Leaving Amazon

Amazon / Eng
Fakk2

Amazon Eng

PRE
Nintendo
Fakk2more
Jan 19, 2018 30 Comments

Waiting for the post- holiday party to start, might as well write a post.

Amazon has been good to me. Learned a lot in two years, and got promoted 1 year in. Met awesome people, had unlimited booze access, and watched a ridiculous amount of YouTube and twitch at my desk.

In many ways, AMZN reminds me of college. The scale and ambition are inspiring. The anonymity is crushing and liberating. The people are generally smart, though social skills and manners vary widely. It's the only company I've worked where I felt so empowered and in control of my own success. Almost to the point where you wonder if you're not taking advantage of the boundless opportunities available.

All that said, it feels way too reliant on good management. For a company that espouses leadership, I haven't met many great ones, mgrs or otherwise. I've seen a large team die a slow death after losing a sr mgr, as the remaining L5s struggled to fill the power void. The sdes focus too much on promotracker instead of business needs, so tech debt continues to pile. Back filling is terribly slow, and more attractive groups within the org can poach candidates you interview, further delaying this process... the big picture is really lacking, at least on my team. Also, IT is super fucking slow on TT resolution. So is lab126. Jesus fuck. What are SLAs for you guys...

*shrug* Not my problem anymore.

For current Amazonians: good luck and stay strong. I hope the stock continues to rise and hq2 is somewhere pleasant. I also hope the Seattle housing market stays strong, since I bought a house. Lol

For everyone else: Amazon isn't that bad. It's actually pretty great sometimes, but the horror stories have validity too. It's a spectrum, and most teams have issues of some kind to sort through.

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TOP 30 Comments
  • Microsoft
    Vimbash

    Microsoft

    PRE
    500 Startups
    Vimbashmore
    What team were you at? Role?
    Jan 19, 2018 3
    • Amazon jakG15
      Why not ask his alias too?
      Jan 20, 2018
    • Boeing / Eng Smart🐴
      That's like asking A/S/L?
      Jan 22, 2018
    • Microsoft
      Vimbash

      Microsoft

      PRE
      500 Startups
      Vimbashmore
      I believe teams are big enough to not reveal who the person is by asking team and role
      Jan 22, 2018
  • VMware playuh
    Unlimited booze access? Are you confusing booze with bananas?
    Jan 19, 2018 0
  • Microsoft MIta60
    Dude you think Amazon engineers focus on the promo tracker? Come to Microsoft.
    Jan 20, 2018 3
    • Amazon gdSe61
      The new promo process has been both good and worse. Its funny to see people starting on their L6 docs immediately after getting to L5.
      Jan 20, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Fakk2

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Nintendo
      Fakk2more
      OP
      Exactly.

      I liken it to achievement farming in games. Once you level up, you immediately start farming your new quests. So many unqualified brown bags...

      I'm glad engineers have paths forward, as I've definitely worked places with zero advancement opportunities. But I've seen a noticeable drop in ownership taken by teams since it went live.
      Jan 20, 2018
    • SEVENROOMS / Eng
      DEADB33F

      SEVENROOMS Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      DEADB33Fmore
      Glad to see they fixed that process since I left. At least now it's no BS
      Jan 22, 2018
  • Facebook / Eng uporout
    Can someone describe what is a promo tracker is and how promo at Amazon works? Curious to compare to FB.
    Jan 20, 2018 4
    • Amazon / Eng
      Fakk2

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Nintendo
      Fakk2more
      OP
      Arbitrary definitions for what each technical role should encompass at any given level of expertise. Usually it's a set of categories you have to meet or exceed in order to be properly qualified for a promotion.

      It's great if you change teams or managers, as the entire process is documented through the tracker portal. You can get sign off for portions along the way, etc. It's terrible if you have a huge backlog of unattractive projects and engineers only prioritize what helps their promotracker profile.
      Jan 20, 2018
    • SEVENROOMS / Eng
      DEADB33F

      SEVENROOMS Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      DEADB33Fmore
      Dude, there are so many teams that are nothing but shit projects. In fact, some orgs punt to a specific team and put new-hires (typically new-grads) and cut them loose.
      Jan 22, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Fakk2

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Nintendo
      Fakk2more
      OP
      ^truth
      Jan 22, 2018
    • SEVENROOMS / Eng
      DEADB33F

      SEVENROOMS Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      DEADB33Fmore
      And they wonder why everyone ran away within 2 years.
      Jan 22, 2018
  • Oracle kc#d#e7e
    Post holiday party??
    Jan 20, 2018 5
    • Amazon / Eng
      Fakk2

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Nintendo
      Fakk2more
      OP
      Q4 has a lot of blackout dates for multiple orgs, so the company holiday party is held in Q1.
      Jan 20, 2018
    • Oracle kc#d#e7e
      Was it good? Any splurges?
      Jan 21, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Fakk2

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Nintendo
      Fakk2more
      OP
      Last year was better imo, but it's generally pretty good for a company party.

      Lorde was the headliner. Theme was 80s retro.

      Last year was DNCE. Macklemore a couple before that iirc.
      Jan 21, 2018
    • Oracle kc#d#e7e
      Damn, we only had a few VP's on the mic, and they knew not to attempt any singing.
      Jan 21, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      WaduHek

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Riot Games, Audible
      BIO
      Some SDE2 pleb that works in Seattle
      WaduHekmore
      It was fall out boy the year before. Macklemore had his own concert after the summer picnic
      Jan 27, 2018
  • Amazon
    Benny Lava

    Amazon

    PRE
    Amazon
    Benny Lavamore
    Congratulations
    Jan 19, 2018 0
  • Amazon sp0ck
    Where ru headed?
    Jan 19, 2018 3
    • Amazon sp0ck
      Which company?
      Jan 19, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      gdhj467

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      Solutions architect
      gdhj467more
      Answering may reveal his identity
      Jan 19, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Fakk2

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Nintendo
      Fakk2more
      OP
      ^
      Jan 19, 2018
  • Facebook observerX
    Banana wine
    Jan 19, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng Amazinc
    After leaving Amazon if you want to join back within 6 months, do you get to keep the stocks you left behind?
    Jan 22, 2018 1
    • Cisco / Eng
      bbq@@

      Cisco Eng

      PRE
      Amazon, Apple, Fitbit, Google, Cisco
      bbq@@more
      Yes.. post 1 yr u can't
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Microsoft Qljb25
    AWS has become the Microsoft annex, why I left. All MSFT people bring their bad habits and tried to implement same at AWS. Ex HP, Cisco etc execs cane in and thought they could change the way things were done. Rude awakening, painful process nonetheless
    Feb 2, 2018 0
  • Oracle / Eng ClouDev
    Where are you going?
    Jan 19, 2018 0