Working enviroment in Amazon, how does it look like?

Coca-Cola adIo76
Sep 3 195 Comments

Hello Amazonians, I am currently considaring accepting a job offer in Finance in Seattle, however i have a concern on the working enviroment and culture there, it is not clear to me how does it look like

I see in glassdoor too many contradicting feedbacks between the worst and the best, also some of these reviews maybe outdated and not reflective to what is going on these days.

Please help me with your honest opinion on how life looks like inside the company

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TOP 195 Comments
  • Well according to Blind it's basically one step removed from a prison-hard labor camp because nobody wipes their ass for them and they only have free bananas.
    Sep 3 18
    • Amazon Vulgar
      Nespresso: why coffee in Europe tastes like shit. 😂
      Sep 8
    • Amazon amzgurl
      Don’t do it. Enough said.
      Sep 9
    • Crédit Agricole CIB pzcO11
      Desuka
      , what office ?
      Sep 9
    • Microsoft desuka
      @pzcO11 Sydney
      7d
    • Amazon @citizen
      Bunch of URA hungry managers looking to PIP you at any time.
      7d
  • Amazon shVx24
    This depends entirely on the manager. I’ve gone from excellent managers to terrible managers within the same org. That said, where there’s this much smoke, there has to be fire. The perception of Amazon work culture as bruising, combattive, and toxic is largely true. I can’t speak for other companies (I moved to Amazon from the non-profit sector), but too many managers here are simply put cruel people, and it all starts at the top. Don’t join Amazon unless you have a tough skin and can stomach this. Even if you get Mother Theresa as your first boss, you’ll likely be working for a sociopath at some point, and HR won’t help you out of it.
    Sep 3 13
    • Wtf is this “vesting surprise” BS? Literally your offer says (1) big signing bonus (2) bonus + RSU (3) 40% RSU (4) 40% RSU; sign here if you agree.

      Everyone knew exactly what they were getting on Day Zero and then you b!tch and moan about Amazon forcing your hand? Don’t mind the salty haters, Coca Cola.
      Sep 5
    • SAP nerd1
      Great feedback. Does this apply to AWS as well as the retail side of the house?
      Sep 5
    • Amazon SDE3Hire
      The quota doesn't care about role or level. I feel (no data) entry level has a much higher rate, but anyone can.

      I've seen L7 & L8 pushed out. When a high level has decided to "look at other orgs" and has their reports or project stripped for transition that is the sign they are being managed out.

      @nerd1 - yes compensation / retention practices are company wide (aws, retail, and other)
      Sep 6
    • Oracle SfsM37
      Thanks shVx24, quality posts
      Sep 6
    • SAP nerd1
      I know several people on AWS and never received similar feedback, hence my curiosity.
      Sep 7
  • Amazon whatevеr
    6 is the golden level. Nobody got piped at L6 ever.
    Sep 3 25
    • Oracle chummer
      Thank, firefly123. What's the usual amount of severance in 3a, if you happen to know that?
      Sep 6
    • Amazon RyQu17
      I have seen people being fired at level 6
      Sep 10
    • AT&T / Eng
      DDM2K

