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Amazon Systems Engineer Reviews

Updated September 24, 2018
72 reviews

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Systems Engineer

4.6
StarStarStarStarStar
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
51 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Work/life balance seems comparable to other places I've worked - not worse" (in 2438 reviews)

  • "I have no work life balance issues" (in 507 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Software Development Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Development Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Systems Development Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fun, flexible work. Great people to work with. No timecard. Great pay. Lots of time off. No one but you sets your work/life balance.

    Cons

    No end to the work, there is always more to be done. 10 things need to be done, management knows you can only do 5 so they will ask for you to do 6. No one but you sets your work life balance. (yes this is a pro and a con)

    Advice to Management

    Communication is always a challenge for a global company. I know its difficult, but you must try harder.


  2. "I love the work environment"

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

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

    Pros

    Good salaries, nice sign on bonus and stock bonus

    Cons

    Not much cash bonuses yearly

  3. "Cloud Support Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    Always busy and learning, and never bored

    Cons

    Sometimes (depending on team) there was a stress and env pressure

    Advice to Management

    none


  4. "Systems Engineer II -- AWS"

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

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

    Pros

    Strong growth opportunity.
    Never a dull moment.
    Excellent coworkers.
    Plenty of ways to make a positive impact.

    Cons

    Legacy systems.
    Tribal knowledge.
    Poor documentation.
    Can be overwhelming.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage better documentation and information sharing, it's sometimes incredibly difficult to track down information from another service or team.


  5. "Great place to work, but it's not for the faint of heart"

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

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

    Pros

    * You will be challenged to learn new things and grow as a person.
    * Everyone is expected to be an owner and to act accordingly.
    * The company has a genuine dedication to finding and solving problems, both within the organization and in the outside world.
    * You'll get to do cool new things all the time.
    * Moving around within the company is encouraged!

    Cons

    * You'll be given way more than you can handle from the get-go.
    * People accustomed to working with direction and in an orderly environment will get lost easily.
    * It can be really hard to get your footing in this place.
    * You'll sometimes get flak from randos about working here because you're working at a large company some people have told "horror stores" about. Some of the stories are sort of true, but they're made to sound much worse than they really are.

    Advice to Management

    The work-life balance is easily the worst thing about working at Amazon. It's part of the culture, but something really needs to be done to remind people that time away from work doing things you love with people you love is at least as important as the work you do. People who have worked here for a while get this and do better about maintaining a work/life balance and maintaining a healthy workload, but the first year or so can be really hard on people. Some advice and encouragement from the top down would do a lot to help here.


  6. "Systems Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    great work/life balance; great benefits; great chances for dev work

    Cons

    none at the moment that I can think of


  7. "Great challenge"

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities and challenges to address. Possibility of international relocation. Large scale. Lots of amazing people.

    Cons

    High operational work and on-call. Not at lot of vacation time.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "No place is perfect, but I love it here. Full stop."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Development Engineer in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Systems Development Engineer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing opportunities for personal and professional growth like no other company I've encountered in my long career.

    This is definitely an intense environment to work in BUT I've never encountered a company that provides more support and help for employees. The culture here is like none other.

    Cons

    This is very definitely an intense environment to work in. The bar is set very high, and you are expected to produce at a high level at all times.

    Advice to Management

    Avoid frupidity (frugality + stupidity). Sometimes adding headcount or getting people good equipment are investments that pay off big.


  9. "Amazon Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Tough work. Tough culture.

    Cons

    Nice people. Work is challenging


  10. "Switching to Amazon has turned out great for me."

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

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

    Pros

    Very data-driven
    Passion for customer
    Lots of career growth opportunity
    Freedom to innovate
    Minimum amount of process to deliver high-quality results quickly
    Nimble, able to move fast
    Builder mindset
    Clear thinking around business decisions using the "document" process
    Solid design thinking
    Non-contributors don't last. I've seen several L7 Principals get moved out because they were "coasting"
    Awesome stock progress
    Leadership principles very solid. They are actually followed in hiring, promotion, & daily work
    I've seen execs change for the positive based on system feedback
    "Continuously improve" mentality in all aspects of the company
    Opportunity for career advancement is strong. Fairly clear path for promotion that is employee-driven.
    "Customer first" principle also filters into how HR, IT, and other areas of the company serve the employees.

    Cons

    High intensity/pressure at times
    As a senior dev, I experienced difficulty transferring teams. This was supposedly corrected in 2016.
    Health care is still fairly expensive (up to $10K out of pocket maximum per year)
    401K match is poor (only $0.50/dollar and up to 2%/4% of salary). No 401K match for stock.
    You get a 4 year deal of stock. In year #5 you take a pretty big reduction in compensation since recently the stock has gone up far faster than the 15% predicted by the corporate compensation model. But anyone would want to trade places with me based on the nice run we've had :-).