Amazon red flags

Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
Jan 29 56 Comments

Got an offer from Amazon, but after reading all the hate posts and comments on Blind for Amazon, I am reconsidering my decision to accept the offer.

I will setup a call with my hiring manager soon.

What are the important questions I should ask about the team and work?
What are the red flags which I should be aware of?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 56 Comments
  • Amazon / Eng B8BBB8B8
    Operational load, how many pages do they get.

    Tenure on the team.

    How long have they been at amazon, what are they proud of.

    What’s the negative of their team

    How is your skip manager

    How many levels been them an VP
    Jan 29 0
  • Microsoft ibSs75
    I recently moved to amazon from Microsoft and have a different perspective. People in Blind tend to rant a lot and most folks here look at the negative, but amazon has a solid 30,000 engineers basically killing it in every business they are in.

    Senior devs are expected to learn about the business and drive across the .org more than in other companies and managers tend to have bigger scope and responsibilities than other places I’ve seen. Also, more jr devs are very free to move around, and with all the openings it is really hard to keep them from moving to retail, ML, Alexa, aws or Kindle OS just to name a few that ring the “cool factor” for you. And finally, Amazon culture focuses you to deliver value to customers fast. That is what makes amazon employees so attractive to other companies and why Facebook and google are expanding their footprint in Seattle next to amazon in a massive way. (Google is building literally a 5000 employee building in SLU to lure Amazonians and FB just expanded their campus to >2000)

    Granted, there are shitty teams and shitty managers as there are great teams and great managers and finding that out in an interview is hard. But that is the same for every other company out there.
    Jan 29 7
    • Microsoft ibSs75
      Sure mate. Sorry your experience is not good, but the footprint is being expanded because Seattle has a big pool of talent...originally from Microsoft but now also Amazon. Otherwise they should have set up shop in Arizona or Texas that has better weather and lower costs. And if you truely don’t grasp the magnitud of the change that is happening with revenue shift to the cloud (which amazon is leading by far and Microsoft the only close 2nd) you are too jr to have seen a full cycle of these things and how they will change the landscape in 10 years

      Look, koolaid or not, OP believes in blind, and if blind is to be believed, Microsoft is a rest-and-vest place. But that was hardly my experience in services there even though it is true in other teams. And so far, Amazon has been more chill than I expected. As with any growing company, people want to grow fast and there is some chaos, but if you go to azure you will see similar things (storage, cosmosdb, networking, compute). So maybe I know nothing else but hard work; who knows. Or maybe Blind will tell you how awesome google perks are and leetcode hard questions they ask, but several engineers then end up building ads related stuff that are not that interesting since the products are mature and making and impact or change is much harder. I don’t but any of these stories.

      OP: my advice is to look for the experiences you want to enable in your career and do what you like. TC and career will follow from that.
      Jan 30
    • Amazon waves ~_~
      My experience has been pretty decent at amazon. I just dont like it when amazonians keep highlighting the “growth” as that shit exists literally at any big N who are willing to grind.

      And as for seattle expansion, lower cost - sure to some degree but not 100% true. better weather - ??? Because better weather actually matters to the business development and revenue generation in software engineering...?

      No shit the revenue is shifting to the cloud. A teenager can know that too. The only concern in aws is how they are going to maintain the lead bc quite frankly they have huge lead by being the first one in the market. And we all know how shits go south if u dont keep innovating (ibm & sap, etc).

