Amazon Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon Reviews

Updated April 27, 2017
12,302 reviews

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12,302 Employee Reviews

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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 (5)

    "Intelligence demanded. Leadership neither expected nor given."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    They pay to relocate you back to the Pacific Northwest.

    Cons

    Lot of smart people but zero leadership. One of the funniest things that I saw there was our performanc evaluation system, which overall isn't bad, but one trait is 'always right.' This implies that good leaders are 'always right.' It doesn't at all talk about leveraging your employees to 'come up with the right f' answer.' I've been at tons of meetings where people just fight to win the argument. Not very much leadership. Immaturity starts at the top.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting people who are you friends. Get rid of your incompetent peers who got to that level simply because they started early. Get rid of that sophomric 'always right' trait on performance evaluation. Interview and hire for LEADERSHIP not INTELLIGENCE. One's intelligence is a sub-skill of one's ability to LEAD. Intelligence in and of itself is useless. I met a lot of smart idiots at my time at Amazon (e.g., who could had photgraphic memories but couldn't focus their employees or engender trust).


  2. Helpful (11)

    "You can learn a lot but say goodbye to your free time"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you are fresh out of college, Amazon can be a great place to pick up loads of skills. You wind up (mostly) managing your own projects end to end, so you wind up learning about build, deployment, system administration, schema design, as well as any coding required for the task. You also learn about scalablity. And of course, you get to work with lots of cool distributed technologies. There's something to be said for having software that runs on hundreds of servers. There are a few nice perks as well, such as a free bus pass and occasional keggers. The environment is pretty relaxed in that you don't have to dress up or watch what you say.

    Cons

    You get a pager pretty shortly after starting and are expected to respond to it at all hours. Management expects everyone to work crazy hours and thinks nothing of asking you to work weekends, nights, or even cancel your vacation to support a project launch. Cooperation between teams is nearly non-existent and you will often wind up implementing necessary features yourself. Due to political wrangling you can wind up taking on responsibilities far outside of your realm, like taking over QA's job for a spell. You are expected to provide frontline support for the databases despite your level of database knowledge. Unless you are really lucky or really senior, expect to spend < 25% of your time actually writing software - most of your time is spent troubleshooting or triaging emergencies.

    Advice to Management

    I would advise they focus more on quality and stability for a time rather than forcing releases out the door.


  3. Helpful (10)

    "Amazon says: "Work hard. Have fun. Make history." should be, "Work Hard. Have no Morale. Make Bezos more Money.""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Temp Associate/Integrity Staffing in Hazleton, PA
    Current Employee - Temp Associate/Integrity Staffing in Hazleton, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working for Integrity Staffing for Amazon. Do not know if there is any pros besides the pay rate?

    Cons

    Lack of Promotions, Lack of Communication, Lack of Leadership, Lack of Knowledge, Mistreatment of employees, Favortism.

    Advice to Management

    You need to treat the little people better. We bust our butts everyday so you all get your bonuses and reviews. If it was not for us, the work would not get done. Better Treatment and More Open Communication.


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  5. Helpful (13)

    "Shop there if you want, but don't work there."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Focused on the customer and creating a good expereince for them. There are opportunities to work outside US if you want to spend some time working at elements outside US. Most of the survivors are an intelligent group that try to believe in what they are doing.

    Cons

    Most manager micromanage the small stuff and do not provide any strategic vision. Way to much turnover as people leave or move to avoid the bad managers. Poor compensation levels and you have to compete with your co-workers for any raises you get as raises are capped. If you are not one of the favored folks you can forget about being promotoed.

    Advice to Management

    Start innovating to a strategic vision versus changing things to change things. Too many groups change things to prove their worth while the website just keeps getting more and more confusing while needed features are ignored. World's WORST product page.

    Start supporting the needs of the employees as opposed to focusing on the needs of the executives.


  6. Helpful (17)

    "Great for customers, bad for employees"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazon truly values the customer. There were a number of instances where Amazon would do something which short-term wasn't good for the company, but was definitely good for the customer. Bezos strongly believes that doing the best for the customer will also be best for the company long-term.