      AT&T Eng

      PRE
      Optum, Windstream, AT&T, Verizon
      DDM2Kmore
      I think the people who survive the PIP are just the ones where their manager didn’t know who they were messing with. They knew someone higher who disagreed with the PIP.
      Sep 10
    • Coca-Cola adIo76
      OP
      Or maybe they are so good in what they do to able to survive that pressure with out being kicked out, basically it was not fair to put them in PIP in the first place and they proved it
      Sep 10
    • Amazon YupYupYupY
      Op def not. Those are political pips and no one survives them.
      7d
  • Amazon / IT Sfghhg
    I will not bother much about glassdoor, if you are an individual who like to take ownership and drive things you will be happy. Also at what level are you joining, company treats well folks joining at 6 and above. I have not seen much complains from those levels.
    Sep 3 9
    • Salesforce BASF
      Ownership is not a benefit. If you’re good, you’ll get full ownership to drive anything in any decent company and get paid big bucks doing it. I can’t believe people are brainwashed into thinking that a company saving money by giving people more responsibility is a benefit.
      Sep 5
    • Amazon shVx24
      Amazon really pushed ownership as their key differentiator during the MBA sell weekend. They literally told us if we became PMs at Facebook, we’d own nothing more than a button. I believed it. Two years later, I’m writing entire documents on « buttons » because my org is so authoritarian that our VP doesn’t trust L7s to make those decisions about the detail pages themselves. No, Amazon does not offer more « ownership », at least not for everyone.
      Sep 5
    • Microsoft / Sales sbQa26
      What level at MICROSOFT is somewhat equivalent to 6 at Amazon? I had a very bad impression but recently talked to some ex-MSFT now at aws and they don’t seem unhappy
      Sep 6
    • Amazon / IT Sfghhg
      To the point @basf mentioned i dont think it is brainwashed. I came as L6 got paid top of band, stock also doubled and my comp for first 4 is high enough not to even think in that direction. I think if you are good comp will follow. I can bet you will not find sde3 whinning as much as opposed to sde1 or sde2. I cannot comment about product track as i dont know
      Sep 6
    • Amazon Kj34
      @Sfg, it great to hear you have had a positive experience at amazon so far. Not everyone has such a positive experience. There are factors outside of the employee’s control that have a huge impact on the employee’s experience.
      Sep 6
  • Amazon 01nch ew i
    It 100% depends on your manager. Every team operates like a mini startup and managers are basically kings. If you have a shitty king, life is gonna suck.
    Sep 3 2
    • Amazon goneornot
      Truth
      Sep 3
    • Amazon vdcb40
      This is 100% true and is the main reason you see such a mix of positive and negative reviews.

      It’s worth noting that when the manager is good, you avoid many of the big company frustrations, while having all the big company benefits, because each team has so much autonomy.
      Sep 5
  • Amazon Dr. Jones
    Most of the reviews you see will be from SDEs, who have a hard life. I have no idea if the Finance department is the same way though.
    Sep 3 6
    • They also get huge TC
      Sep 3
    • Microsoft qwertzuiop
      Why do SDEs have a hard life at Amazon?
      Sep 5
    • Amazon Dr. Jones
      SDMs
      Sep 5
    • Microsoft wwivsr
      Nobody needs an SDM

      Wait that's not right...
      Sep 5
    • MasterCard PbmS23
      SDM=SaDoMasochism?
      Sep 5
  • Amazon rainhere
    I’m at AWS and think it’s way more laid back then the startup I came from. I have a flexible schedule, autonomy, and enjoy the people I work with and manager.

    I was honestly shocked that it wasn’t as hardcore as blind leads you to believe. I enjoy coming in and think it beats the crap startups I have been at previously.

    Me: L6 in biz dev
    Sep 3 4
    • Amazon shVx24
      Those who have left my org for AWS tell me it’s the promised land. It defies all logic that the part of Amazon that’s most business critical would be the most laid back, but that seems to be the case.
      Sep 3
    • Microsoft 🏂🌮🍺#
      Same. L6, AWS, it’s not bad. You’re always busy though. I was practically retired at Microsoft. But now I have way more 💰
      Sep 5
    • Amazon VmrN61
      “L6 in biz dev”. You don’t have to deal with SDE ops load. How hard is that to understand?
      Sep 5
    • OceanX / Eng O(1*1)
      Probably, Because you are not an SDE
      Sep 5
  • Amazon Vulgar
    Short answer: Wildly inconsistent, by design.

    Amazon doesn’t have top-down anything, really. It’s supposed to be like thousands of autonomous startups flying (or dying) in loose formation. Problem is, it’s way too big for that to work so sub-cultures have emerged. Your team and your organization drive your day to day.

    Some will be pedantic, workaholic assholes. Actually, many will.

    Some will be great, nurturing environments filled with smart people doing things faster than you can believe.