      Im glad u found a coasting team and not sure which lvl u joined upon but sooner or later that will backfire on you. “Chill” teams at amazon get dissolved some time down the road. Go check out our own lounges when u get a chance to. Bottomline is, for any companies out there, there are always exciting teams / projects. Its really a matter of u willing to commit not the other way around. For me, i decided to leave bc the “growth” is same for any other companies along with lowest TC out of FANGMANDU. Op if your offer is L6 and above, accept and chime on. Otherwise consider other places

      D stands for dropbox @intel
      Jan 30
    • Intel intel
      Thanks, Amazon
      Jan 30
    • Microsoft ibSs75
      Joined as L7+ and work 9-6:30. I have the occasional 9-5. Normally No long lunch breaks. Get escalations when appropriate, have to produce more than I can output. Hardly coasting. But that has been my experience at Microsoft as well and grew fast (to your point of growth in other places)

      But statistically speaking, there are a TON of places in Microsoft (and google and Facebook from what I hear from friends) that are are NOT growing as fast since they are well established businesses that simply don’t provide the opportunities (getting to principal in or manager would require business case). If you look around Amazon, the amount of growth in EVERY single product is at the middle of its growth curve. That is what people mean when they say amazon has more growth potential.
      Jan 30
    • Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
      OP
      Thanks @ibSs75 for the advice.
      Jan 30
  • McAfee JohnMcPee
    During the lunch break, go to the pantry/cafeteria where the bananas are. You have to get the following metrics:

    1. Size
    2. Firmness
    3. Ripeness
    4. Yellowness
    5. Number of Black spots
    6. Degree of bruising

    You’ll know the red flags right away.

    🍌
    Jan 29 1
    • Facebook / Eng @ddicted
      You must be Blind's biggest troll.
      Jan 30
  • Microsoft zzxxxvg
    Ask why free banana instead of melons?
    Jan 29 1
    • Google / Eng catburglar
      I heard cmu grads get free melons
      Jan 29
  • Amazon Tweeps
    Had done all the above. No use. If Amazon is your best offer now, and you don’t think you have any chance to get a comparable offer from a company of the same tier, take it. Meanwhile, continue leetcoding, prepare to leave right around a year in good terms.

    Also, trust your gut feeling. If the manager/team member feels not right, it’s not right.
    Jan 29 5
    • Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
      OP
      I have a competing offer from an early YC startup
      Jan 29
    • Amazon Tweeps
      YC=? Which level in both companies?
      Jan 30
    • Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
      OP
      YC = Y Combinator
      I just have 1.5 yoe, SDE1 at Amazon, no such defined title at startup.
      However learning and quality of work at startup will be better than amazon
      Jan 30
    • Amazon Tweeps
      Do you have visa issue? How much benefits does the startup offer? TC similar with Amazon? What about the culture?

      1.5yoe to SDE1 sounds like a down level. In startup normally you will take much more responsibility, your title increases much faster. But later on when it matches back to large company, you will be reassessed based on YOE and interview performance.

      In the early phase of career, the best choice will be a mid-size company(ex-unicorns) with great learning culture and larger scope work. If not, brand name large company with good culture.
      Jan 30
    • Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
      OP
      No Visa issue, startup can match Amazon offer. The culture part is what I am concerned about. Its an opportunity to join the founding engineering team, maybe I ll be 5th or 6th hire. Also, startup will provide opportunities to build systems and subsystems from the ground up.
      Jan 30
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
      OP
      Not much increment from my current TC
      Jan 29
    • Amazon broooo
      The non troll response is the best thing you can do. Every year amazon does a tech survey, where everyone gives an in depth evaluation of their team conditions/org/manager etc. this info is all publicly searchable for any insider
      Jan 30
  • Amazon jacksap
    You basically can’t judge -the turnover is so high that your hiring Manager night himself leave the company in 6 months.Just roll the dice .Rule of thumb-if you get another comparable FAANG company take it(or any other comparable company actually)
    Jan 29 5
    • Netflix / Eng
      recycle🗑