    Cons

    I worked there for three years as a software engineer. There is constant turmoil and shuffling of people and managers. The company is basically a meat grinder for employees. Engineers carry pagers and spend significant time temporarily patching up things that are broken.

    The focus is on new shiny things rather than truly fixing things that are broken so that they work right. For each group doing the "next big thing" there are three groups doing maintenance work of some horrible legacy system.

    The rate of attrition is unbelievable. One area of the company I worked in had about 45 engineers and had a rate of attrition slightly over 100% meaning that, within one year, every engineer had left and been replaced.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on regretted attrition. Treat employees like you treat customers. Figure out why they're unhappy, make the environment better. Focus on making the internals of Amazon operate as well as the public image.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Great company to work for if that's all you want to do."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Extremely smart people and a fast-paced environment.

    Cons

    Work-life balance. HR Group was pretty dysfunctional, with adversarial interactions vs. team environment.

    Advice to Management

    Lead your people. Drive your people...not into the ground.


  8. Helpful (15)

    "Would it hurt to try and make Amazon earth most employee centric company as well."

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

    Pros

    Amazon.com is really a great company. Especially when it comes to how they treat their customers. They really do put the customer first and that is something that is in the DNA of the company. I have worked for a lot of companies who say that they put the customer first and listen to what they want and its mostly half hearted PR speak. At Amazon.com this is not the case and they strive to make the customer experience better.

    Cons

    This greatness of Amazon.com and how they do business with their customers does not translate into how they treat their employees. This is the biggest company I have seen that is held together by duct tape. Everything is practically a hack or a workaround and you need to know the right people to get things done. That's on a company level.

    In terms of middle management level, they seem to hire a lot of incompetent, ineffective brown-nosers who want to climb the management ladder.

    Advice to Management

    Do you guys not see that there is a huge morale problem here? There is a reason why 50% of people leave Amazon within the first 2 years.


  9. Helpful (26)

    "Worst. Job. Ever."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer III in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer III in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You're on an H1B Visa and its the only job you can get, or you're right out of college and having a "Big name" on your resume is worth it.

    Cons

    The primary, fundamental, downside of Amazon is that Senior Managment is both incompetent and arrogant. Amazon is a technology company but they do not have technologists managing people, even at low levels they bring in people who don't know anything about technology to manage engineers. At higher levels they have MBAs making technology decisions. Worse they are arrogant, they don't respect or value employees. They don't treat them well and they have built an HR department who sees its job as keeping employees in line rather than keeping them happy and productive.

    Advice to Management

    Amazon.com was the worst place I've worked in my 20 year career and it is ultimately your fault. Go get a job at a non-technology company where you might not be exceeding your level of competence.


  10. Helpful (11)

    "Chaotic and disorganized company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Systems Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Casual environment. low level of bureaucracy

    Cons

    incentive scheme pits one employee against another. No social responsibility agenda. Speed to market strategy kills quality.

    Advice to Management

    Develop strategy at how to make this company a great place to work. Take care of your employees, employees will take care of the customers. Get rid of your draconian performance review process.


  11. Helpful (19)

    "Good learning environment but really cold culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The learning curve is very steep. You learn a lot in your first few months as the company operates in a very different way from other retailers.

    Cons

    The amount of work one single person does is ridiculous. Also, there is no formal training. You learn everything by doing it yourself. You get no support from your manager. Basically, your manager is there just as a title who does your performance review at the end of the year, which by the way will come as a surprise because there is no feedback on your performance, even when you ask for it because the managers have no time to do it until the end of the year.
    The company culture is COLD. Your co-workers will not verbally interact with you even when you try. They are an awkward bunch. They only respond well to emails.
    Your "manager" has no previous training or experience in people management and will not take any interest in your professional development. In fact, if you are better looking than your manager, or dress better than your shabbily dressed manager (no dress code at amazon), your manager will probably dislike you.
    And I want to again emphasize that your manager will take NO interest in your professional development.

    Advice to Management

    Please take interest in your subordinates. That will also reflect on you.
    There should be some kind of training for managers that teaches them how to manage people.


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