The ugly side of working at Amazon

Feb 8, 2019 72 Comments

1. Only 6 public holidays per year.
2. Only 2 sick days.
3. Parking is subsidized ($160 per month), but not free, in a crowded downtown Seattle.
4. Zero paternity leave.
5. Sometimes you have to pay for your own food in team gatherings (feels silly when the business is making millions of dollars, and you wonder whether you have anything to do with it).
6. Promotion is soft-skill based, not engineering-based (actually most companies are the same way).
7. Zero cash bonus, only stock bonus which you receive zero after the first year of joining.
8. Benefits not comparable to top-tier companies (but still better than small companies).
9. Nature of work is largely operations-based with some new development.
10. Performance and long hours (and political skills) are strongly correlated.
11. Tight deadlines and stressful work environment (depends on team).
12. Mediocre computer hardware (maybe average, but at least usable).
13. Every service you deploy will contain a lot (hundreds to over a thousand) of rubbish packages.
14. Slow builds.
15. Painful deployment processes.
16. Grim long-term job prospects (maybe not specific to Amazon, but hard to move past the mid level).
17. I think they treat anyone as being replaceable, just a tool that comes and goes (depends on your manager).
18. Crowded offices (seems like most companies are the same now).
19. Crowded elevators.
20. You have to debate almost everything all the time (the American way).
21. Unsubsidized cafeterias (what the ???).
22. Crowded cafeterias (not all are crowded).
23. Poor support for IDEs (both eclipse and intellij).
24. Poor dev environment (redhat on virtualbox on ubuntu on your desktop, get it?).
25. Security hell (maybe overly-emphasized).
26. Almost zero room for creativity (you are a robot, remember?).
27. Did you think we get an employee discount shopping on Amazon? Think again. The 10% employee discount code could not be applied to virtually anything I buy on amazon.com.
28. Did you think that Amazon employees automatically get free Amazon Prime membership??

Source:https://www.quora.com/Why-isnt-working-at-Amazon-considered-to-be-as-prestigious-as-working-in-Facebook-Google-Apple
TC:240K

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TOP 72 Comments
  • Microsoft *cW2x91p
    29. Dick pics.
    Feb 8, 2019 0
  • Amazon Tough life
    Everything is quite correct here except I am pretty sure that there is paternity leave now.
    Feb 8, 2019 3
    • Microsoft newtoblind
      That's true though I heard that if you take it then ready to make up for it by long hours later or don't look for review period.
      Feb 8, 2019
    • Amazon Tough life
      Well that’s the case anyways hence the remaining 27 points are valid 👍
      Feb 8, 2019
    • Amazon Melgizecci
      not in the first year though
      Feb 8, 2019
  • Microsoft
    🐙M🐙

    Microsoft

    BIO
    🐙
    🐙M🐙more
    1. Wtf
    2. Wtf
    3. Normal
    4. Wtf
    Feb 8, 2019 7
    • Apple CRNY
      Don’t even know Google has office in Seattle, I thought they were still under construction?
      Feb 9, 2019
    • Apple CRNY
      Don’t think Fremont and Kirkland counts as Seattle when people in Seattle refers Seattle lol
      Feb 9, 2019
    • Amazon / Eng
      eisenhwr

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Google
      eisenhwrmore
      Fremont is Seattle. Parking in Fremont is less scarce than downtown / SLU.
      Feb 9, 2019
    • Amazon JSnowflake
      About half of these are true and the other half are bullshit, lies or only true on the worst teams.
      Feb 9, 2019
    • Google / Ops Huhf13
      Google doesn't have free parking everywhere
      Feb 9, 2019
  • Amazon JSnowflake
    Dangerous mix of truth and falsehood to craft a false narrative. 1,2,3 not in Bay Area. 4 outright false. 5 have never seen this. 6 half-truth. 7 true, other than signing bonus. 8 meh. 9 only the worst teams.10 this is a statement about life, not Amazon. 11 some teams. 12 don't see this. 13 ok but how is this Amazon specific? 14 this sounds related to your problem in 13. 15 not really. 16 if you mean L6+ promos are very hard, then true. 17 true unless you are a high performer. 18 like you said not just Amazon. 19 same. 20 true. 21 false. 22. false. 23. don't see this. 24. sounds a bit specific to you. 25. false. 26. false. maybe on your team but not on good teams. 27. true. 28. true.
    Feb 9, 2019 2
    • Microsoft horizontal
      Too much kool aid i.e. 🍌
      Feb 9, 2019
    • Dstillery / Eng kioo37
      Thanks for going through these and confirming or debunking these statements
      Sep 16, 2019
  • Amazon / Eng kwq7812
    A lot of this stuff is dated (like the computer hardware--once true, but they started issuing high end laptops and monitors three years ago) or inaccurate/exaggerated, but that doesn't matter because the worst things about working at Amazon (in corporate, at least) aren't even mentioned: namely, the clandestine compensation and performance review models. Simply put: you are paid based on a compensation "target" you won't be told, which is set according to a performance review score/rank that you also won't be told. There are various ways to try to deduce your rating/score/target (including getting your manager to tell you...if they will, and you trust or believe them), but the bottom line is that you won't (or technically shouldn't, according to policy) be fully aware of where you actually stand...and that's by design. This company motivates employees primarily through uncertainty and fear; the system is intended to make you feel uncomfortable even when you're doing well.

