Amazon - A solid company run by competent people, but I wouldn't recommend to others | Glassdoor

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Helpful (7)

"A solid company run by competent people, but I wouldn't recommend to others"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Software Development Engineer
Current Employee - Software Development Engineer
Doesn't Recommend
Approves of CEO

Pros

Super-smart and very competent coworkers make it a great place for driven people to work. The CEO is not afraid to take risks and invest for the long-term, and all of the senior management are superb. The pay is relatively high, and it is possible to find a good work-life balance with some effort and setting of boundaries. Amazon runs a tight ship, which means there's always work to get done, but it also means a developer has a wide scope to do far more than write code, from helping to make business decisions to managing projects.

Cons

Burnout takes hold quickly for many employees, leading to high turnover in some departments. Amazon loves to celebrate all the new people who have joined since the last company meeting, when most are just replacing others who have left. Finding a good manager to work for is the key, but you can expect a new manager every six months to a year, which means you'll inevitably end up working for someone you don't like.

The company used to be fun to work for when it was younger. Amazon now only hires the best of the best, which seems to have driven out all the interesting people on its way to become a well-oiled corporate machine. The average age of the company is still very young, and Amazon likes ambitious new college graduates. For those a little older, learning new skills to stay relevant in the company is something you'll have to do on your own time and money.

Pager duty is a major pain. Smaller teams can expect to be on-call at least one week per month, while larger teams spread out the pain longer. Getting paged in the middle of the night for a high-severity problem that take eight hours of investigation to fix is enough to drive many to quit.

Advice to Management

They've got great vision for the company. My favorite quote from Bezos is that, "advertising is the price you pay for a mediocre product", and that by treating the customer right, word of mouth makes a much more effective way to grow the business. The company has become a haven for the some of the smartest developers in the world to work at. However, Amazon needs to focus more on growing smart people for the long-term rather than treating them as disposable talent.

Other Employee Reviews for Amazon

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Amazon is a great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A challenging problem space with a lot of opportunity to develop interesting and complex problems. It is a company filled with great people with good ideas who have a passion for developing software. The compensation is good and competitive. The work life balance is excellent. Telecommuting is welcomed. Hours are flexible.

    Cons

    Infrequent on-call duty for operational support. Poor knowledge sharing within the company. Outdated platforms and technologies in use. Occasionally, the need arises for late night support work. The operational burden of owning software is a both a plus and a minus for the company.

    Advice to Management

    Continue pursuing a long term customer focused approach.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Small company atmosphere with big company stability"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Stock Plan Administrator
    Current Employee - Stock Plan Administrator
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Small company atmosphere with big company stability. Profitable throughout the worst economic downturn in the modern era. Not stuffy like MSFT, but not as

    Cons

    Lack of direction and corporate rigidity are not for everyone. It is a young company, that has grown in leaps and bounds of late - so the typical growing pains can be expected.

    Advice to Management

    Too much focus is placed on the top 5-10% performers, as while they are well rewarded, those at the 11-20% top performance level are the ones that are often grossly under-rewarded for their work - and the difference between being in the top 10% and just out of it is so slight that the most dissatisfied employees are those that are outstanding performers, but not the rock-star of the group.

There are newer employer reviews for Amazon
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon

See Most Recent

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