Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 27 August 2015
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5,430 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (49)

    Survival of the fittest!

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

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

    Pros

    Pace, Challenges, Learning - One has to deliver work at a rapid pace. Fail fast is a mantra here and there is no space for slackers!

    Cons

    Normalization - Bottom 10% performers have to be identified at every level each year. It gets tiring after few years as one has to be a survivor every year.


  2. Helpful (10)

    Fast growing, amazing place with smart people, but political, too much ops, no perks, and routine work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Person in Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Technical Person in Seattle, WA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you get into a good group with a good manager, and an acceptable level of ops, the place is really cool. The place is growing really fast. Most problems you encounter are because of that. There are a ton of really, really smart, innovative people. Amazon has not reached it's full potential. I feel like revenue could double in the next 5 years- it's growing that fast. Another benefit is that it's easy to move around the company, provided you get a good review, and stay for 12 months. You can move into totally different roles at Amazon- it's really fantastic. There are big, interesting things going on all over the place. The stuff going on is totally cutting/bleeding edge. But be clear, you may not personally "own" one of these things, or be directly involved. You need to get yourself involved in those things, which if you are a go-getter, is fine. If not, you may not work on the "cool stuff". Be warned. Total comp is really good- but make sure you know what you are getting into and negotiate strongly knowing you will work a lot, work hard, and Amazon has basically zero perks (see below). If you are shy about negotiating a good salary, you might feel like you are working too hard for the money you get.

    Cons

    Way too much ops, and too much time spent on mundane tasks. This is mostly because there is no priority put on cleaning up the "technical debt" that gets into the environment (and because of the pace). Stuff breaks all the time because known problems were never cleaned up. But, because management doesn't understand the total cost or impact on the customer, there is no change. It can be dog-eat-dog, political, and cliquey. There are some managers in Amazon that are good technically, especially because they know the technical history (which counts for a lot in a fast moving place which does not know how to manage knowledge), who have zero ability to manage. Get one and you are in trouble. There is a bit of group think- though it goes against the Amazon principles. Don't push back against the wrong manager or you are toast. Many, many people are very scared to speak up about things they disagree with. As everyone else says, work-life balance is poor, but since everyone at Amazon is an owner, Amazonians do it to themselves. It's not like your boss will push you to work nutty hours- you just won't be hired in the first place. Zero perks- if you are looking for free oil changes, free food, massages, sleeping pods, free soda, this is not the place for you. If you have a good manager, they will take their team out for lunch or drinks to try to make up for that.

    Advice to Management

    Clean up the technical debt- it has an indirect, but huge and important impact on the customer. A lot of people at Amazon are too focused on the next deliverable for the customer- at the expense of being able to deliver for them later. Make sure "not invented here" thinking does not continue to happen- which it is. "Social cohesion" is setting in, and people are misusing Disagree and Commit (to force their point of view). Last, I strongly believe that Amazon cannot continue to hire the best people with the no-frills attitude. Jeff thinks windows that open are a good perk (seriously- he said that, literally). They think that anyone who cares about perks is not Amazon material. Well- I think they need to face the facts that you can be an Owner and still want perks. Think about it- if you are working your butt off for tons of hours, would a bit of free food really hurt (or would it in fact be cost positive?)


  3. Helpful (4)

    Emerald City

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - L6 Manager in Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - L6 Manager in Seattle, WA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Stock actually paid out $$$

    Cons

    Work pace is crazy. 98% of people hired at the same time I was is long gone. I actually need to see a therapist, sleep expert, and other medical help in order to keep up. At some point my health will be the reason I need to leave. My co-workers at my level are incredibly smart and fun to work with but the candle is burning at both ends day in and day out.

    Advice to Management

    Planned Darwinism is old school Nazi. End the curve and train your managers on how to have and use human empathy and emotional truth to go along with their maths and data skills.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Amazon isn't for everyone.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you are smart and like to be busy and challenged and engaged at work, Amazon is the place for you. If you like working with smart people, Amazon is the place for you. If you're confident and can stand up for yourself and your ideas, even when (or perhaps especially when) it's uncomfortable and hard, Amazon is the place for you. If you have healthy boundaries and treat people with respect and thus get treated with respect yourself (read: insist on having your weekends), Amazon is the place for you. If you like every day to have the potential to be different, and work on different stuff, and always be interested, Amazon is the place for you. If you like yes-people, Amazon is not the place for you. If you need things like a cushy office and an easy workday, Amazon is not the place for you. If you want a Microsoft or a Boeing-type environment (slow and methodical, predictable and easy), Amazon is not the place for you. If you don't have boundaries, can't say no, can't push back, don't stand up for yourself, don't like to be challenged or disagreed with, and need to be coddled and swaddled, Amazon is not the place for you.

