Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 26 January, 2015
Updated 26 January, 2015
4,136 Reviews
3.4
4,136 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,772 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 118 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 352 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 636 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 145 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 89 people found this helpful  

    A huge diverse high tech company with all sorts of stuff

    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    Disclaimer: My opinions reflect that of an SDE in Amazon. Seems like some operational job functions are very tough.

    I have read through some of the other Amazon reviews and it seems to me that everyone has a very different experience! This is so true. Within the same team, you can have both workaholics and slackers coexisting and coworking together. I think I am more of the balanced type as I try to stay sane. The Amazon experience is basically the entire spectrum and it is what you make it out to be.

    Pros in Amazon certainly excludes great benefits, but compensation is competitive. Free food means average quality free coffee, once in a while free pizza for lunch where it is a working lunch, and free beer and finger food in special events. We get a free Orca card to take any bus in the Seattle area for free. $160 per month subsidy for office parking, which is better than nothing. Downtown monthly parking goes for about $200 per month. 401K contribution is 50% of what you put in, where you can put in max 4% of your salary. Not so great. Staff cafeteria food is average and not at all cheaper than outside food, or could be even more expensive. It is hard not to complain about the cafeteria. Vacation days are ok but note that there are no sick leaves. They count as part of your 5 personal days per year. Listing the benefits of Amazon is like listing the cons and not the pros.

    Work life balance seems to be ok for the most part, and seems to be individually-driven. No one will tell you that you have to come in at what time and stay till what time. I have team mates working every night and weekend, and others getting in at 10am and leaving at 5pm, all in the same team. Managers will focus on your project deliveries instead of how much time you spend working. If you work 40-hour weeks productively, you can definitely outperform someone who works 60-hour weeks but don't deliver stuff. Working less than 40 hours per week is somewhat common, but I can't say how many people are working how long. The view on work life balance is a bit skewed. All it comes down to are the managers and what they think. Projects are always never-ending but I have found that deadlines are very realistic and reasonable, without counting your nights and weekends. Getting some slack time once in a while is probably a sign of a healthy work environment. Everyone needs a break.

    On-call really really sucks. Basically all it comes down to is having SDEs double-duty as support operations engineers. Note that on-call does not improve the code quality of any team in any way. The on-call experience is particularly bad because you are using services from some other team, and their code is of low quality and fails for the wrong reasons. If the managers had given more time to up the quality, there would not be so many problems. Software is usually delivered with a tough deadline with code that meets the minimum quality bar and never gets improved for the next few years. The code review process does not seem to help improve the code but it really obstructs developers from making great changes as unconventional things will not pass code review in clumsy minds. Innovation and excellence are not the name of the game in Amazon. Searching through the Amazon code base is usually not going to turn up quality code that you can actually reuse.

    Integration is the name of the game in Amazon. You will need to spend a lot of time to figure out how to integrate your code with another team's services. Whether these other people are cooperative is a hit-or-miss. I have found that most people are responsive and helpful, but there are also quite a number of jerks who are out to make trouble for everybody. It is not easy to work across teams but the experience is mostly positive.

    Amazon is a huge behemoth and is hiring people like there is no tomorrow. This reflects well on a good growth momentum but also is worrying that the company is not turning much profit. If the company does not make money, where is our bonus going to come from? You can see new faces around the Amazon building almost everyday! Downside is that we are taking in a lot of average to above-average engineers and being an Amazonian SDE certainly does not share the same reputation as the top names. Amazon is a huge mixed bag of some very talented people and some very dumb people. I think the world is not turning up enough SDEs and the only way is for quality to go downhill.

    As an SDE, expect to spend most of your time talking, writing emails and documents, and maybe around 20-30% of your time coding. In most of the teams, you can work on interesting projects, but probably not revolutionary ones. Note that Amazon is a very down-to-earth company and the work is very down-to-earth as well. You will work on real things that people have actually requested for, and that people will start using as soon as you are done. Work is challenging but not to expect highly technically complex stuff. Most of the work has to do with solving everyday problems. To me, this seems to make sense because I have ever tried working on experimental projects before elsewhere and I did not feel it was a good use of my time.

    Internal mobility is a key strength of Amazon, and I am not sure which company has done better than Amazon in this aspect. Internal moves are easy. You only need to stay in your team for a year before moving to a different team. There is no easy way to tell which team is a good team to move to because they all have their different pros and cons and people and coming and leaving all the time!

    Seattle is by much rumour an easier place to live than the Bay area.

    Overall Amazon is a tough but yet sane place to work. The flexibility of this company is really its core strength. You have the freedom to excel as much as you want and also to slack as much as you want. Bummer. You shouldn't be slacking!

    Cons

    Beware of bad managers and horrible team mates. They are not specific to Amazon but they do exist in Amazon.

    I have to admit that Monday is usually a blue day at Amazon and it is very tough to look forward to getting into office. I don't know anyone in Amazon who looks forward to getting in on Mondays.

    Be realistic about SDE requirements. Coding skills are good to have but they are not the most important part of your job. I think we are hearing the same thing from every company.

    Medical coverage is average or below average. Expect to pay about $60 per month for singles and about $240 per month for families. $240 per month for families gives you $3000 in medical fees before you have to pay (more) anything out-of-pocket.

