Amazon - partly good, partly "OK" | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon

See Most Recent

"partly good, partly "OK""

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

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

Pros

A lot of talented highly skilled people
Non-trivial projects
ability to develop, enhance skills, learn

Cons

oncall: hard to maintain life-work balance due to oncall
minimal company benefits

Advice to Management

pay more attention to employees, make the, feel valued

Other Employee Reviews for Amazon

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Cultish"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in North Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Manager in North Charleston, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits. Some groups have decent hours, others are over-worked. Nice building with adequate workspace. Co-workers are intelligent. Some offices have good continuous education programs, especially main office in Seattle.

    Cons

    "Survival of the fittest" management policies and procedures regarding employees. Constantly under scrutiny by everyone; anyone can evaluate you at any time and have that info considered as part of your annual review. Company has a set of mantras that everyone must learn, live by, and is expected to use in conversation.

    Advice to Management

    Constantly being scrutinized doesn't make better employees, it makes them paranoid and less likely to bring problems to management's attention.


  2. Helpful (25)

    "A duplicitous and scurrilous employer which will crush your soul and drain your human capital."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Scientist II in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Research Scientist II in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The only reason to work here is that it will improve your future prospects of getting a better job elsewhere. Recruiters know that Amazon has a high hiring bar and employees are motivated to leave. In rare cases and for rare individuals, you will have the opportunity to build something awesome; for everyone else, it is duct tape and bailing wire to survive Christmas.

    Cons

    If you can work somewhere else, you most likely should.

    To start with, the work environment is soul crushing and more stressful than working in an airport terminal. The noise level is so great that you will need to wear headphones throughout the day. I worked in buildings which were so overcrowded that you often had to wait for three elevators to find one you could squeeze onto. I am sure that they were in violation of the fire code.

    For scientists, you will drain your human capital and have little opportunity to learn new skills or deepen your knowledge. Don't even ask about getting Amazon to pay for journal subscription -- you are expected to scrounge papers from friends still in academia or off the Internet. The "mentors" I had were largely useless and it is virtually impossible to earn a promotion without superhuman efforts, i.e., having no work-live balance. In addition, there is a culture of micromanagement which comes down from the top. This attitude makes it difficult to research and to solve important problems which are costing the company millions. And, this is not limited to a single manger -- I had five in two years, all of whom were worse than any manager I had in my 25-year career prior to Amazon.

    When you attempt to make changes, it can take six months or more of politicking and fighting the Agile/scrum schedule to launch your improvement into production. Amazon takes the leadership principles seriously, but "Deliver Results" and "Bias for Action" trump everything, even correctness. No one seems to remember who made $50MM mistakes, but they do remember who didn't deliver the XYZ feature on time by giving up endless evenings and weekends.

    Next, read the fine print on everything you sign. Amazon has many pernicious ways of clawing back money from you when you leave, e.g., you must stay two years to avoid repaying relocation expenses and you will only receive matching contributions to your 401(k) if you stay three years.

    In addition, the infrastructure is "frugal" and often unreliable. If you work in retail and need to run a query in Q4, it can take a day or more to run.

    Finally, when the market turns against Amazon -- and it will -- the stock will take a major haircut because of the insane P/E ratio.

    Advice to Management

    Employees are stakeholders, too -- investing in them should payoff. Most of the MBAs I encountered make the work environment worse and are huge waste of salary: they could easily be replaced, in most cases, by software and B-grade undergraduates, who at least would know how to write SQL.

    During my exit interview, the HR contact asked me why turnover was so high and what could be done to improve retention -- she was utterly clueless!

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

See Most Recent

Work at Amazon? Share Your Experiences

Amazon
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
 
Click to Rate
or