Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 20 August, 2014
Updated 20 August, 2014
3,528 Reviews

3.3
3,528 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,456 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development (in 101 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 306 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 540 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 125 reviews)

More Highlights

828 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Intense

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Lots of projects to work on, they will give you lots of exposure to different things, never boring. Some very bright people work there. Everything changes quickly and you are expected to stay on top of it all. Peak is as busy as you have heard.

    Cons

    Pace is high, and not much is given to reduce it. Family and personal time must be put 2nd.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reduce the churn. Its variation and goes against tenets of standardization

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    grueling work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate  in  Milton, ON
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate in Milton, ON

    Pros

    People are very helpful. If you do your work and follow safety you are left alone (no boss looking. over your shoulder). Very good health benefits for you and your family. Three day weekend

    Cons

    Grueling 10 hour days on your feet or walking in a huge warehouse.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    dont bs about safety. There are very unsafe arrangement of products. Fix it first and then talk about safety.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    software engineering

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    it is a gaood experience

    Cons

    there nothing bad about it

    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Varies by team and "frugal"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Seattle is great. Housing was good. Pay is very good. Great relocation team.

    Cons

    Frugal means fewer and lower quality perks. Some of things we were given fell apart. Mostly importantly experience varies greatly by team. A bad team means a very bad experience, as you are yelled at and overworked. Overwork is the culture. You will miss traditional software engineering practices, as often release is more important than quality- disproportionately so and scope creep is out of control on some teams. Recruiting is slipshod, they disappear for weeks at a time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better management practices for interns and employees. Some software engineering practices.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Challenging work and smart people all around. No perks. High turn over rate.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II  in  Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Vancouver, BC

    Pros

    High hiring standards mean you will be surrounded with smart people. Easy to transfer to other jobs inside the company. Good stepping stone as a means to reach nerdvana ( Google, Facebook, Apple ).

    Cons

    Excessive overtime without compensation. Difficult to schedule vacations. Poor scheduling of projects. Favouritism. Below average pay. Benefit plan is average. Promotions are difficult to get and the pay raise is very low. Expected to perform at new job level for a full year before promotion will be considered. Two years at Amazon is considered a very long time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    An eye for an eye... in other words, make sure employees get just rewards for their efforts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Interesting place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations Leadership Intern  in  Mississauga, ON
    Former Employee - Operations Leadership Intern in Mississauga, ON

    Pros

    Fun place to work
    Lots of other responcibility and freedom

    Cons

    No a very good grounding process to learn what to do

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Meh

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II  in  Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Vancouver, BC

    Pros

    High hiring bar ensures smart teammates

    Cons

    Everyone is overworked.
    Ops load is pretty high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dont set aggressive deadlines

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 238 people found this helpful  

    Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA (US)

    Pros

    The name will precede you. This company can legitimately be called a "Disruptor" and perhaps even a world-changer. Customers love it and it's amazing to watch it all unfold at times. It's a pleasure to be even a small part of that.

    Even low-level employees are given some ownership, more than they might in some other places. Processes like the customer service andon cord demonstrate this.

    Pay is mostly good, with some caveats (see the Cons section).

    You will learn a ton. You'll be put through the ringer, but will emerge stronger for it. It's been said that a year at Amazon = two years elsewhere. That's definitely true. You'll learn business, supply chain, tech, retail, you name it. You're surrounded by smart people who challenge you to grow constantly. That was one of my favorite parts about working here.

    You can bring your dog to the office, dress code is casual, and South Lake Union is a fun neighborhood to work in. Seattle is stunningly beautiful in the summer, too (if you have time to enjoy it, that is.)

    Bezos is one of the few CEOs I've seen who earns the glowing reputation. He's a genius and a visionary. It's exciting to work in his company, though the thought of what will happen when he moves on is also a bit frightening.

    Cons

    "Work-life balance" means different things to different people, so I'm not going to say it's bad here per se. That said, long hours are the norm at all levels across the company, and usually that's required and expected just to keep up. Expect 60 hours as your baseline year round and 70 or more during Q4. You should expect that your time and mental energy for kids, hobbies, etc. will be extremely limited. Plan accordingly. Whether this is a negative will depend largely on the individual; just ensure you know where you stand on this before you sign an offer letter.

