Amazon Software engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon software engineer Reviews

Updated March 24, 2017
1,401 reviews

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1,401 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Learn a lot of things and good working environment (in 327 reviews)

  • There are a lot of smart people in aws (in 737 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is not easy here (in 1452 reviews)

  • No work life balance around the holidays (in 313 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "SDE @ Amazon"

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

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

    Pros

    Great compensation
    Good Growth for hard work
    Interesting work
    Easy to change teams internally

    Cons

    Management has too much power, Can screw you for no reason if they want.
    No perks like free food etc.


  2. "Good for new graduates , that's it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great resources help new graduates grow. There are smart people there. The company is still growing big, lot of opportunities. What's more, you will know a lot of people there who may can help you in your whole career.

    Cons

    Work life balance is bad. Stressful on call. N annual bonus or similar. Salary increase is basically nothing, comparing other it companies.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "AWS Senior SDE"

    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

    AWS gives its engineers a tremendous amount of responsibility and empowers them to do whatever it takes to meet customer needs. As a Senior Software Development Engineer you are responsible for requirements analysis, architecture design, software design, project management, software implemention, testing and operations for teams of 4 - 20 engineers. The services you are responsible for could have thousands to hundreds of thousands of customers and involve internet scale parallel computing problems.

    Cons

    There is no net. At AWS you have the opportunity to create highly visible systems that many well known companies build their business on. If you break something you created, it's on you to discover the problem, diagnose and fix it before it causes pain for customers. This can be stressful at times because you effective "own the business", at least from a technical perspective.


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  5. Helpful (7)

    "Overwhelming but fun; ladder-climbers beware"

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

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

    Pros

    Caveat emptor: Teams are pretty siloed here, which preserves some freedom and small-company feel while also making culture vary dramatically from team to team. I've heard of folks who made out worse than me, they ended up in that New York Times article. Your Mileage May Vary.

    That said, here's the good stuff:

    Fast pace, near continuous deployment, hard problems. Smart, fun coworkers who have become true friends. Ownership of your tasks through the full development lifecycle. Open feedback encouraged and practiced. You have the ability to introduce change, though some teams are more resistant to change than others, and regardless you'll have to work hard to make an impact. Good work-life balance for an intense programming job: yes the oncall rotation occasionally makes you answer a page at night, but you're not expected to work late generally, even under impending deadlines. The team owns deadlines, not individuals.

    Oh. Compensation is great, but you probably knew that already.

    Cons

    Top-down management style. Developers don't have much control over which problems they solve once they join a team, though they have lots of freedom in designing solutions. Promotions are opaque and often frustrating, though they're currently introducing new policies to try changing that. If your goal is to get promoted quickly, this is not the place to be. Gender ratio heavily male. Lots of old decrepit internal tooling, internal documentation is disorganized and often out of date.

    Advice to Management

    Keep pushing to make promotions more transparent and predictable. Find a better solution to internal documentation. Bring in more female developers. Find management mechanisms to prevent those NYT horror stories from happening. Give developers more insight and ownership of which tasks they end up working on.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "You are a self-starter, and strives well in "no one know this, you have to figure out yourself" situations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I get to witness some good software processes that help to ensure work quality.

    You are encouraged to voice out your thoughts, opinions, but of course back it up with data and constructive solutions always.

    There are endless stuffs to work on; challenges to overcome, unchartered work that no one has done before. If you are one is a self-starter, one who strives in "no one know this, you have to figure out yourself" situations, you got this.

    Take it in a positive way, there are many problems in this world that no one has a clue how to solve. Someone has to take it on head on after all.

    I cannot say much for the rest of Amazon, however there is no talk down approach from management in my current team. Counting my blessing on this.

    Yes, we are frugal, no free lunches but we have occasional Friday happy hours, team activities to bond us.

    Most importantly, we get to meet some of the smartest, hardworking folks in Amazon.

    Cons

    It is true that our work performance are measured by how many lines of codes one is changing, how many code reviews one has done, how many tickets solve one has solve and many more.

    Most say data don't lie, true to that. But do consider data don't speak the stories or reasons behind it.

    A doctor who has a death rate in his hand, does not mean he is not a good doctor. He might be sought after because many terminally ill patients go to him for final hopes.

    Likewise, a developer who did not do much code changes, because he might be too busy working on one of the "no one want to get involved" tickets that don't get measure in the performance metrics.

    My point is we are humans, not just some data points. Improve on that.

    Advice to Management

    To each manager, their agenda or unattend work is always the top priority.

    Please restrain yourself and not to make a developer outside your team to commit to your agenda or plans. Please respect each team has their priorities and schedule to follow. Talk to the team manager, and work out the best compromise.

    Also, managers should give back when one team has put aside their priorities to help other team agenda. Return the favor and help them back when their priorities have be delay because of their good will.


  7. "Lot of works without proper guideline, thrive or die"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Sunnyvale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Many internal tools, technology and software good practice

    Cons

    Lots of work without guideline (or you find it yourself), a very demanding company in general

    Advice to Management

    provide more precise guideline, instead of letting people thrive or die by themselves


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Software Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    Good chance to learn kinds of new technologies.

    Cons

    Bad work life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Be fair and respect software engineers.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Software Development Engineer III"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer III in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer III in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good teams (generally), excellent share performance

    Cons

    Mixed bag of managers, no perks, not very competitive with regards to benefits, high share price is starting to affect RSU performance awards. Base salaries are starting to look low in comparison to other tech companies in the area.
    There's room to move, but everything is so secretive at Amazon that you never really know what else is going on unless you make friends in other departments and they inadvertently break their disclosure agreements and tell you what they're up to


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Little Kids Need Not Apply"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    + Great brand name
    + Good compensation
    + Smart and motivated colleagues
    + Interesting work and markets

    Overall this is a good company to be an engineer at. If you are looking for vivid colors and rainbows and candy, look elsewhere (hint: Goog...). You learn a lot and it changes your perspective of what it means to be an engineer. There is no separation of tester, dev ops, and sde, you are all of them all at the same time. You take full ownership of your projects, and your career here.

    Cons

    - You pay for subsidized parking (huh?)
    - Health insurance slightly worse than other tech giants
    - Although better now than the past, public facing teams still haunted by overworked culture
    - Stack ranking is still alive (even if they say it's not)
    - Hard to maintain work/life balance overall if you want to go up the ladder

    Advice to Management

    Keep improving the culture by your own standards. Don't copy the Googles and Facebooks of the world, but you can learn something from them along the line. Keep your identity.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Software Development Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    The salary is beyond great, computers and development tools are amazing. Love the company.

    Cons

    Wish we had better offices and free food. Amazon claims frugality is the way to go but Microsoft and Google employees enjoy much better perks.

    Advice to Management

    Management is very supportive (but depends on the team). I have heard that the AWS teams are under a lot of stress.



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