Amazon Test Development Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon Test Development Engineer Reviews

Updated November 15, 2017
48 reviews

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Test Development Engineer

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

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Get chance to learn a lot while working on a real world problem (in 425 reviews)

  • It really depends on the individual employees to maintain the work-life balance (in 339 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is not easy to maintain (in 1970 reviews)

  • There is nearly no work life balance (in 422 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Software Development Engineer, Test"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon is a place to do innovation and run down your ideas to provide exceptional customer service in the competitive market. Whether you are a developer, manager, or any other position, you would always find yourself thinking outside of the box and working backward from customer. You will get challenged and learn so much that you would never find such an experience from any other company. Simply, being Amazonian is a place to bring down your brainstorm to a unique customer solution. In short, as slogan say - Work hard, have fun, make history.

    Cons

    Sometime you might find overwhelming with so much going on in your basket, but we recommend you that you manage your time and priority well.


  2. "Great place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Always Creative, Ideas are encouraged and any change is welcome. Work directly impacts lots of real customers

    Cons

    Ton of work just like a startup

  3. Helpful (1)

    "SDET review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    Learn something new every single day. Challenging place to be in when you start your career.

    Cons

    Sometimes it can be very stressful


  4. "Can't complain"

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

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They trust you with a lot, allowing you to grow your skills and make an actual impact, even with entry level positions. The company definitely has a direction, and the leadership knows where they're headed Leadership principles are great.

    Cons

    The high expectations mean internal competition is stiff, and they ask a lot. Stock is more carrot than reward - most people don't stay long enough to get their initial stock vest, so don't count on it as compensation.

    Advice to Management

    Targeting employees willing to work a lot makes sense, but getting a broader range in (those desiring more work-life balance or part-time) may make for a more diverse workplace with more product ideas.


  5. "Good if you're young and willing to work a lot"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test II in Duvall, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test II in Duvall, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * Cool technology
    * Cool projects
    * Smart people

    Cons

    * Work life balance comes with cost to your career/peer opinion
    * Plenty of young folks willing to work a ton of hours; caution if you're not
    * Benefits are that great really


  6. "good work life balance"

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

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

    Pros

    good work life balance in the team

    Cons

    Difficult to grow past l6


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great learning experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Amazon hiring process only selects smart people that also enjoy helping others. This makes for a great learning environment.
    Opportunities are endless as long as you are willing to work hard for it.

    Cons

    High turnover (mostly people switching teams internally) makes career management difficult.

  8. Helpful (21)

    "BEWARE!! A few upsides, but overall the worst company I ever worked for!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test I in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test I in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Amazon full-time

    Pros

    The Seattle office has a casual atmosphere and convenient urban location, surrounded by dozens of restaurants, bars, and cafes within walking distance. They have a cafeteria with many different food options, including a number of healthy choices, and have vending machines with healthy snacks as well. There is no dress code - "wear whatever you want" - and dogs are allowed at work. There are no fixed core hours, and nobody cares when you are at your desk, as long as you can get work done. Amazon employees are given a lot of latitude and freedom, and they are not micromanaged. Amazon is extremely generous with relocation assistance and will move you to Seattle all expenses paid. Once there, you'll have the chance to work with smart people and on interesting technical problems, and you'll have the latitude to solve them any way you like.

    Cons

    Amazon recruiters may claim that their employees enjoy reasonable work/life balance, but don't believe a word of it! Amazon is a high-pressure environment designed to pile impossible demands on employees and get them to complete with their coworkers in order to squeeze out as much productivity as possible. You are just a disposable cog in the machine. Once you're burnt out, you're easily replaceable, and will be replaced by constant stream of new hires.... The whole system is designed to work that way. Expect to work 60-80 hours a week. If you move across the country to work for Amazon, expect to be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt in relocation repayment obligations, if you have any thoughts of quitting. The one good piece of news is that if you hold your ground and insist on maintaining good work/life balance, nobody will tell you that you have to work certain hours - you will just be put on a performance improvement plan and fired for "poor performance" - and then you will probably be offered a severance agreement where you are released from your repayment obligations.... Expect to be put through hell in the meantime though.

