Developer position at Amazon Web Services

ArtyLoop

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
6,144
This is so wrong in so many ways that I'm having difficulty figuring out where to even begin. There is a very healthy work/life balance at Amazon, all the people I've interacted with care very much about each other. Engineers are encouraged to decide upon which work they want to undertake and they are mostly in control of their work/life balance. There are realistic expectations set on delivery, not the "death marches" which I've experienced at other companies.

It seems to me that you don't actually know how things operate inside the Cape Town AWS engineering office, as what you've said so far is very far from the truth
Listen bro, I know the inside of those offices care for me to describe them to you? My spouse worked there I told her to quit because they wouldn’t even allow her to take one rotten day off to be with us on Christmas Day.
Amazon and Google, two of the companies I will never work for, ever.
 

Hamster

Resident Rodent
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
31,113
The interview process is normally a full day at the Amazon campus if you manage to make it that far through the process. It'll be a series of back to back 1 hour sessions, each one with a different interviewer. It's actually 5 1 hour sessions with an hour for lunch as well (the lunch hour is not part of the interview, although almost everyone seems to think it is)
Although I get that you guys want to be "sure" about the person joining the team it does feel like a huge effort for the "privilege" of working on AWS. Suppose if you really want the job the effort is worth it.

Is it true you guys give starting bonuses paid out over a couple of years but you are locked in for that time period? Example:

Dev starts with salary X.
Dev is given starting bonus of Y over 24 months.
Dev gets paid X + (Y/24)

...and after 24 months dev is suddenly short on monthly income?
 

ArtyLoop

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
6,144
This is so wrong in so many ways that I'm having difficulty figuring out where to even begin. There is a very healthy work/life balance at Amazon, all the people I've interacted with care very much about each other. Engineers are encouraged to decide upon which work they want to undertake and they are mostly in control of their work/life balance. There are realistic expectations set on delivery, not the "death marches" which I've experienced at other companies.

It seems to me that you don't actually know how things operate inside the Cape Town AWS engineering office, as what you've said so far is very far from the truth
I will reply to this BS tomorrow and I might have to name drop some of them managers then before you will believe me.

Ah wait... easier way... ignore list
 

TelkomUseless

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
7,696
Although I get that you guys want to be "sure" about the person joining the team it does feel like a huge effort for the "privilege" of working on AWS. Suppose if you really want the job the effort is worth it.

And this is where I am. I'm past the days of "oo Amazon/Google etc, must work for them". There are better choices, maybe smaller companies, were there is passion, not a dick measuring contest etc. The young people wanting to take the job, enjoy!
 

cguy

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,771
Although I get that you guys want to be "sure" about the person joining the team it does feel like a huge effort for the "privilege" of working on AWS. Suppose if you really want the job the effort is worth it.
The potential upside is enormous.

International relocation is much easier when it is an intra-company transfer, allowing more global mobility. Having Amazon in your resume will make it easier to get into any name brand company in the future.

The compensation for engineering talent can be huge. In Seattle a Senior Principals Engineer can make up to $800k/y TC. I am sure there are at least a few Cape Town engineers making R2m+ in TC. If someone spent time in the US and moved back, this could easily be 2x+ even that.

The scope of work is interesting too - millions of machines, a whole host of cloud technologies from GPU computing to massive databases to Machine Learning as a service, etc.

Is it true you guys give starting bonuses paid out over a couple of years but you are locked in for that time period? Example:

Dev starts with salary X.
Dev is given starting bonus of Y over 24 months.
Dev gets paid X + (Y/24)

...and after 24 months dev is suddenly short on monthly income?
Not quite, so assuming this works the same way as the US:

You will get an initial stock grant. This is paid out at roughly 5% after year 1, 5% after year two, 45% after year 3 and 45% after year 4.

So, sounds a lot worse than what you have above... BUT:

You will typically get refreshers every year, each with the same 4 year vesting schedule. The amount depends on your level and performance. So after 4 years, you will typically be getting a full year worth of vested stock every year. If you leave, you walk away from whatever isn’t vested (typically, 2 years on average). When you are in the industry, you will typically organize with your next employer to get compensated for this loss.
 
Last edited:

cguy

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,771
And this is where I am. I'm past the days of "oo Amazon/Google etc, must work for them". There are better choices, maybe smaller companies, were there is passion, not a dick measuring contest etc. The young people wanting to take the job, enjoy!
There are better choices. I am fairly certain I am at one of them. If I was in SA, however, I would be very, very hard pressed to find such a place. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss them.
 

