People who love working at Amazon

Nokia / Eng kindof
Mar 25 41 Comments

Could you please share your positive experience?
The general idea I get on reading blind posts here about Amazon is really poor. Almost nobody seems to be happy with the team and people around, and the frugality in terms of perks. Is the attrition rate in the first year really 94%?
Did you have offers from other companies that you rejected for Amazon?
Also, I see on Glassdoor that the rating for East Palo Alto office is higher than the other offices. Any truth to it, or just lesser data?

TC : 0 and YOE : 0

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TOP 41 Comments
  • Amazon ☝️☁️
    Just like any company, it mostly comes down to the team you work on. I love my team. Everyone is very knowledgeable, easy going, rarely hit 40+ hours of work per week, oncall load is non-existent, etc., etc. But if you get stuck on a dead end, internal team, hell yeah you're going to have high attrition. Nobody wants to maintain existing software, get paged non-stop, and have a toxic boss.

    With that said, you are correct in that amazon is very "frupid" (so frugal it's stupid). This affects the entire company. And is something that is quite annoying. Some key examples: no free food or drinks, terrible 401(k) matching, you have to pay to park in the building.

    My advice, if you're considering amazon, is to tough it out on the first team you get placed on. Do your research on good teams to join, and switch soon after. Good luck!
    Mar 25 6
    • Amazon ☝️☁️
      Seattle. It's easy to switch to most teams. Just set up coffee with a hiring manager, talk with some of their direct reports, apply online. Just be careful about telling your old manager before applying, because they can block you from leaving relatively easily (remember toxic managers...)
      Mar 25
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      I'm a complete newbie. Apply online, for an internal transfer? Also, do you know if the EPA office is better?
      Mar 25
    • what would you consider “red flags” to be for teams? Going for an on-site so I’d love to know, haha =p
      Mar 25
    • Amazon ☝️☁️
      I can't comment on any of the offices outside Seattle. If I had to take a guess I'd say no, strictly due to availability of jobs and hiring managers. You might luck out. Or you might hate it and have less internal transfer opportunities in the area.

      I recommend, regardless of the company, start working at the headquarters location until you're ramped up and then internal transfer to one of the branch locations if you're interested.

      Wrt internal transfer, the process is similar to if you were applying externally. We have an internal "jobfinder" tool that lists all the positions managers are trying to fill for the entire company, similar to the external tool. You just apply for a transfer like you were applying for a job.
      Mar 25
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      Thanks a lot! :)
      Mar 25
  • Amazon amazons
    First, Amazons attrition has been incredibly low the last three years. I’ve seen the data and we’re below the tech industry averages.

    I love it here because the scope and ownership we offer is unmatched at comparable levels at most other top companies.

    In general, we love faster than most other big companies and most of our projects scale to millions of users.

    Our culture can be tough to keep up, but we don’t have a bloated layer of ‘rest and vest’ peers who block projects due to inaction, at least compared to other big companies.

    Our products are diverse enough that you can literally work on just about anything and have many different transformative experiences all within one company (ie AWS to Alexa to Go).

    Finally, our comp philosophy is frustrating to many, but if you are a top performer and last a few years you will be rewarded. I have golden handcuffs keeping me here. G/FB cannot match my TC.
    Mar 25 6
    • Amazon amazons
      Yes, overall quite happy. I’ve been here ~5-10 years. Would only leave for a substantially better opportunity. Perks like free food mean very little to me compared to scope and impact, which are great at Amazon.
      Mar 25
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      I don't care for free food either. Just having a cafeteria where you can get food(free or not), makes life a lot convenient though.
      Mar 25
    • Facebook YMVM33
      I’m surprised g and f cannot match tc. What level are you?
      Mar 25
    • Amazon amazons
      I have - I understand how our comp model and our competitors’ works. I’ve gotten the competing offers and they can’t match.

