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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 for more than a 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

Other Reviews for Amazon.com

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work if you can embrace the culture and work with others.

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Some of the smartest and passionate people you will meet. When Amazon talks about putting the customer first, it is not just talk. The entire focus of every team is figuring out how to serve their immediate customers better which in turn can be very exciting. The influence that a single person can have is great as high performers are able to take control of their career and do what they wish with it.

    Cons

    Some of the Microsoft-esque HR policies are infuriating. Pay is highly dependent on job family, which is silly when they encourage individuals to have an impact, regardless of job title/family.

    The pay is not always going to be market level, especially if the stock is not doing well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the job family guidelines for top performers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Does not hesitate to over-work employees...

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

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

    Pros

    - Smart people all around keeping you on toes.
    - Culture of thinking out of box.
    - Tough milestones to achieve promotions ... extracts the best out of the employees.
    - A transparent internal job transfer to suit an employee's choice.

    Cons

    - pathetic work-life balance.
    - in the name of frugality , they do some cheap and mean things like choose a facility in the remotest corner of the city where facilities are cheap.
    - the job offer letter misleads almost every employee...in the sense that the stocks given to an employee is considered every year during appraisal and the increment in salary will be in inverse proportion of stocks vested, so if lots of stocks gets vested , the company won't give you much hike even if you are a top performer.
    - Hard to get recognized for good-work but fast enough to get criticized for an error.
    - Have a history of Lay-off at trifle error.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    An employee's work ownership does not make the employee a work-horse which can keep running without any pause. Learn to recognize key employee and try to make them happy , after all they are the ones which keeps your company alive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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