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Old 01-29-2013, 07:04 AM
 
46 posts, read 159,681 times
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Anyone who work at Amazon at Herndon location on CD?

I am looking for a new job and want to understand if there is a difference between Herndon center and HQ in Seattle.

How is the work culture in Amazon at Herndon,VA location? I see that AWS development happens here (atleast some portion of it).

I am wondering how is the culture around this center, pay/benefits when compared to Seattle HQ?


Anyone?

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:38 AM
 
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Can't help with the specific details, but I'd think that Amazon would've staffed the Herndon location at the start with Seattle folks on temporary assignment, no? You should also post your question over on the Seattle board cuz I'd think any Amazon workers who look at that would have useful comparisons.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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Few comments I've read regarding Amazon's corporate culture as a whole (nothing specific to Hernon or Seattle):
Quote:
"Amazon's recruiting process is fundamentally flawed by having teams hire for themselves, so their hiring bar is incredibly inconsistent across teams, despite various efforts they've made to level it out. And their operations are a mess; they don't really have SREs and they make engineers pretty much do everything, which leaves almost no time for coding - though again this varies by group, so it's luck of the draw. They don't give a single **** about charity or helping the needy or community contributions or anything like that. Never comes up there, except maybe to laugh about it. Their facilities are dirt-smeared cube farms without a dime spent on decor or common meeting areas. Their pay and benefits suck, although much less so lately due to local competition from Google and Facebook. But they don't have any of our perks or extras -- they just try to match the offer-letter numbers, and that's the end of it. Their code base is a disaster, with no engineering standards whatsoever except what individual teams choose to put in place."

...

"Jeff Bezos is an infamous micro-manager. He micro-manages every single pixel of Amazon's retail site. He hired Larry Tesler, Apple's Chief Scientist and probably the very most famous and respected human-computer interaction expert in the entire world, and then ignored every goddamn thing Larry said for three years until Larry finally -- wisely -- left the company. Larry would do these big usability studies and demonstrate beyond any shred of doubt that nobody can understand that frigging website, but Bezos just couldn't let go of those pixels, all those millions of semantics-packed pixels on the landing page. They were like millions of his own precious children. So they're all still there, and Larry is not."


https://plus.google.com/112678702228...ts/eVeouesvaVX
Quote:
Someone on another forum who did work for Amazon somewhere said this:

"Amazon was the most interesting company I ever worked for. It's not run like a corporation, it's run like a series of startups that have a centralized administration center. They operate on a lot of tribal knowledge rather than documentation but somehow don't seem to suffer from it like a lot of large companies that ignore documentation and process."


And as a side note, life as a grunt in an Amazon warehouse: I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave | Mother Jones

(another good read about bi-furcated jobs market: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/bu...anted=all&_r=0), as well as skills mismatch (CNC machinery and lack of math skills): For Manufacturing Jobs, Workers Brush Up On Math : NPR & http://www.npr.org/2012/07/26/157033...t-road-to-work)







I think Dell has operations in NoVA too. Morningstar stock analysis says they are slowly transforming from a PC maker to solutions services type company (trying to become the IBM for small to medium size businesses, especially in emerging markets), so might be worth digging around their website to see if appropriate job openings are available in this area or elsewhere in country.

Salesforce.com is also rapidly growing cloud computing company I've seen mentioned on business tv (Your #dreamjob is at salesforce.com - Find your next career #dreamjob - Salesforce.com, and their website indicates they have operations in Reston, too.

Survey of Top Business and Engineering Companies to Work For: http://www.universumglobal.com/store...ef590321a5.pdf

And FWIW, you can get some employee comments about various companies here: Companies & Reviews | Glassdoor



Good Luck!

Last edited by mshan242709; 01-29-2013 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:47 PM
 
46 posts, read 159,681 times
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Thanks for the comments.

I have checked Glassdoor, though not many for Herndon location.

I wasn't sure if Amazon does any significant technology work at Herndon location but good pointers to research further.

