Amazon Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon Reviews

Updated September 22, 2017
15,979 reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "I love what I do and am glad I get to do it Amazon."

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

    Pros

    Smart people and fun, casual environment where you are given tremendous responsibility from day 1

    Cons

    Chaos rules. Your experience can depend upon the team you work for and your manager.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing - it's working!


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Decentralization means autonomy... but also chaos."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazon.com is an amazing place to learn. The decentralized, self-starter atmosphere strongly supports and encourages people who are motivated to try new things. In just months of being here, you'll end up having responsibilities that most companies wouldn't hand off from the legions of middle management for years. You're able to touch every aspect of the business, from the actual business side (TCO, business justifications, cost/benefit analysis, etc), to the deeply technical side (even all the way to choosing whatever technology, language, and platform you like). Every role has a huge amount of autonomy and responsibility.

    Additionally, there are no middle-management drones here. Every person I've met here is top-notch; blisteringly intelligent and an extremely valuable asset to the company. Like most companies, there are some folks who might do better in other roles... but I've been overwhelmed by just how GOOD these people are. Coming from a different company where a lot of people just "coast", this is a nice, refreshing change.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, that "decentralized, self-starter atmosphere" can also be chaotic, frustrating, and wasteful. While it's wonderful that we all have total autonomy to determine what platform, language, and technology to use at every turn... do we really need to spend the next two months rewriting a build system? Or an issue tracking system? Or a multicast protocol? Really? These problems have been solved already, and there's no need to go back and reinvent the wheel. The decentralization, coupled with a focus on autonomy, leads to a strong "roll your own" syndrome. We end up with sometimes as many as twenty different solutions to the same problem, each slightly customized for a given team and unusable by anyone else.

    Amazon requires patience, and an ability to sift through the chaos to focus on what's necessary. If you cannot prioritize your own workload, you will not do well here.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management at Amazon is surprisingly hands-on for a company that prizes autonomy as highly as Amazon. Yet, the hands-on nature, coming as it does from someone with "senior vice president" in their title, ends up randomizing entire teams. When an SVP wants an answer to a question, hordes of engineers are taken off their existing projects and moved all around. I would advise the senior leadership to be more the visionaries we expect them to be - and leave the tactical stuff to their teams.

  3. 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.


  4. "Great, innovative company with smart, fun people. Work Hard. Play Hard. Have Fun."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager - Retail in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager - Retail in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You work hard but the people are smart and they are committed to what they are doing. It's great to work with a fun group of intelligent people that are continually innovating and improving.

    Cons

    In some ways it's still a company that is growing up and evolving and that can be frustrated at times because it's old enough to have structure and some bureaucracy but not so old that it has everything worked out yet. (Like a teenager.) Most people I know have a love - hate relationship with their jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Employees are customers too and the company should really focus on keeping abreast of the needs of the employees and address them. I would say the company is just "OK" at this and Jeff B needs to be more committed or we'll lose some of the best talent that we have.


  5. "Amazon - where you want to be!"

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

    Pros

    Amazon is a company full of smart, driven individuals who work hard and smart for the most part. Always on the cutting edge and every individual in the company has the opportunity to contribute. Everyone all the way up to JeffB fosters innovation and creativity. No tolerance for underperformers and great recognition for those who do well. A company that seeks out leaders and gives them opportunities to grow. Very driven management with vase and diverse experience. No hierachical red tape and beauraucracy. A fantastic place to work and grow!

    Cons

    As with most companies, there are inefficiencies that can be ironed out. Sometimes, there isnt good communication between the different teams.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing! :)


  6. 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


  7. "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.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Know what environment you perform best in - then see if Amazon's culture is a good fit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    small company entrepreneurial feel with a big, reputable company brand name

    Cons

    small entrepreneurial teams are good for the company, but hard to distribute needed information throughout the company. Lots of redundancies.

    Advice to Management

    Allocate at least 50% to actually managing your staff. todays world requires managers to produce too much themselves, thus reducing the time available to mentor and train new employees.


  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. Helpful (1)

    "Thumbs up for Amazon"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Director in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It is one of the most innovative companies on the planet that never sits back and rests. Amazon has a humble approach to everything which I find very appealing in today's world of companies screaming about how great they are.

    Amazon also has an extremely high hiring bar, and the company is loaded with really smart people. That makes it easy to come to work in the morning.

    Cons

    Amazon is unlike most companies out there, and this can sometimes be a problem for new employees, especially those not right our of school and have worked at other companies. Our culture is a little different, and our priorities are little different.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing-- stay focused on the customer.


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