    You should also pretty much ignore anybody who uses the "good teams aren't like this" bullshit to counter, because they almost certainly haven't been around long enough to see how quickly and easily that will disappear (just one re-org can do it--and there are 1-2 chances per year for that to happen).
    Feb 9, 2019 2
    • Amazon JSnowflake
      Comp model is definitely the worst thing about Amazon by a significant margin. And HRs obsession with secrecy over transparency is very problematic too as it goes entirely against our own Leadership Principles. But this dude's rant about parking in downtown Seattle, hard promos, crowded elevators and bad laptops is immature and whiny and riddled with falsehoods.
      Feb 9, 2019
    • Amazon / Eng y6aaw3
      I know my TCT and rating because I ask my manager. They are not forbidden from sharing. The system is broken though as it is overly complex, most people cannot understand it managers included so it favors people who can gamify it. Promos are even worse. I witnessed firsthand people who would easily pass L6 or L7 hire bar, struggling to get promoted because of the amount of red tape required to formalize a document. Also launching a new unmaintainable service is still a better way for recognition than deprecation of legacy, no matter how many policy emails HR sends about it.
      Feb 10, 2019
  • MathWorks £€€¥
    Wait what? 2 sick days? So what happens when you are sick for longer? Unpaid sick days I guess?
    Feb 8, 2019 4
    • Microsoft / Eng Wwjjwjsh
      PIPed then fired
      Feb 8, 2019
    • Amazon / Eng Kw6H2f
      We get 3 sick days per year, 6 personal days, and two weeks vacation for first year, three weeks vacation after first year. Personal days can be used as sick days or vacations days. If I just have a cold or something I WFH.
      Feb 9, 2019
    • MathWorks £€€¥
      Are most teams/managers okay with WFH at Amazon?
      Feb 9, 2019
    • Amazon / Eng rurikar
      From my experience and the people I’ve interacted with, yes.
      Feb 9, 2019
  • Zillow Group Sr. Troll
    Feb 9, 2019 0
  • Sweatshop wow! I know amazon is bad but this is real bad.
    Feb 8, 2019 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon Tough life
      Scratch 4, plenty on guys going on paternity leave . Although my kids are in teens now so I don’t need anymore but yes this article seems old when not any companies gave out paternity leave.
      Feb 8, 2019
    • Microsoft / Eng Deep mind
      It's just 4 weeks and you don't get it unless your child is born after working a year at Amazon. This is pathetic especially considering the average tenure at Amazon is 1.5 years.
      Feb 8, 2019
    • Microsoft / Eng Deep mind
      No it doesn't. By your own account, Amazon is over 15 years behind the industry here.
      Feb 8, 2019
    • Amazon / Eng
      eisenhwr

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Google
      eisenhwrmore
      6 weeks of paternity leave, 2 of them fully paid, the remaining 4 weeks just base (no bonus)
      Feb 9, 2019
  • Vertivco / Eng
    FastPapuan

    Vertivco Eng

    PRE
    Youtube, American Bureau of Shipping, Facebook
    FastPapuanmore
    Do not worck for this horrible company.
    Feb 8, 2019 1
    • Amazon / Eng DynamoDB
      Yeah go 'worck' at Vertico instead.
      Feb 9, 2019

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