    Total crapshoot, unfortunately.
    Sep 3 5
    • Amazon YupYupYupY
      You also won’t hear the word ‘pedantic’ at any other work place more than at Amazon.
      Sep 3
    • Amazon SDE3Hire
      That word must be a subculture. :)

      Never heard anyone use it at work.
      Sep 4
    • Coca-Cola adIo76
      OP
      Thanks so much for you insight, it is really important to me to the insider POV, can you tell me which level you responsible in defining the culture inside the teams, is L7 and above?
      Sep 4
    • Amazon SDE3Hire
      Culture is defined by leadership principles and company wide processes (yearly planning, talent review, hiring).

      No specific level has job of defining culture, and so sub-cultures can be created by any level that enforces a way/policy. Overall amazon culture in my opinion is to make decisions as low in the org structure as possible.
      Sep 4
    • Amazon vdcb40
      Day to day culture is general set by the manager of the two pizza team or maybe that person’s manager.
      Sep 5
  • Amazon jlgk
    If you value your life, don’t do it. all those people who told you it varies depending on the team, someone else told them that. They’ve never experienced it themselves. No one ever experienced it themselves, and it’s a confirmed myth.
    Sep 3 3
    • Amazon / Eng
      Zzzamznbye

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Zzzamznbyemore
      Truer words were never spoken
      Sep 3
    • Amazon theten
      Hey, in my personal experience that myth is true. I went from a team where you were independent on your assessments, great leadership and everything works just as it should to another team where my onboarding process was 3 days in a row inside a room with 3 other people reading a bunch of ppt documents. I met my 'manager' a week later and in my second day we received a passive /aggressive message through chime from part of the team 😒
      Sep 3
    • Amazon jlgk
      Why did you leave if it were so great? It sounds like it sucked and you went to a worse team.
      Sep 4
  • Amazon / Eng quasar3
    @OP,

    1. Reading your question and replies, it seems that you have an underlying question you're not asking. I'd suggest asking it directly
    2. People who've had bad experiences at Amazon are grossly over represented on Blind, as on most anonymous forums. Does Amazon have bad teams and shitty managers? Yes. Should you use that one statement to conclude your manager is shitty and your team is crap? No. Even with the basic interaction you've had with your team and manager has given you more information about your team than folks commenting here.
    3. All this is moot unless you have a competing offer to compare to. Without that you're just risking demolarized before even starting at Amazon. That'll also provide a company culture you can compare Amazon to decide what fits you best.
    Sep 4 7
    • Coca-Cola adIo76
      OP
      Make full sense, thanks for the valuable notes , you are very wise and and i agree with your view, thanks again 😉
      Sep 5
    • Amazon Glitters
      quasar3 has posted the most legit reply here! Statement that turnover is 2 years is certainly not the case. It's a great place to learn things in a challenging environment- yes one might get burnt out to an extent but it's on you to strike a balance and keep up the motivation.
      Sep 5
    • Amazon MWqF00
      The performance management page in Amazon's portal states that work in Amazon is both rewarding and challenging. There are many ways to read into that.
      Sep 5
    • Microsoft ttbebe40
      Well, I believe they do stack ranking, so somebody will always get cut/impacted. It is a musical chair game, depending when it is your turn. Sometimes, you won't even know when killed.
      Sep 5
    • Microsoft / Sales
      Tarkus

      Microsoft Sales

      BIO
      computer software sales
      Tarkusmore
      After you've been demolarized at AMZN you will have to eat soft foods.
      Sep 9
  • Amazon / Mktg mint456
    AWS is an immature culture. Everything is a crisis and people backstab each other to save themselves from blame. Amazon doesn’t care about its employees and that’s a shame. It will catch up to them someday.
    Sep 4 2
    • Amazon ex-B
      As with the game dev industry: not so long as there’s a line out the door looking to get hired.
      Sep 4
    • Amazon hydfb
      Yeah the backstab culture is the worse part. Don't know if this is common across companies or just at Amazon, but I see it too often at Amazon
      Sep 6
  • Amazon kQlJ07
    All depends on org, manager, and level. L4/L5 SDEs do have it the worst though. You’ve probably seen this like 100000 times by now but it’s very true.

