Amazon - Love the good with the not so good | Glassdoor
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Helpful (2)

"Love the good with the not so good"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Vice President in Seattle, WA
Former Employee - Vice President in Seattle, WA
Approves of CEO

Pros

Great, smart people who are passionate about their roles as builders. High bar for excellence and analytics. Challenging and constantly changing business opportunities that make each job "new again" on a regular basis. Jeff is a visionary and is one of the few CEOs of Fortune 500 companies that is actively involved in creating value for shareholders.

Cons

Zero work/life balance; too much communication by email rather than face to face collaboration; customer focus spotty although a core value; overly dominated by software development engineers who lack general business management, leadership or basic social skills; there's the feeling that anyone/everyone is ultimately expendable with the exception of Jeff which leads to a subtle "temporary" feeling to anyone's tenure at the company.

Advice to Management

Great companies are comprised of great teams." Remember that unregretted attrition is a costly inefficiency.

Other Employee Reviews for Amazon

  1. "Be owner, make the history."

    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
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    High ownership, and ability to make significant differnce. Each individual has lot of power and freedom to make the s/w better. Employees are generally not restricted by process.

    Cons

    Exteremly Dynamic, The so called orgnized Kaos can cause occasional imbalnce in work/life. This is however is improving.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be more transperancy and communication regarding the decisions being taken that drive measure software projects. Also the Job leveling schould be clear and well documented, informing/helping employees to grow from one level to others. There needs to be opportunuities being provided for the grown to the employees.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Decentralization means autonomy... but also chaos."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazon.com is an amazing place to learn. The decentralized, self-starter atmosphere strongly supports and encourages people who are motivated to try new things. In just months of being here, you'll end up having responsibilities that most companies wouldn't hand off from the legions of middle management for years. You're able to touch every aspect of the business, from the actual business side (TCO, business justifications, cost/benefit analysis, etc), to the deeply technical side (even all the way to choosing whatever technology, language, and platform you like). Every role has a huge amount of autonomy and responsibility.

    Additionally, there are no middle-management drones here. Every person I've met here is top-notch; blisteringly intelligent and an extremely valuable asset to the company. Like most companies, there are some folks who might do better in other roles... but I've been overwhelmed by just how GOOD these people are. Coming from a different company where a lot of people just "coast", this is a nice, refreshing change.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, that "decentralized, self-starter atmosphere" can also be chaotic, frustrating, and wasteful. While it's wonderful that we all have total autonomy to determine what platform, language, and technology to use at every turn... do we really need to spend the next two months rewriting a build system? Or an issue tracking system? Or a multicast protocol? Really? These problems have been solved already, and there's no need to go back and reinvent the wheel. The decentralization, coupled with a focus on autonomy, leads to a strong "roll your own" syndrome. We end up with sometimes as many as twenty different solutions to the same problem, each slightly customized for a given team and unusable by anyone else.

    Amazon requires patience, and an ability to sift through the chaos to focus on what's necessary. If you cannot prioritize your own workload, you will not do well here.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management at Amazon is surprisingly hands-on for a company that prizes autonomy as highly as Amazon. Yet, the hands-on nature, coming as it does from someone with "senior vice president" in their title, ends up randomizing entire teams. When an SVP wants an answer to a question, hordes of engineers are taken off their existing projects and moved all around. I would advise the senior leadership to be more the visionaries we expect them to be - and leave the tactical stuff to their teams.

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

See Most Recent

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