Amazon - Good Exposure to a Highly Successful Company, But Don't Expect Adequate Compensation or Upwards Mobility | Glassdoor
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Helpful (18)

"Good Exposure to a Highly Successful Company, But Don't Expect Adequate Compensation or Upwards Mobility"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • 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
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

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

Pros

Very smart people. You will get to work with many high achievers from both the engineering and business worlds. Engineers get to learn a lot about business and see how high-achieving business managers function. Business managers get to work with and see how industry-leading engineering teams work.

Cons

Ridiculously hard to get promoted. You're more likely to see incompetent managers get hired into positions that they don't want to promote you to. Performance reviews and compensation systems are set up to allow the company to work you harder and pay you as little as they can get away with. Basically, you will only get a promotion or a decent raise when you work so hard that management runs out of excuses not to reward you properly. Very top-down management style. Every engineer's goals are the result of his or her manager's business goals which are trickled down from the "S-team" - the top level VPs of the company, and so bottom and mid-level creative initiatives tend not to happen. Engineers have to deliver on project after project with overly aggressive deadlines, support a huge operational load (i.e. pagers going off in evenings and weekends), and are then held accountable for quality-related issues. Many teams with bloated mid-level managers who demand lots of meetings, book keeping, reporting etc. TPMs and Dev Managers have to depend on tribal knowledge and personal networking to get anything done. Company emphasizes "Leadership Principles" which are the basis for how everyone ought to behave, but is vague and contradictory and only gives the impression - to those who drink the Kool-aid - that the company appreciates hard work as well as results, but in reality, they're no different from any other company who stack ranks their employees based on all sorts of subjective opinions. Reviews are full of BS and are mostly written after ratings have been determined. Eventually, the only engineers with rewarding careers at Amazon tend to be the fortunate ones whose managers know how to game the system, rather than play along with it. Everybody else eventually leaves - burned out and under-appreciated.

Advice to Management

Shift the culture away from top-down, middle-management-heavy dynamics, and start fostering more focused and creative teams from below. Reward more. Promote more frequently from within. Recognize who the incompetent bozos are among management, and stop rewarding them more than your developers. Stop force-feeding the Kool-aid. Few are buying it - they're only playing along because they don't trust that you'd reward them for honesty.

Other Employee Reviews for Amazon

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Started out great. Loss of culture and morale shows since Zappos/Amazon transition"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - FC Associate in Shepherdsville, KY
    Current Employee - FC Associate in Shepherdsville, KY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Paid vacation, free lunch, 25 cent vending machines that go to charity, decent pay.

    Cons

    Transition from Zappos to Amazon difficult. No more free health insurance. Too many rules put in place. Management pushing endless numbers. a lot of unnecessary overtime, no air conditioning in one warehouse. Loss of culture and fun activities. Starts to drag on and you feel worn out by the end of the week. Anti-fatigue mats unsatisfactory.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "A busy, constantly on the move type of job."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Warehouse Picker in Whitestown, IN
    Former Employee - Warehouse Picker in Whitestown, IN
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Pros: decent pay, good people, good exercise. You get some employee benefits and learn how Amazon works from the inside.

    Cons

    You don't really get a break. Your feet hurt after awhile, your lunch break is short and the shifts are very long. Pretty taxing. Can be mind numbingly boring at times.

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

See Most Recent

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