Amazon - Great people and opportunities here but the company and structure can be a grind | Glassdoor
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Helpful (15)

"Great people and opportunities here but the company and structure can be a grind"

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

I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 10 years)

Pros

Opportunities to do a wide variety of interesting projects due to the large scope of Amazon's business.

Large population of employees who have broad experience. Someone who knows something you need is probably on a relevant internal list.

Most people there are pretty nice. I know this sounds vague but this place has a refreshingly low jerk count.

Cons

While the company puts customers first, the same isn't done for employees.

Burdensome operationally. You'll have a pager rotation which varies from awful to not too bad (other than you need to be able to log in at all times). Tons of overhead tasks like hardware planning, permissions audits, monitoring etc. These take a substantial amount of time and are about as uninteresting as it gets in engineering.

Annual review process is political, confrontational and even hostile. Everyone is stack ranked. This is common in the industry but Amazon takes it to a new level. Other managers in your division are motivated to push you down the ranking scale to get their own employees higher up. They have incentive to trash you in the ranking meetings so you have to watch your back. There's high manager turnover so if you have a manager who is inexperienced at this process, you're at risk of being downgraded which happens quite often. They don't care much because they'll just higher many more brand new engineers. Nobody seems to care that the company is overwhelmingly staffed by relatively inexperienced engineers. If you're not, you're expected to mentor more and more of them and if you don't do that well, you will get a poor review.

Promotions are extremely difficult. Other than from SDE I to SDE II, it's quite difficult to get promoted. I know many top notch engineers that have remained at the same level for 5-10 years.

People do get promoted and many deserve this but there's an art to it. You have to be fortunate enough to have a champion there who is willing to sponsor you and support you and do an incredible amount of documentation proving why you deserve it. They'll also need to rebut inevitable arguments against your promotion by other managers (see above). Lots of the time the promotion won't happen. It's not explicitly quota based but that's how it works out.

Obviously I have mixed feelings about Amazon. Ipet

Other Employee Reviews for Amazon

  1. "Great work.. great people , fun to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Contractor - Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Technology , Work culture, people , processes and pay

    Cons

    Nothing that I can think of

    Advice to Management

    Everything good


  2. "Challenging and Fast Paced - Great training ground"

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

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

    Pros

    great place to learn about retail, fast growth environment, high caliber colleagues, gold standard of e-commerce

    Cons

    not employee centric, not concerned about retentiona

    Advice to Management

    start paying attention to employee retention to avoid brain-drain

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

See Most Recent

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