There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

7 people found this helpful  

Pretty mediocre company for which to work

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA (US)
Current Employee - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA (US)

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

Pros

Nothing special, really. An advantage is that you can push hard for something, and if you're willing to put in the time, you will be able to get it done. If you've got the energy, drive, and chutzpah, you can do well here, but this is a production environment, don't expect cutting edge.

Pay is good.

Cons

Amazon is basically a big store with a huge web presence. Don't expect anything really exciting to happen here. Although, occasionally, something may pop out.

When you work here, consider yourself a cog. The catch-phrase is something like "a good software developer can do anything." What this means, in practice, is that everyone seems to be working on stuff they are not particularly good at. If there is a need to deal with a web scalability problem, there may be someone two desks down who may be an expert on server scalability, but is instead working on UI. No effort seems to be made to fit people with their strengths.

Amazon's emphasis on frugality makes it so the work environment is not particularly pleasant. Be prepared to work in a "start up" work environment with power cords hanging from the ceiling, cheap desks, no partitions, etc.

A real issue with the frugality mindset is that Amazon tries to develop on a shoestring. The build procedures are poorly planned, and tools are pretty primitive. Most infrastructure groups are woefully understaffed and it shows. Because the infrastructure is so poor, developers can expect to spend more time dealing with infrastructure issues (such as build issues) than in other companies. So much time is wasted dealing with issues like this, that you can expect to work overtime just to get a normal amount of work done.

Lastly, benefits are not great.

Doesn't Recommend
Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

3654 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Innovative company, smart people, no work-life balance

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon employs the best and the brightest, the culture is metrics-driven and employees are given autonomy and empowered to make decisions.

    Cons

    The Director-level management and above simply do not care how many hours you work or about development. They are managers, not leaders. Many of them lack a simple understanding of how to select, hire, and retain talent. Nor do they care. They rely on Amazon’s stock performance as a retention method. The review process is a forced-ranking cage-match, therefore peers are more interested in highlighting their wins and trying to tank others in order to get ahead. It’s an unhealthy, toxic environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand the value of productive employees with industry knowledge instead of hiring “smart people to figure it out”. MIT grads don’t’ have practical experience and are often not effective. Smart people often reinvent the wheel. Learn what systems should be developed in-house vs. leveraging something already existing in the market place. You are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for dev teams to invent something that is already in the marketplace, with better functionality. Create succession plans

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Fast paced, Challenging

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    Fast paced, start up feel, loads of work to do
    Very hands on evironment
    Cloud is the next big thing to be in!

    Cons

    No particular cons to note - the pros should give an idea of the work environment

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