    Culture is sort of passed down from above (i.e. if high level management is breathing down your managers neck, you can be sure your manager will be breathing down yours).
    Sep 3 5
    • Coca-Cola adIo76
      OP
      So do you think the L6’s will be the ones who are defining the culture in the teams ?
      Sep 4
    • Amazon / Mgmt palmface
      no, at L6 you can’t define culture. it takes at least L7 more likely above.
      Sep 4
    • Amazon kQlJ07
      L7/L8 managers define culture.
      Sep 4
    • Amazon SDE3Hire
      "if high level management is breathing down your managers neck, you can be sure your manager will be breathing down yours."

      While this probably happens it's due to a bad manager. A managers main job is to cut the noise above down so team can deliver on goals.

      Now an unreleastic org will probably promote managers with similar traits, so the statement is largely correct.
      Sep 6
    • Amazon / Mgmt palmface
      it happens too often
      Sep 6
  • Amazon @citizen
    Check out this post! "Your experience working in Amazon in 4 words (Amazon)"
    https://us.teamblind.com/s/zRUXi8m5
    Sep 3 2
    • Coca-Cola adIo76
      OP
      Content is not available, can you copy and past the post please ?
      Sep 3
    • Amazon nulllll
      it’s in the Amazon network ^
      Sep 5
  • Amazon / Product Amznnn
    Eh sometimes it’s stressful. Sometimes it’s not that stressful. It’s work. We sell shit. We don’t do anything important enough to wreck yourself over. Work hard. Get paid. Go home early when you feel like it.
    Sep 3 1
    • Coca-Cola adIo76
      OP
      That is really a wise advice 😂
      Sep 4
  • Amazon uknwnthn
    I've been on 2 teams so far and I am trying to find a therapist to treat my depression. It was like slow poison for me. Very unfortunate. But I hope you land on a good team
    Sep 5 0
  • Amazon theten
    I worked as a contractor for Amazon in 2 different projects and they were day night. One (the first one) was amazing, managers, team, dev's, everybody AMAZING. I went back to another project and I lasted 3 weeks 😅 A nightmare! The closest I have been to slavery. Toxic people, no time for bathroom, your manager would email you if you are 1 min late or for none senses...
    Sep 3 0
  • Amazon / Eng
    eisenhower

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Google
    eisenhowermore
    Blind is worse than reality. But I came to believe that working at Amazon is kinda a reversed Russian roulette. One team will be great, the other 5 will kill you, sometimes close to literally.
    Sep 5 0
  • Amazon YupYupYupY
    It’s great place to grow a lot really fast. With that comes a ton of stress, politics, and type As constantly trying to deliver on their team’s goals at the expense of yours. Also, the time to make good money amazon is over. Now you only stand to make less than your projected comp
    Sep 3 2
    • Coca-Cola adIo76
      OP
      What level are you? And which level do you think would be the best in making money?
      Sep 4
    • Amazon gYLH88
      Agreed on growing fast but it’s for those who can be bothered. Many get comfortable vs grow.

      My teammate delivered literally 5-6 SIM tasks in the whole year, vs 5-6 per sprint across other team members, is constantly ill or WFH (usually offline), etc but as he referred the manager to Amazon the manager overlooks his shortcomings. Don’t think he is type A at all. I wouldn’t want to work with someone like that or even hire him in my team ever.
      Sep 6
  • Nutanix StKJ75
    I can definitely say one thing based upon my 3 years working experience at Amazon is,
    1. You will not have any life.
    2. You will get depression.
    Sep 5 1
    • Oracle
      claylvlviz

      Oracle

      PRE
      Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook
      BIO
      OCI future is cloudy
      claylvlvizmore
      Two words. 1. Hookers 2. blow
      Sep 6
  • Google / Eng doWM82
    Both weather and amazon sucks
    Sep 5 1
    • Amazon Vulgar
      Amazon is more than Seattle.
      Sep 6