Amazon - Avoid it at all cost if you are not a workaholic | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Amazon

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Helpful (11)

"Avoid it at all cost if you are not a workaholic"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • 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
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

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

Pros

- You will be able to learn a lot here. There are many interesting problems to be solved and you can be owner of the project pretty quickly.
- Seattle. While it gets really cloudy from September to April, it has really nice summer weather. Also, it does not snow much.
- Flexible hours. You can come to office pretty late and leave late if you have to.
- 401k, medical insurance.
- Free coffee, tea, and hot cocoa. You can have as many as you want.
- You can bring your dog to the office. You will be able to meet a lot of dogs here.
- Decent base salary with stocks. Amazon gives you decent amount of salary.

Cons

- On-call rotation. You will have to carry a pager and be in an alert 24 hours because one of software that you manage can go down, and system needs a way to tell you about it. It is not fun for anyone to wake up 3am or 6am in the morning once in a week to solve the problem. This brings a lot of time to be spent on operation rather than developing your skill sets.
- Bad work/life balance. Tight dead lines. On Thursday, some problem gets escalated and you need to solve it by next Monday, before your manager's meeting, which means you have to spend your weekend. This happens very frequently depending on your team.
- Not so much room for salary increase. Amount of increase of your salary will probably the lowest in the industry unless you get promoted. If you are exceptional but did not get promoted, you will likely get about inflation rate (or lower) increase in salary. You will soon be able to find out that people who joined a year or two later than you getting higher salary with less skills.
- Frugality. You don't get free food or perks. You will have to work everything on your single monitor and they will not accept your request to have multiple monitors.
- This is just a minor thing but 780 square feet office with 11 developers and 2 managers isn't a good place to focus on your work. You will be able to hear a dog barking every other 10 minutes in the office next to you.

Advice to Management

Amazon is infamous for high turn over rate, and obviously, there is reason for that. The management needs to realize the cost of developers leaving the company, and treat employees well to prevent it. Otherwise, developers will leave and future developers will need to catch up and clean past works, while keeping tight deadline for new projects.

Other Employee Reviews for Amazon

  1. Helpful (28)

    "Smoke and Mirrors"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Premium Support Engineer (DSE) in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Premium Support Engineer (DSE) in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Free coffee, smart people and a 10% Amazon discount across the board. Macbook Pros are nice too.

    Cons

    Working at AWS in their "Support" department was a real let down for me. I went from owning projects and creating new systems to answering phone calls and chats explaining to moronic customers that they are wrong, how to fix it and then wait for them to fix it while having a read-only view into their environment. My job could be done just as easily without a real computer, I only need some device to stream details out of our many databases.

    Indentured servitude. Seriously, soon as you join Amazon you're not allowed to leave for a year or you can owe them over $20,000 really quickly. Beware, only take this job if you want to answer chats and phone calls all day. For anyone who craves or needs hands on, this isn't for you. I'm leaving before I jump off the 27th floor of the building for having my soul sucked out of my chest, I'm eating the bill from Amazon and filing bankruptcy. Nothing else I can hope to do. My personal joy in life is worth more to me than the bragging rights of working at Amazon.

    Lunch and food on site is overpriced, management usually hides in their office cubes with no interaction and the emphasis on "numbers" is there even though they claim it's not.

    Advice to Management

    8 month experienced managers telling people things that are obviously wrong like "The CentOS project is the upstream for RHEL" is ridiculous. Why interview technically if no technical skill is required to do this job? Why not just hire Comcast Tech Support drop outs instead of wasting engineers in the work force?

    Explain the job role properly to prospective engineers, you got me in on false pretenses. I want to walk into your office and scream "F*** YOU", but I can't.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Great place to work; but not without downsides"

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

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

    Pros

    -Awesome coworkers; They keep a really high bar, at least for SDEs. Ownership is a real thing; not just management-speak. Every SDE gets to own the entire service/product and has insight and input into every step - requirements gathering, design, development, deploy and maintainance. This is particularly true in new or relatively young services. Each service is also independent of each other. In most aspects, this leads to a startup culture within the big organization. At the same time, being a large organization allows great shared platforms and technologies to be used by all the mini-startups within the company.

    Cons

    Lots of management hires from outside the company recently; a recent trend is to crowd out engineers out of meetings. Not sure how it is going to impact the culture long term.

    Another big con is the compensation. Performance reviews and compensation revisions don't go hand-in-hand. Compensation change follows a really opaque process; with the end result being most pay hikes are paltry, even with great perf review scores. Only saving grace is the stock grant you get on joining and vests over 4 years. That is why so many people leave after 4 years - there is big drop in effective comp at the end of 4 years. In short, if you are joining Amazon, remember that you are basically negotiating salary for 4 years; not just the first year.

    Advice to Management

    Beware of 'death by commitee'- too many managers kill a product; not allow it to focus on customers. Rethink compensation strategy to allow retaining your best for more than 4 years.

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

See Most Recent

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