Amazon Software Development Manager Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon Software Development Manager Reviews

Updated December 9, 2018
222 reviews

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Software Development Manager

4.5
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
187 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Work/life balance seems comparable to other places I've worked - not worse" (in 2517 reviews)

  • "I have no work life balance issues" (in 523 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (577)

    "An Amazing Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I've been at Amazon for a month now, and I've seen none of the horror stories being communicated to the public, although Amazon is a large enough company that I'm sure there are good pockets and bad pockets. Everyone here is really smart, and wants to succeed both personally, and as a company. People collaborate and help each other, focus on data, and truly focus on the customer. Every company I've ever worked for talks about how important the customer is, but on day 2, they're forgotten. Amazon seems to genuinely focus on what's best for the customer, and it's awesome to be in meetings where people actually bring that up, and make decisions focused on long-term customer satisfaction.

    The opportunities to learn here are literally unlimited, and the opportunity to take on new responsibility is as well. I honestly believe you can be as awesome as you want here.

    Cons

    No cons, so far - seriously. Like I said, I'm sure Amazon has some bad pockets in it here and there, but this is an amazing job, an amazing opportunity, and the biggest thing I have to complain about is that it's a little chilly in our building. I can live with that.

    Does Amazon demand high quality, measurable results? Yes! Is it hard work? Yes! Is it rewarding? Yes! So I'm not calling that a 'con'. Work/life balance seems comparable to other places I've worked - not worse.


  2. "Software Development Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    You are owner and you will be given full credit if you deliver. LPs are great and they are taken seriously.

    Cons

    If you like tech Amazon give you full opportunity but there is high probability that you might end up compromising your work life balance.

  3. Helpful (1275)

    "Can be amazing for some people, horrible for others"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon is doing lot's of cool stuff...but lots of boring stuff too. There are really well run teams...and very badly run teams. The experience for software managers and engineers is all over the board, from really run low operational load teams to teams where people burn out after a year.

     - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. You can generally expect that anyone who's been here for more than 2 years is competent and motivated or they wouldn't have survived. You can count on them as long as your priorities are aligned. There aren't many slackers here, and they don't survive long.
      - We work on so much stuff that there's always an opportunity to find amazing cool stuff to work on (note that it's an 'opportunity', one that you have to pursue)
      - A chance to make a huge difference
      - A place where you can learn a lot about all kinds of things, both technical and about yourself
      - Amazon encourages high mobility - even your manager can't prevent you from moving to another team within 6 weeks (normally, more than a few months under unusual conditions).
      - Your friends and family have actually heard of the place you work and have at least a vague notion of what Amazon does without you having to explain

    Cons

    - You're responsible for your own career progression and finding the places and teams that are doing the stuff you want to do. No one is going to take you by the hand and help you with that.
    - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. The strong survive and the weak perish (metaphorically speaking) and the 'bar' is constantly increasing. The level of performance that would have been acceptable five years ago will get you canned today. It's a kind of crucible that'll help you develop a harder edge, if you can survive, that can serve you well in your career and in life, but it's often not a pleasant experience.

    I wouldn't recommend it as a place to work for just anyone.

    Advice to Management

    Stack ranking is a horrible practice since it's rife with favoritism. It's also not Amazonian in that it's not data based (arbitrarily designating a certain percentage of employees that must be put on performance management isn't a data driven criterion) and it's not frugal (effectively forcing an individual out of the company in one division who would make the grade in another is either retaining someone who doesn't meet the bar or a waste of talent). The goal is to force managers to actually make the hard decisions about how their team members compare with each other (not everyone can be exceptional), but it has more defects than virtues. Replace it with a common comparison of each person against the bar for their position, based on data. The percentages that are assigned to each performance category will turn out how they turn out, but there will be an evaluation mechanism that's fair and frugal.


  4. "Great company to work for!"

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

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

    Pros

    Different team has different culture, most run like a complete startup that owns and manages their own services.
    Not too much politics and process.
    Great for growth.
    Many tools to use.

    Cons

    Frugality is sometimes regarded as "being cheap".


  5. "Amazing company and the most driven and smartest of the people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - You can learn a lot very quickly in a very short time
    - Surrounded with nothing but incredibly smart and driven individuals.
    - Compensation is well beyond my expectations, and more than suitable.
    - Exciting projects all across the company that keep you interested and focused.
    - Amazon is changing the world

    Cons

    - Can be overwhelming, very steep learning curve
    - Can be difficult to keep up if you are not self motivated


  6. "Stressful sometimes, but you can learn a lot"

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

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

    Pros

    Stable company, great people, be part of company that is changing the world

    Cons

    Depending on the org you join, you might face different levels of bureaucracy


  7. "Software Developer and now Software Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Work with some of the smartest people and get to focus on delivering great things for customers. Rapid pace is still there but especially in AWS we are a maturing software company and take the time to do things the right way. Management supports the developers that invent, find better ways of doing something and make the team better. Good culture on most AWS teams at least from my experience. People actually embrace the leadership principles in a good way, not just becuase they are there. If you need tools or resources you will get them. Hiring always a challenge in this market, but retention has been good on the teams I work with.

    Cons

    Amazon expects everyone to meet a high bar, and generally management is very supportive of everyone that works hard and has skills. That said, the wrong team can be very stressful so do your homework and ask about Operational load, team turnover, 2-3 year vision for the team and culture, especially if you can ask individual team members.
    Not quite as many perks as some of the other top tech companies like Google and Facebook, but the overall compensation is still great.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the focus on the customer, and keep treating the employees that are delivering for you well.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Awesome if you love independence and hate bureaucracy"

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

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

    Pros

    Freedom to take your ideas from inception to execution. Not confined by roles/titles. Very bottom-up culture with decisions driven from recommendations collected from team members. Ever dreamt of running your own business without worrying about funding yourself? - Amazon can offer you that kind of freedom if you manage to convince others with your ideas. You are surrounded by really smart and really nice (most) people that you can learn from.

    Cons

    Not for someone who can't go beyond their role definition. Do it yourself culture that can be frustrating in the beginning .

    Advice to Management

    More investment in diversity recruiting and inclusion programs.


  9. "Learn and Be Curious at its best"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. Provide you the platform to innovate.
    2. Still startup culture that allows you to innovate.
    3. Pressure to innovate but not to keep doing manual tasks.
    4. Work hour flexibility.

    Cons

    I am privileged to work with some of the best leadership in my career so I do not have any cons. Only cons I can think of is that as there are so many custom tools and processes, it gets harder for a new hire to understand eco-system easily.


  10. "Senior Software Development Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon is a great company to work for. You will be able to change the world and constantly work on cutting-edge technology building great systems that are important to customers.

    Cons

    The operational load can be quite high. AWS believes fully in DevOps, which is generally great, but comes with the downside of periodically working long days and even nights when there are operational events.

    Advice to Management

    Aggressively work to fight operational load. I know management does this, but sometimes loses focus compared to developing features and new capabilities needed by customers. While we generally want to be doing new cool features, when operational tickets are frequently firing, it impacts people's personal lives.