    Oh, and as far as learning anything from your smart coworkers goes, don't count on it. Amazon has a deliberately culture Darwinian that encourages competition and discourages knowledge-sharing and collaboration.... Don't expect to receive any training to perform the functions of your job or any assistance from your coworkers, and expect most of your questions to be met with "go read the Wiki" - which by the way will probably be out of date, and was probably written by somebody who no longer works there - because Amazon has one of the highest employee turnover rates of any large, successful company. The entire time I was there I spent half of every day fighting a broken build system that could go wrong in any one of 100 different ways, all of which were listed on a Wiki with arcane instructions for resolving them – and every once in a while, it would break in some other way that wasn't listed.... Nobody bothered to put in the effort to fix any of this, because everyone was more focused on completing their own projects than on common infrastructure – and as far as management was concerned, who cares if developers have to work long hours to deal with this? They're smart - they can figure it out.

    You might develop innovative solutions to difficult technical problems at Amazon, but you're equally likely to bang your head against the wall until you somehow manage to reinvent the wheel – perhaps in one of the least efficient ways possible, one which may be barely adequate.... Expect to have to reinvent the wheel over and over again, due to the lack of knowledge-sharing and brain drain from having so many people move on after barely working there for over a year. With so many people so poorly trained for the duties of their job, competing with each other instead of working together, making the kinds of bad design decisions that come from working at a death-march pace, it's amazing that anything works at Amazon at all.... The only reason it may work at all is the constant stream of new college hires. They do not offer nearly high enough pay to justify putting up with this (I was not making any more than at my previous position in a smaller, less expensive city). I was sorely disappointed after moving to Seattle for this. I not only learned twice as much, but also got twice as much done in half as much time at both my previous job and the next one after Amazon – all the while enjoying better work/life balance and a consistent 40-hour workweek.

    Amazon is destroying the culture and fabric of Seattle, a city I used to like. Seattle used to be a laid back, counter-cultural city, with liberal attitudes but a cost of living much lower than San Francisco. Amazon is creating a housing crunch that has caused rents to spike to the point where they are almost not even affordable to tech workers and its antisocial attitudes are seeping into the general culture of city now. Ironically, the company I moved here to work for is destroying many of the things that drew me to move here in the first place.

    Advice to Management

    Knowledge-sharing is not the enemy. Amazon employees would greatly benefit from practices like pair programming, which are actively discouraged there, and it would greatly cut down on ramp-up time by allowing employees to learn from the experience of others. High turnover is bad and creates brain drain – Amazon should create a better work environment that makes employees want to stay, and should reconsider its practice of hiring tons of people, only to fire a bunch of them later. Working at a death march pace is not conducive to good design decisions or good product quality in the long run. More likely it leads to a bunch of hacks built on top of hacks and a product that is unmaintainable. There is not an infinite supply of new hires to replace the people who are leaving, and the current model is unsustainable. Word is getting out about what it's like to work at Amazon, and there are only so bright engineers willing to put up with this. Amazon is not going to be able to continue expanding endlessly, raising the hiring bar the whole while. Eventually the supply of willing and qualified candidates will dry up. Be a good corporate citizen. People move to a city like Seattle because of its livability and cultural character. Those things need to be respected and supported. If you turn Seattle into another Silicon Valley, people will stop wanting to move here.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Great comp"

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

    Pros

    Compensation is great if you work for at least 3 years, because only then will the stock starts to vest.

    Cons

    The base salary is not as much. And there is no performance bonus.
    No work-life balance, management can be utterly idiotic.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Work is only 1/2 the job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer Engineer In Test in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Developer Engineer In Test in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon (More than a year)

    Pros

    Highly collaborative environment where your voice is heard. Ability to move around in the company. Fast moving new stuff all the time.

    Cons

    Continual requirement to present what you did to others, "impress them" leads to some people claiming credit for things they really didn't participate in.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize people for what they do, not what they say