    SDE advancement is unreal difficult. They have about 6 levels total, SDE 1-4, then Senior Principal Engineer, and finally Distinguished Engineer. The number of SDE 1s and 2s are huge. Trying to get to SDE 3 seems to be all-of-a-sudden extremely difficult, but not impossible. So this essentially means that if you come to Amazon as a fresh grad SDE, expect to get about only one or two promotions in your entire career, which obviously is quite a lame expectation and reality. You will probably do much better in your career advancement anywhere else.

    Employee retention is horrible. I am not sure why the philosophy seems to be trying to undercut existing employees and then hire from external sources. Management all say that they are trying to retain people, but actions don't seem to suggest anything better. Rumour has it that annual pay raises are horrible. This basically mean that either you are a superstar in the company before they will try to retain you, or if you are smart you should not stay in Amazon for too long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The thing about thinking long-term is getting more and more worrying as the company has not turned a tidy profit and is trying to conquer the world with its lofty expansion strategies. I don't know what kind of secret recipe management is cooking but seeing the company not making much money never feels comfortable.

  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Be a part of history...

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Amazon is an amazing place to work in that you get to work with very smart people on awesome problems. You have the chance to be a part of history as the company continues to grow into the 21st century. If you rock and end up in the right group, there is awesome opportunity.

    Cons

    The awesomeness of Amazon comes at a cost. There is no work life balance. You burn the candle at both ends. It is also a place where favoritism runs rampant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Amazon isn't for everybody, don't try and make it such. Better may be to have a smaller company with an awesome culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    A burnout company with unlimited development opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Operations Manager in Chattanooga, TN (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Operations Manager in Chattanooga, TN (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Salary & compensation
    - Working with dedicated and bright leaders
    - A great company to provide exposure to leadership and business operation
    - Ability to manage large scale projects & large teams
    - Promotion potential is unlimited
    - You are immediately trusted and depended on, even if you start without street credit experience
    - High intensity pace is there for those who prefer it

    Cons

    - Work/life balance is nonexistent if you want to be successful
    - 24/7 operations with unfavorable shift schedules
    - Promotions tend to be based off of relationships and personality, not merit
    - The senior level spotlight is always on failures and poor metrics even when 99% of the business is exceeding goal....very few positive at-a-boys are given
    - Expect to work 60 days straight during the months of November and December....even if it is your day off

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be ready to give everything you have to the business and never achieve all of your critical metric goals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    I thought Amazon did a good job at providing its warehouse associates with good benefits and decent pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Warehouse Associate in Lexington-Fayette, KY (US)
    Former Employee - Warehouse Associate in Lexington-Fayette, KY (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very structured environment
    good benefits
    reasonable hours
    opportunity for overtime (mostly in peak season)

    Cons

    peak season can be very tiresome because of mandatory overtime and shift placement may not be that great
    not very many opportunities to move up if you start at the warehouse associate level
    it is factory work so there is a lot of repetitive tasks and they are also on a piece rate system. If you don't maintain a certain piece rate you will be put on probation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In my facility LEX2 there were a lot of warehouse associates that had college education. That to me seems like a good pool of people that you might look into additional training and some higher responsibilities along with those that are exceeding expectations.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Enjoyable job but limited opportunities for promotion

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Partner Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Associate Partner Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Fun and friendly atmosphere, nice offices (London Holborn) and a relaxed manager if you meet your targets

    Finally a budget introduced for more social activities and lunches, before Amazon were very stingy and frugal

    Your working within one of the fastest growing companies in Retail - great to see your accounts rapidly improving and analysing their successes

    Cons

    Poor retention, so many people left during my 19months at the company from all levels, it meant a poor atmosphere of unhappiness

    Nothing is done to retain talent, continuously recruiting from outside instead of internal progression

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Concentrate not only on your own career but helping those on your team to progress in their role or outside in a new department, otherwise people become unchallenged

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Great experience! Very physically rewarding, kept me on my toes!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker in Goodyear, AZ (US)
    Former Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker in Goodyear, AZ (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Pros

    I enjoyed working in a fast paced, loud, gigantic space. I enjoyed working in groups as a team. I enjoyed how we had team meeting every morning to help motivate and encourage us to reach our goals.

    Cons

    Some of the challenges of working for Amazon was mandatory overtime. The job can be very physically demanding but you do get used to it and you will get in shape.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I have no advice for management. I felt that we had a great management team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Amazon Sales Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Manager Payments in Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Sales Manager Payments in Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England (UK)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great culture, respect, training, compassionate

    Cons

    Nothing at all, its an amazing employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Happy to be here!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    Fun and friendly atmosphere, nice offices (London Holborn) and a relaxed manager if you meet your targets

    Cons

    Poor retention, so many people left during my 19months at the company from all levels, it meant a poor atmosphere of unhappiness

    Nothing is done to retain talent, continuously recruiting from outside instead of internal progression

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Concentrate not only on your own career but helping those on your team to progress in their role or outside in a new department, otherwise people become unchallenged

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Loved!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing place to work and benefits are great! This company is up to modern day and it shows everyday I step foot into the building.

    Cons

    Long hours, but mostly I enjoy what I do so I don't tend to worry about that. You shouldn't have any problem when working for Amazon.

    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Buyer

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    Enormous learning and growing opportunities,
    Systematic management team

    Cons

    limited access to Higher level managers,
    inflexible career promotion opportunity

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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