    Cons

    Wayyyyyyy too much cronyism from the Microsoft Mafia. Non-performers, low performers, people who even break the law, are protected by their MSFT Mafia cronies (who sometimes are in HR).

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of non-performers and low performers. Get rid of cronyism. Stop hiring people from Microsoft. They constantly waste Amazon's money by boomeranging back to MSFT because they can't handle it at Amazon -- after we've given them a hiring bonus, a salary bump, and relocated them and their families. The MSFT-to-Amazon crossover does not work -- the cultures are too different, and we need to stop wasting money on those people.


  6. Helpful (11)

    Beware of the churn and burn!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Seattle, WA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You get to meet the super smart people around bubbling with ideas and excitement. No other place with such customer obsession in true sense.

    Cons

    People churn and burn out of team or org at a lightning pace. One day, you would be discussing the opportunities with a smart employee, next day you would know they left last evening! Disturbing politics@work. Managers can be really mean and screw your dream to last long. Not all are lucky. Some end up in really bad teams and can have a nightmare of a work life!

    Advice to Management

    Stop chanting leadership principles every now and then in place of the truth and do not lie to good candidates about what the job actually holds.


  7. Good Job, major changes tho

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CSA in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
    Current Employee - CSA in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits, Hours, amazing people to work with

    Cons

    Going through a lot of changes more target based

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to your workers.


  8. Helpful (2)

    AWS - The Culture is Alive (Cloud Support Engineer)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cloud Support Engineer IV in Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Cloud Support Engineer IV in Seattle, WA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I have heard from many people that the culture here at AWS is reminiscent of my former employer from 2010 (ie. 5 years ago). Work-Life balance is great. Expectations are reasonable. Pay is above industry average for experience and position. I don't feel overworked or stressed. This comes down to the way we set expectations with our customers. I used to get phone call after phone call (about 10 per day on higher volume days) at my last employer and there was a large emphasis on us answering the phones because there was no automation system (it was part of their support ideals that you don't get menus or automated responses). Here, we can tidy up the last project we were working on before taking on a new case, which lowers stress levels and lets us focus on the customer's case to the best of our ability so that we have less going on in our minds. Meetings are not excessive and are very pointed (the floor meeting is once per week for about 30 minutes and has a clear agenda with relevant information for the engineers). Team events/outings and general cohesiveness is abundant. Knowledge sharing is fantastic. I feel like I'm truly making a difference when I walk in the door. Oh yeah, flexible work environment: If I want to work from home, I can. If I want to work in the office, I can. If I want to fly home to visit family (or go to a reunion), I can do so and not take time off when I work remotely.

    Cons

    Internal Documentation is messy. It's being worked on, but it's hard to search and find relevant information. I feel sometimes that too much is kept secret, but there is no pretense with it as that is made clear to customers and they're fine with it. Though, sometimes it would be easier to explain why something broke for a customer if I could share additional details. Sometimes, communication between internal teams and support can suffer from interpretation issues and lag. Also, the mechanism by working in that manner is a chore since due to switchover.

    Advice to Management

    Keep going at the pace you are going. Things are definitely on the right track here. Maybe be a bit more public about a sharing additional details...something that won't give away material competitive advantages. Customers are smart, for the most part, they probably know most of the details as it is, but clearing it up instead of saying "I can't share that" makes them a bit more at ease. Telling them "I can't give you that information" only partially reassures them that it wasn't their fault.


  9. Ever changing

    Current Employee - Senior Display & Touch Mechanical Design Engineer in Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Display & Touch Mechanical Design Engineer in Seattle, WA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    intelligent colleagues, new office building

    Cons

    management direction and lack of clear career development guidance


  10. good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people to work with

    Cons

    it's hard to make comments on this.


  11. Good company

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

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

    Pros

    Smart people, data driven and customer focused.

    Cons

    Overkill of frugality, fun element missing.



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