TelkomUseless

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
7,696
There are better choices. I am fairly certain I am at one of them. If I was in SA, however, I would be very, very hard pressed to find such a place. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss them.
I agree. But working for Amazon has 0% attraction for me.

And happy to hear that you are enjoying your current job. It's always great to have a good company to work for.
 

Brenden_E

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
4,108
Listen bro, I know the inside of those offices care for me to describe them to you? My spouse worked there I told her to quit because they wouldn’t even allow her to take one rotten day off to be with us on Christmas Day.
Amazon and Google, two of the companies I will never work for, ever.
Jeepers, this doesn't sound good. But regardless, there will be some poor sod that will be willing to work 24/7 to have AWS on his portfolio. That's the world, folks!
 

WAslayer

Expert Member
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
3,202
Jeepers, this doesn't sound good. But regardless, there will be some poor sod that will be willing to work 24/7 to have AWS on his portfolio. That's the world, folks!
This sounds like he is talking about Amazon retail and not AWS.. My wife worked for Amazon retail and this is the kind of stuff she had to endure for a few months..
 

Brenden_E

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
4,108
This sounds like he is talking about Amazon retail and not AWS.. My wife worked for Amazon retail and this is the kind of stuff she had to endure for a few months..
*worked - glad she got out. Life's too short to spend it doing something you hate with people you abhor.
 

jsheed_sa

Executive Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
5,049
Is it true you guys give starting bonuses paid out over a couple of years but you are locked in for that time period? Example:

Dev starts with salary X.
Dev is given starting bonus of Y over 24 months.
Dev gets paid X + (Y/24)

...and after 24 months dev is suddenly short on monthly income?
Typically it's broken down in to:

- Base salary (consider this your normal salary)

- Sign on bonus (1st year and 2nd year only - each year amount is different). This is divided by 12 and allocated on top of your base salary every month.

- RSU's - restricted stock units (shares) that vest 5% in year 1, 15% in year two, 20% every 6 months thereafter. Meaning you can cash out your full share value after 4 years (and then get topped up later.

Then there's some perks like medical aid / pension / internet allowance etc.

As for what cguy said about mobility is 100% correct. I can move to any of the overseas offices, to places that I otherwise would have no access to (with my ZA passport) and get paid a relocation allowance. This especially holds true if you don't have a degree and is not a perk many companies can match.
 

ArtyLoop

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
6,144
And this is where I am. I'm past the days of "oo Amazon/Google etc, must work for them". There are better choices, maybe smaller companies, were there is passion, not a dick measuring contest etc. The young people wanting to take the job, enjoy!
Indeed,
let the young, woke milennials go for the 24/7 slavery grind.
I suspect I earn more than Amazon is willing to pay. Also without the American culture being forced down my throat.
 

cguy

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,771
Indeed,
let the young, woke milennials go for the 24/7 slavery grind.
I suspect I earn more than Amazon is willing to pay. Also without the American culture being forced down my throat.
Lol!
 

TelkomUseless

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
7,696
Quite honestly, I don’t get all the hate in this post. If you don’t like AWS then move on. Are we going to slate each and every company posting here?
It is a discussing board? But if you don't want replies, lock the thread. PM the Poster...
 

eye_suc

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
3,644
Quite honestly, I don’t get all the hate in this post. If you don’t like AWS then move on. Are we going to slate each and every company posting here?
This is mybb after all. Mutual respect and common decency are not welcome here.
 

Sodan

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
2,730
There is a lot of info online around the Amazon interview process & what it is trying to elicit from candidates. Each person interviewing you is interrogating one or more leadership principles and their questions are designed to explore the principles that the interviewer is interviewing for. cguy is correct in that memorization ability is not one of the attributes that interviewers are looking for.

You can get more info on the process and expectations on the amazon.jobs website

https://www.amazon.jobs/en/working/working-amazon
https://www.amazon.jobs/en/landing_pages/interviewing-at-amazon

https://www.amazon.jobs/en/landing_pages/in-person-interview
Regarding the Amazon Leadership Principles, I notice stuff like "Leaders... are right, a lot" is one of them, but "Leaders... have integrity" is not. Can we conclude that being right is more highly valued by Amazon than having integrity?
 

lunch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
442
I just want to write code, I don't care about leadership. Will I waste my time applying?
 
Top