Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 27 August 2014
Updated 27 August 2014
3,549 Reviews

3.3
3,549 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,471 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Nice place

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Quick move , work hard

    Cons

    on call is a pretty hard job to handle

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company but not that great for employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Good products, large scales and great people

    Cons

    Doesn't get much back from the compensation

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company with minimal perks

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern

    Pros

    Technology:
    It is extremely easy to move laterally between teams and divisions. Because the company is so diversified you will have the opportunity to work on any area of technology you can think of: Web applications, cloud infrastructure, web browsers, tablets, consumer retail (at ridiculous scale), builder-tools, etc. Furthermore, they work in mainstream languages and leverage a lot of open-source software, so the skills you develop will be portable both inside and outside the company

    Customer Focus:
    Amazon is extremely customer-focused. As a result, they are extremely externally competitive. Even as an entry level developer, you will be aware of how your work impacts the customer. This stands in sharp contrast to some other big tech companies with extremely long release cycles. It still has a startup feel despite being a truly massive company.

    Talent:
    Despite having the reputation of having a difficult interview process, not all of the intro-level employees hired right out of college are all that impressive. However, the higher-level employees are all incredibly intelligent, thoughtful, and eloquent. It seems that the evaluation process does a good job in selecting truly outstanding individuals. If you are confident in your abilities, this is a plus (although it is not unique to Amazon).

    Work-Life Balance:
    This varies DRASTICALLY by team. If you are working on load-balancing for the consumer retail site, expect to work crazy hours during Q4. However, you can select any team you would like, and there are plenty of teams where people work standard 8-hour days. On those teams, hours are extremely flexible.

    Cons

    Perks:
    Free bus pas and an occasional team outing, but that is absolutely it. There is no free food, free haircuts, free massages, etc. This doesn't actually bother me all that much, but if you care about perks then you will be sorely disappointed.

    Lack of Transparency:
    Amazon is very tight-lipped about almost everything. Information is disseminated on a need-to-know basis, so don't expect to play with new devices before they are released unless you are working on them or get tons of details on the company's performance. Other than the metrics for your own team, you will know about as much as the public knows.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Work hard and Play hard - no joke

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

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

    Pros

    This is a fast moving company that allows you to think big and run with it if your ideas are sound, and can make a difference. There is plenty of support to grow and you are encouraged to work on projects and in areas that excite you.

    Cons

    There is no such thing as work life balance for most departments here. This is a 24/7 business and the delivering the best customer experience is demanding.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good company to work in

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    nice people, many activities, target projects, flexible time schedule, bring pets

    Cons

    large system, hard promotion, no free lunch, hard to park, pay to park.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    keeps you busy

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    career opportunities, compensation, company values and quality of people who work there.

    Cons

    very high expectations, high time pressure, poor life-work balance

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Customer Obsessed, Disposable Employees

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You can learn a great deal about standing up AWS cloud based services, running various random agile dev methodologies, leading young teams of 5-8 devs and shipping software on a very fast basis. The systems for deploying services and the number of services deployed services are amazing. If you negotiate really hard on the way in, you can get almost $160K + a similar amount in monthly signing bonuses and/or stock grant for four years upon accepting. Just wait though, the catches to this Faustian bargain are baked into the culture -- it will get you.

    Cons

    Your odds of getting hired from an interview are about 1 in 10. Nobody ever gets more than $160K to start as that is the salary cap. While the year 1 and 2 signing bonuses can be nearly that much each, years three and four are entirely stock grants, while year five just base salary. The average tenure at Amazon is 12 months -- more than half do not make it to 1 year. Stack ranking (grading on the curve) guarantees purging of the ranks periodically. If you have a live service, you and your team are going to be on-call frequently and will have to carry a pager to you can provide day/night instant support. Most of the people in the South Lake Union offices are professional technical, and very annoyingly politically correct Seattleites with self-righteous liberal attitudes. Some parts of the company have HORRIBLE senior management that practices random public humiliation of attendees. Plus, you will likely be doing weeks long self-abasing "correction of error" documents anytime there is a problem with your software services. The Amazon Leadership principles generally seem like sound business practices, but make no mistake, you MUST drink the kool-aid and live every one of them or else. The employee culture is oppressive and soul crushing by design.
    Probably the worst part of Amazon culture is the unrelenting moral superiority of their practices. They actually believe they are "all that" in terms of software methodologies and that their rivals like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc. know nothing about software and can teach them nothing of value -- it verges on insufferable, myopic arrogance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    "Treat your employees like your best customer", not your idiot disposable minions. This it the missing Amazon leadership principle that will prevent Amazon from retaining talent beyond 12 month.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 4 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)

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

    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
  10.  

    Great place to work !

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Shooter  in  Fernley, NV (US)
    Current Employee - Shooter in Fernley, NV (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    They have great benefits if you are hired on regular and not through an agency, they have many incentives that they have where they give away products based on your performance or just a random.

    Cons

    The people that have been working their for a long time try to run over the new people, and times they will change the your schedule from 40 to 65 hours without

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Fast paced, but fantastic opportunities

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - If you are proactive with your career and engage your management actively, you can go almost anywhere.
     - Compensation is good, but tied primarily into the stock. The better the company does, the better you do.
     - Darwinistic culture means you generally work with some solid people.
     - Customer is the focus and not in the company jargon sense, but really the core foundation of everything we do.
     - This is a writing culture, be prepared to write well thought and constructed 6 pagers.

    Cons

    - Work-life balance can be very rough for some to maintain. It requires some backbone however, to simply say to your management that this deadline isn't deliverable and here is why.
    - Compensation can be tricky since it is tied up so much in the stock.
    - Some employees slip through the cracks of the performance bar and can make life fairly miserable.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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