    That Amazon is a massive company with tons of smart people at all levels can actually be a huge negative. You might be a solid individual contributor, but so is absolutely everyone else - and you're all fighting for the same attention. It can be very hard to stand out, and you have to ensure your manager and your manager's manager know what value you bring at all times or you're toast. (You may still be toast regardless.) That means politics, backstabbing, and stack ranking do occur, despite some claims to the contrary. People definitely look out for themselves and themselves alone here; it's not a collaborative environment. It's also very easy to get the sense that you are a highly expendable cog even if your contributions bring significant value to the company. Plan to fight for yourself hard here, and be prepared to not get much acknowledgment or praise. Even if you do prove yourself well, know that advancement opportunities are limited. Most transfers in my observation were lateral, with big new hires being external. I've heard that the strategy of many people is to do a few intense years of lateral moves which can then be leveraged into a higher position at another company.

    Compensation is a mixed bag. Salaries are just average, but you get a huge signing bonus and stock which vests in strange increments over four years. Since the average employee lasts less than two years, you will not see most of that stock and you may need to repay some of that signing bonus (usually awarded over two years) if you leave or are pushed out. Raises are very, very small each year - your salary will not substantially increase even with a good review. Most people work startup hours, so their effective pay rate is pretty low. Additionally, the company espouses frugality as a core value. While this can be a positive, it also means they're downright cheap on some things, including hardware. Employee perks are pretty much nonexistent, and that's compared to most big companies and not just the Googles of the world. Benefits like health insurance and 401k match are mediocre at best. No free Prime accounts. No paid parental leave; moms get disability and dads get zip. (As in zero. None.) I did mention earlier that this isn't the most kid-friendly company to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's great to work at a place that highly values customer experience, so please keep that up. Work on your compensation - it's not competitive when compared to other tech giants. If I'm going to work as hard or as much as I did, at least I'd get free haircuts and food and massages at Google. Hell, even some paid paternity leave would be a start.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Developing at a leader and in a winning company, but do expect sacrifices, and frustration of not a lot of reward

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director  in  Paris (France)
    Current Employee - Director in Paris (France)

    Pros

    Business model and top level vision. Winning and international environment. Strong culture for excellence, analytics, action and results, giving autonomy and material operational responsibilities quickly. High level of systems and processes. Very smart people and engagement levels of the teams. Ability to challenge status quo and constantly re-invent to improve. Learning and self development across all leadership, management and business operational areas. Fast pace and reactivity, capability to quickly correct course of actions to restore performance. International career opportunities (provided individual flexibility, mobility and acceptance of below par compensation though).

    Cons

    Below average compensation in regards of the demands during recruitment process. High workload expected and little work-life balance perks. Management by criticism vs valuation of successes or people efforts. Very centralized leadership in the US and final decision making power on decisions forcing to constantly justify when not working in headquarters. Extremely high friction in promotions, leadership leveling disjoints for similar roles between US and rest of the world. Overall not high consideration for people (expendable resource). High level feelings of frustration and attrition as outcome (people all secretely dream to leave after making enough years on their resume to make a career jump).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove once for all "frugality" as a leadership value statement used as an excuse to be in reality petty with employees on everything. Be more respectful of the people, reward internal loyalty and development more objectively on promotions vs political 360 degree assessment and constant fallback of external high bar benchmarking to staff leader positions. Stop taking advantage of Western Europe high unemployment rates to justify the below average compensation strategy.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    HIGH turnover, Some OT and maybe some unpaid voluntary time off

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Picker  in  Chester, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Picker in Chester, VA (US)

    Pros

    You get to meet people who are from most age groups. If you can stay long enough you can try most anything at your skill level or lower. Pay is ok

    Cons

    Did I say High turnover? I'd say that 50 percent of all new hires leave after 30 days or less. The performance rate they want is hard to achieve considering the work flows they put on you are challenging at best. They WILL terminate you for not meeting rate. You might stay with one manager for about 6 months then either they promote move or leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to what your employees say about the atmosphere of the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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