Amazon Software engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon software engineer Reviews

Updated July 21, 2017
1,040 reviews

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3.8
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
724 Ratings

1,040 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Learn a lot of things and good working environment (in 374 reviews)

  • My org has a very healthy work/life balance (in 252 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Are they really paying me this much?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  6. Helpful (2)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "I love working at Amazon."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. "Think like an owner!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Amazon is packed full of opportunities. There's plenty of space to grow both personally and technically and challenges abound. The real beauty of the place is that individual groups and teams are given nearly full reign in how they operate as long as they produce the desired results. This level of freedom means that those teams which require strict SDLC methodologies to meet high availability requirements can apply those, while teams who do not require as strict of a methodology are also free to explore agile approaches. There are lots of available tools for working in certain ways, but teams are not required to use those tools and are welcome to use others of their own choosing. This freedom keeps the work environment fresh and interesting, even as Amazon has grown into a truly large company.

    The other aspect of Amazon that is truly rewarding is the "ownership" attitude that is fostered. Not code ownership, per se, but rather company ownership. Any employee is encouraged to think about how the project they are doing improves customer experience, drives down costs, and overall improves the business. Anyone can say "I don't think that this is a good customer experience," and people tend to listen.

    Cons

    In short: Chaos. We haves it. I've personally witnessed complete priority shifts take place in 24 hours. If you are the kind of person who will be upset if the project you were working on for the past 2 weeks (or months) suddenly gets tabled in favor of some super ultra high priority mission, you won't like it here. Personally, this doesn't bother me. Both the tabled project and the new one will generally be interesting, and if the tabled project had a real business need behind it, it will come back around to completion one day down the road :).

    Advice to Management

    I'd mostly say to continue keeping your eyes on the ball. Serve the customer first and all else will follow.


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