Amazon Software engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon software engineer Reviews

Updated May 24, 2017
1,530 reviews

Filter

Filter

software engineer

1,530 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

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 (8)

    "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 Lots of old decrepit internal tooling, internal documentation is disorganized and often out of date.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.


  2. 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.


  3. "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


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 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.


  6. 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


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. "meh"

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

    I worked at Amazon as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    good salary and smart people

    Cons

    culture, and benefits or lack there of


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to learn, hard place to work"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    As an engineer, if you put the work in, you will learn a lot really fast, and grow quickly. Having Amazon on your resume also opens many doors.

    Cons

    When they say Deliver Results they mean it, its good to deliver, but have an off week, or even day, and miss a possibly already unrealistic deadline by a small amount, and you will be hearing about it. Sometimes feels like they expect engineers to be robots, not people with everyday life and stresses, and that you have to be able to crank it out every day.

    Advice to Management

    Engineers are human beings, not robots, if you look at the overall yearly performance of an engineer, and their reviews are 80% positive, and their work was generally delivered well with high standards 80% of the time, that's a good engineer. Engineering is hard work. Stop holding people back from promotions or penalizing them because they didn't do it 100% of the time.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing company, but be prepared to be challenged like never before"

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

    I worked at Amazon as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Disclaimer: ONLY a former SDE Intern

    Jeff Bezos and the values he and his "S-team" are preaching are unlike any other. They are not micromanagers by any means. They are trying to teach people to think in the manner that has worked for them. Live by their Leadership Principles and you WILL succeed.

    Really, really insanely smart people.

    The Work/Life balance is really sort of there. Most people do only work from 9-5 just those same people are insanely efficient and know what they need to do in those 40 hours. No one is making you work more than that.

    You really are allowed to OWN your projects.

    Cons

    Seems like the promotion process is a lot slower than I initially thought. A lot of the directors and senior management are in those positions because they have either been with them since 2005 or because Amazon acquired their company.

    Not nearly as many perks as more the Silicon Valley. FRUGALITY.

    I think the problem why many people fail is they are given OWNERSHIP like never before. I did not know how to deal with that much ambiguity of what they ACTUALLY wanted. You need to really learn what your stakeholders want.

    Really for a specific type of person.

    Advice to Management

    I believe this company is where it is today because of this "abusive culture". Keep on selling those "Leadership Principles". However, I think managers need to be a little more clear of what they want out of you.


Showing 1,530 of 14,830 reviews
Reset Filters