you -- ask about other positions in the company. Make sure you understand where you are landing and that it is a good fit. There are such a wide range of opportunities that something will be a good fit but quite possibly not what they are interviewing you for.

    Advice to Management

    Train people managers better - provide oversight to ensure that people are being appropriately managed.

    Fix recruiting - particularly for the corporate office - so that candidates land in the best place possible for them.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "I love working at Amazon."

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

    Pros

    I am a Software Engineer, and I love working at Amazon. There are a lot of smart people that work at Amazon. We are very focused on working on things that are very important to the company's core businesses, but willing to create new ways to expand the business. Not a lot of theory, all practical engineering.

    Most of the time, I am driven to complete projects because they are interesting and important. I very rarely don't care about what I'm working on and need to be pushed into doing something. Most people that work there can operate independently, and those that can't usually don't like it very much. I am very independent and self-motivated, so I love not having a boss tell me what needs to be done all the time. There is a flip side to that though- sometimes I feel like my boss doesn't necessarily know what needs to be done.

    Cons

    The culture has changed quite a bit in the last two years. A lot more project managers that aren't especially knowledgeable about software have come on. There can be a tendency for things to get political between organizations.

    Advice to Management

    Hire Technical Project Managers that are technical


  10. "I love working for Amazon.com!!!!"

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

    Pros

    I can make a direct impact on Amazon's bottom line and customer experience.

    Cons

    Could be stressful for some.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to allow amazon.com to innovate and take risks.


  11. "A great place to learn how business and technology work together."

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

    Pros

    A great place to learn how business and technology work together. The vision and communication from senior leadership is good. Amazon supports a great work/life balance (depending upon your manager). If you ask, you will get answers and justification for various things from compensation, promotions and career advancement. If you are smart you will be rewarded, do not be afraid to challenge. Amazonians respect smarts.

    Cons

    In some teams the pager duty can be taxing - since developers also must support what they develop.

    Advice to Management

    Better career advancement for software developers.


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