      Netflix Eng

      PRE
      Google, Amazon
      recycle🗑more
      Is the across all the orgs? How is AWS in that regard?
      Jan 29
    • Amazon spyderman
      What I heard is aws much worse
      Jan 29
    • Amazon jacksap
      Never worked in AWS but I heard it’s much worse.However it’s team dependant.
      Jan 29
    • New inmann
      AWS is pretty bad. And I have heard most of Amazon is not like AWS. Unrealistic expectations and just life of factory worker without any emotions
      Jan 29
    • AWS has a lot of operational and on call work . There is so much stress too .
      Jan 29
  • Try to talk to your future team mates, make them comfortable to share with you what's like to be in the team.
    Jan 29 0
  • Amazon Awwwshu
    What’s the turnover rate on the team in the last 6 months, 3 months? Why did people leave and where did they go?
    Jan 29 1
    • This is the most important question for a company like amazon but u will likely not get a proper or completely truthful answer
      Jan 29
  • New / Eng mowgli⌨️
    I had an offer from Amazon, a good one too, but was spooked into rejecting it from nearly every single person I met. So I know how you feel OP.
    Jan 29 0
  • Zillow Group Sr. Troll
    Ask for:
    - Team churn rate and tenure
    - How many Sev2 per week/month and on call shift hours and rotation
    - How long he/she (the hiring manager is been working at Amazon)
    Jan 29 0
  • New inmann
    I joined a year ago and my advice is that in case you are an experienced person with team management experience / senior roles, then please avoid Amazon. For lack of better words some teams are a shit hole and you will never be able to figure out if the team you are getting into is that rotten apple.

    If you fresh and want to slog, fine. You will learn a lot if the area of business is what excits you. But then there are equally good opportunities to out there besides Amazon so it would be neutral choice.
    Jan 29 1
    • Amazon JSnowflake
      If you are an experienced manager or senior IC, you already know how to assess a manager and tell if its going to be a shitshow or not. Also, Amazon is a great place to work as an L6/L7 SDE. The slog is for L4 and L5s.
      Jan 29
  • Amazon forceful
    If you know anyone, get tech survey results
    Jan 29 1
    • Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
      OP
      How? I have friends at Amazon, but aren’t such surveys internal and confidential?
      Jan 30
  • New DvVM00
    you will never know until you try it. it’s not permanent so don’t fear
    Jan 30 0
  • Google aNoogler
    There is good and bad with Amazon. It's fairly easy to move around internally if you don't love your team. You will grow a lot fast but burnout is a problem. My advice would be to ask around about the specific org you would be joining. Ask about the S team goals you will be working on. Ask about the vision for the org... make sure it has one and they can talk to it
    Jan 30 0
  • Amazon md jesus
    If you want to make the perfect product, Amazon won't work for you.
    Jan 30 3
    • Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
      OP
      Why so?
      Jan 30
    • Amazon md jesus
      Amazon prefers faster delivery while iterating over the product
      Jan 30
    • New inmann
      Correct md jesus
      Jan 31
  • Oracle Numbats
    Your best bet is to find more info about the team from your internal Amazon sources. Talking to HM is useless. s/he will either lie, or give you honest answers but hate you from day one. If you ask questions that make the manager uncomfortable, you are screwed. DO NOT ASK WLB or NYT questions. That is the first sign of a difficult employee. Good luck.
    Jan 29 3
    • Google aNoogler
      I would definitely ask about wlb and oncall load. It makes a huge difference at Amazon. I used to get paged in the middle of the night all the time.
      Jan 30
    • Amazon jacksap
      Is google better than amazon in your experience ?
      Jan 30
    • Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
      OP
      @aNoogler WTF, which org?
      Jan 30
  • Rubrik xjwntjckw
    Someone once committed suicide in a Seattle office
    Jan 29 2
    • Sorry to hear . Won’t change what amazon is though
      Jan 29
    • Microsoft ibSs75
      Microsoft’s has its share of suicides, and if blind is to be believed, it is a “rest and vest” place
      Jan 30
  • Google hxg5x
    Does Morgan Stanley have bananas?
    Jan 29 2
    • Morgan Stanley martha01
      No :(
      Jan 30
    • Morgan Stanley / Eng //dev/null
      OP
      Morgan Stanley is a shit place to work for software engineers. You’re a cost center!
      Jan 30
  • Amazon mravocados
    What departments/ team? AWS is pretty fun (I work there)
    Jan 30 0