      You argue if our stock hasn’t gone up so much (or perhaps if I hadn’t been TT/promoted), I wouldn’t be better off - but it has. If our stock tanked tomorrow I’d probably leave because my TC would plummet. Till then I will continue enjoying the ride.
      Mar 31
    • Amazon amazons
      Yes. True at the lower levels, but it doesn’t hold up for L7+, especially if you’ve been a top tier.
      Apr 1
  • Amazon OuBN5_&9
    I just left AWS after a 2 year stint. I loved AWS professionally. I had a ton of autonomy. I could build where I saw fit. And I loved my management. I left because culturally, I could not keep up with my personal life, given how much momentum we had behind the program we were building. Family suffered a lot, but that was on me, and not Amazon. I bought in to the leadership principles, and genuinely believe in them as the basis for running the business. In my experience, I liken working in AWS, to working in some type of political position. You have access to everyone in the tech world, as most want to figure out how to partner or build on the platform. Beyond networks and relationships, you are expected to learn the tech, which is daunting for a sales or BD oriented role, which I was in. This was not mandated, but needed to get better. I complained while doing it, but am so happy I did. I feel like the experience of working at Amazon for 3 months, is like a year at any of the legacy tech companies. With that being said, in rapid higher mode that they are in, you have a good amount of external influence that is butting up against the core LPs. I was lucky to work there, and learn there. It was NOT easy. But I learned a ton, and was able to move to a new role with possibilities to go back. I’d recommend amazon to anyone, who I felt met the LPs, but that isn’t everybody....
    Mar 25 1
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      Wow, that is a detailed answer. Thanks man! Did you join FANG or something else?
      Mar 25
  • Wayfair topUser
    Do you love bananas and making people cry?
    Mar 25 7
    • Wayfair topUser
      Have you ever been sitting at your door-desk and thought "hmm I want a salty snack, but papa Jeff won't pay for potato chips"? Simple! Just grab your nearest intern, hand him a nice ripe banana, and lay the fuck into him. Don't hold back - make him FEAR you. Make him call his parents in Shanghai and apologize for his lack of Customer Obsession. Make him question his very existence.

      After just 20 or 30 minutes, your tasty snack will be ready.
      Mar 25
    • Amazon ☝️☁️
      Wow, you described my morning routine perfectly. Takes 25 minutes for the banana to absorb the bitter saltiness of his tears.
      Mar 25
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      Lmao
      Mar 25
    • Google topCon
      At Wayfair, they do that same except for the banana. Instead, they drop a sofa on your head when you she'd a tear.
      Mar 25
    • Wayfair topUser
      Make sure not to use the same intern more than once a week - their tears get sour after a while
      Mar 25
  • Google rjPi28
    I highly doubt the first year attrition rate. It sounds unsustainable for any length of time. I would guess their attrition rate is higher than other top tier tech companies though, but only marginally.
    Mar 25 1
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      Any idea on the numbers of the other top companies?
      Mar 25
  • Amazon !Amhole
    It’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Are there outliers? Yes. It’s a high paying online service company. People expect amazon and AWS to work, which means oncall for engineers. I’m been at amazon for almost 3 years after leaving a company with no oncall, and the same worry you have. My experience has been pretty good. Some teams and managers suck, and that exists at all companies. Would I want to move to another company, yes. I’m also in no rush. It’s fine. Large scope, lots of products and services. Plenty to learn. Be strict with your time, it’s east to get caught up in the shuffle and get overworked. Say no.
    Mar 25 1
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      Thank you so much! :)
      Mar 25
  • Amazon SFtogo
    Are you tech or non tech? It could make a huge difference.
    Mar 25 2
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      I'm tech
      Mar 25
    • New ©️
      What do you feel is the difference?
      Mar 25
  • New lolamin
    Only minions tbh 🍌🍌
    Mar 25 1
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      Haha..i want to learn more about their experiences :) I'm sure there are people!
      Mar 25
  • EPA is a small office.
    Are you interviewing for AWS or Alexa Shopping?

    In both cases, transfer to Seattle is very easy since your org would have some teams in Seattle area.

    However, if you plan to stick around in Bay Area, it could open new opportunities in many more companies.
    Mar 25 7
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      It's for the coming summer. They won't tell me the manager or team until I accept the offer
      Mar 25
    • Accept it!
      What other option do you have?
      Mar 25
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      Vmware..i know the team and work there and I like that too. I have to decide between the two. Most of the people seem to be advising me to take Amazon.
      Mar 25
    • I will vote for Amazon as well.

      If you get into a bad team with low bar, you will outshine and get a FT offer.
      If you get into a good team you will learn a lot.

      Be sure to ask for manager for a mentor and don’t shy eating his brain.
      Mar 25
    • Nokia / Eng kindof
      OP
      @fcuk, definitely. Thanks for the input!
      Mar 25