If you are looking for a job you better think thrice before applying in Amazon. An anonymous employee of the industry, has not painted a good picture about the organisation in his open advice on Reddit to the interns . As in the letter, he has not revealed his identity for he has debts to return. After all everyone cannot afford to reveal themselves like Edward Snowden, can they?
Hello visiting Amazon Interns!
I hope you are enjoying your summer here in Seattle!
I’m sure by now most of you are settled into your gigs at Amazon and working on some project the team you got stuck onto has put off for months and thought, “Fuck it, just give it to the intern when they show up in June.”
Since I have been at Amazon I’ve seen hundreds of you guys come through, you’re all smart as hell and you work yourselves to the bone over the summer for a chance to impress your mentor and get a job offer.
You are smart, driven, and are no doubt going to be successful in whatever you do, which is why I want to urge you to STAY THE FUCK AWAY from Amazon when it comes time for you to leave school and jump into the workforce.
There are a number of things that Amazon doesn’t tell you when you sign up.
You know that big pile of stock that they promise you in your offer letter? You are going to vest around 20% of that in your first two years there.
Now, the average employee stays at Amazon for LESS than two years, so when you do the math to compare offers from various companies go ahead and factor that in. The entire system is designed to bring you in, burn you out, and send you on your way with as little equity lost as possible.
That signing bonus they offer you to offset the fact that they give you jack shit for stock your first two years? If you leave before two years is up you actually end up OWING Amazon money. You have to pay it back on a pro-rated scale. It’s not a bonus, it’s more like a payday loan.
Two years is also the amount of time you have to get promoted from Software Development Engineer 1 to Software Development Engineer 2 before they put you on a PIP and kick your ass out the door. If you are an SDE-1 at Amazon your job is in every way temporary, you are basically participating in a two year job interview for an SDE-2 role.
In other words, up to 80% of the initial stock grant presented to you in your offer letter is contingent upon you being promoted to SDE-2. There are a limited number of promotions each review cycle and chances are very good you won’t receive one of them.
Amazon’s work life balance is awful, and it’s even more awful for fresh college students who don’t have obligations outside of the office to excuse them from working all night. You’ll be stack ranked against your peers, so if the rest of your team is going to stay until 8PM working on some project we need to finish before Q4 then you better do the same, otherwise it’s going to be PIP city for you come review time.
The most fucked thing about bright young engineers such as yourselves going to work for Amazon is that you have your choice of ANY technology company out there. If you are smart enough to get through an Amazon interview loop then you’re smart enough to get through a Google/Facebook/Apple/etc. loop without any problems. So why throw yourself into an environment that is designed to chew you up and spit you out?
I’m sure you will kick ass on your projects this year. Work hard but don’t spend all night working. Leave at 5 or 6PM and go enjoy the city while you are here. While you are in the office pay close attention to the happiness and job satisfaction of your team mates.
Below this letter he had attached two more articles which also explained the hard life one faces at Amazon. Glassdoors in its review, have balanced out the ups and downs about the work atmosphere in the company.
He has cleverly not openly replied to the comments which this article had received, for comments carry an identity of the person. Therefore he edited his post twice, ( till now) and replied to many queries.
EDIT: Wow, this post got more attention than I thought it would.
EDIT #2: For folks asking for me to reveal my identity to prove I am really an Amazon employee: Sorry, that’s not going to happen, I have a mortgage to pay. If you think I’m lying please disregard everything in the above post and read the comments section instead. Plenty of posts agree with what I posted.
For folks accusing me of being a recruiter for Google/Facebook/Apple since I listed them as examples of companies that people could get jobs at if they are skilled enough to pass a loop at Amazon: Fuck it, don’t work for any of those companies, go work for a technology company who works in an area that interests you, the entire concept of a “BIG 4” that you absolutely need to kick your career off at allows these larger companies with lots of brand recognition to exploit you just like Amazon does.
Reportedly Amazon did not wish to give any response to this controversial anonymous open letter, however previously it has said that its attrition rates are in line with the rest of the industry.
It is true that at the end of the day, every corporate life is the same, with a loophole that can only be felt after being hired as an employee. However, not every tech industry employee has openly written an anonymous warning letter such as this one. Think before you drop your precious resume. Make sure you are not dropping away your precious life.