[Trending]: What is it like to work for Amazon current or former employees?

Well I work at aws and It’s basically a prison like culture. Seriously , as an engineer it’s a completely do it yourself philosophy. Just yesterday I got an email “oh we want to celebrate Halloween so please volunteer to go out and purchase Halloween decorations and spend time decorating your work area. Ps don’t forget to clean up after yourselves.” In all my years as an engineer iv never been asked to fucking decorate my workplace!!

  1. You will be micromanaged till you bleed. Some neurotic person or other will be down your throat about creating jiras, moving them into statuses, and nit picking everything.
  2. They will have “planning meetings”. someone will jot down on a whiteboard a list of “tasks” for the week. You will then be asked to actually make the jira issues and assign them to yourself. And better keep those status update or else you’ll get screamed at :))
  3. Are you starting to see the trend? Yup 0 support whatsoever of any kind. Engineers == generalized grunt, shit shovelers at amazon as far as the org goes.
  4. Much of your time will be spent doing devops or admin on call where random people scream at you for some problem you did not cause. But hey “Leaders have thick skin!”
  5. You’ll be asked to constantly benchmark and test code written by other , I guess “cooler” people. Leaders “dive deep” so you’ll be stuck trying to figure out the cool peoples (seems like they are the ones that came from certain research groups or companies) mistakes and bugs forever…and then it’s all your fault …
  6. You will constantly be force fed nonsensical and intellectually insulting “leadership principles”. Don’t forget to always “dive deep” but still “deliver” (this is all they actually care about. When something out of your control halts that they will flip out and not accept any excuse) , “be right all the time”— sorry this doesn’t even sound like its a principle…anyway, It’s ridiculous to hear a bunch of otherwise intelligent adults talking like this. “Dive deep”..omg…there’s a word in English , it’s called “thorough” look it it up, and use it when appropriate!! Even a child can understand that given constraints , it’s not possible to be thorough about everything.
  7. Everyone around us either h1b or aquihired or some “special” class. I see very few non aquihired, normal work permit status around. The few there are seem to be literally counting the days until they can leave. Usually some sort of signing bonus is in play to keep them there for a year or two.
  8. The equipment is super crappy, which goes along with the prison culture. Scrub the toilet with a toothbrush! Fru-gal-ity!! :)))
  9. Getting promoted seems to be near impossible. And because of the do it yourself pyramid scheme the work is much harder at the lower levels. You are constantly paying the price for some idiotic waste of time design decision that was thrust down on you. You’ll have to work an inhumane amount and deliver perfection in order to even be considered. Again they want people on the lower rungs because they actually do all the work. They really don’t want people getting promoted at all.
  10. They seem to be completely prepared for the attrition. The attitude is “these engineers are completely dispenseable”
  11. Everyone pulling 10 hour days + commutes, meanwhile managers are taking off a 5:30pm. Not sure why they always seem so pissed off. Guess they really want to be worth 20m rather than 2m…
  12. I should add that there is 0 ramp up. I was asked to add a new little feature on my first day, and expected to deliver pretty much immediatly. Their entire setup is of course quite esoteric so not having anyone explain the stuff is quite painful. Because of the high attrition, there are few around that can actually answer some questions and help you out. Yup, do it yourself , can’t figure it out? Gonna get screamed at in standup :))
  13. There’s also some kind of survival component of the experience. Your eyes dart around the room frantically looking for signs of relief. Someone tells you to go talk to that guy over there about your connectivity issue. You walk over to say something , he looks like a giant, and his face is red and apparently he’s biting his arm probably as some brutal form of self restraint. Yea I’ll just go bug that guy about my “issues”….sure he’ll appreciate it….while he’s trying to eat his own arm to stay alive in this hell hole….
  14. Come work in an environment where you stay at your desk working till 2:00 am, and then get into work at 9:00 am the next day only to have your boss great you with something like “why aren’t your jiras updated properly???!!!”

There are some decent things I should mention. The chance to work on projects that have the ability to make a impact on the well kind of the world.

my advice to those who are still curious: do your time and get the fuck out!


If you want to share your experience then send your review on CIQAGeeks@gmail.com