Thank you
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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Doesn't look like Google has many job openings in NoVA, but they do appear to centralize their job openings, all across U. S. and around the world, here: Google Jobs


Research Triangle in North Carolina might be worth researching if that area is acceptable to you. I forgot what the actual position being talked about in thread at another forum, but someone mentioned some rather front line help types there making 130,000 (presumably they have been with company many years). But if there is a relative scarcity of engineers vs. openings there, wage inflation might be greater than it is here (which I believe is perceived to be a mecca for just graduated from college types, so supply > demand may keep wages down here (?)

Last edited by mshan242709; 01-29-2013 at 02:36 PM..
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:18 PM
 
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I interviewed for Amazon in Seattle for a position in Herndon to work on AWS. The salary offer was really bad. I was working for a consulting company with a clearance, so my salary demands were higher than what they can offer. Amazon is a ZERO margin company, so you have to expect the other tech companies in NOVA will pay you much more.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:53 AM
 
46 posts, read 159,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epe105 View Post
I interviewed for Amazon in Seattle for a position in Herndon to work on AWS. The salary offer was really bad. I was working for a consulting company with a clearance, so my salary demands were higher than what they can offer. Amazon is a ZERO margin company, so you have to expect the other tech companies in NOVA will pay you much more.
Ok..If you have clearance your billing rate would be higher than majority of the people with the same skill set..Just the "Clearance" part makes a big difference.

Now, I did hear about Amazon salaries not so great but I thought they would give you stocks when you join (over a 4 year vesting period) and then stocks every year as a performance bonus. I think, for tech companies like amazon base pay is just one piece of it.

I am sure you compared, annualized {bonus + stocks + 401k + retirement} with the money you make with contracting, was it lower even then?

Thanks for pitching in.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:28 AM
 
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I don't like vesting periods. I had that at my old company and we called them Golden Handcuffs.
Do you really want to wait 4 years to get the full benefit? It's just a way to keep you there year after year with bad pay.

Like I said, Amazon has Zero Margins. So things like that allow them to keep people without paying them a high salary.

At my new company, I get quarterly bonuses, weekly overtime pay, stocks, 401k, plus the high base pay I was looking for.

Amazon 's offer didn't even compare. But you don't have to take my word on it. I would just get an offer and decide yourself. Maybe you would get offered a lot more than I did.



Quote:
Originally Posted by EastIndian View Post
Ok..If you have clearance your billing rate would be higher than majority of the people with the same skill set..Just the "Clearance" part makes a big difference.

Now, I did hear about Amazon salaries not so great but I thought they would give you stocks when you join (over a 4 year vesting period) and then stocks every year as a performance bonus. I think, for tech companies like amazon base pay is just one piece of it.

I am sure you compared, annualized {bonus + stocks + 401k + retirement} with the money you make with contracting, was it lower even then?

Thanks for pitching in.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:58 PM
 
46 posts, read 159,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epe105 View Post
I don't like vesting periods. I had that at my old company and we called them Golden Handcuffs.
Do you really want to wait 4 years to get the full benefit? It's just a way to keep you there year after year with bad pay.

Like I said, Amazon has Zero Margins. So things like that allow them to keep people without paying them a high salary.

At my new company, I get quarterly bonuses, weekly overtime pay, stocks, 401k, plus the high base pay I was looking for.

Amazon 's offer didn't even compare. But you don't have to take my word on it. I would just get an offer and decide yourself. Maybe you would get offered a lot more than I did.
Good to know that you ended up getting the desired pay.

Apart from low pay, I read Glassdoor reviews about Amazon being a sweatshop. Anyways, I will keep my options open.

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Old 01-31-2013, 03:39 PM
 
62 posts, read 108,471 times
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"Amazon was the most interesting company I ever worked for. It's not run like a corporation, it's run like a series of startups that have a centralized administration center. They operate on a lot of tribal knowledge rather than documentation but somehow don't seem to suffer from it like a lot of large companies that ignore documentation and process.""

That sounds like a dream setup for a technical person, no middle management. Too bad the pay is so low.
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