Banana factory, military training camp? Why Silicon Valley coders are increasingly uncomfortable with Amazon

If you want to divide the technology companies in Silicon Valley according to their fame and size, Amazon, with a market capitalization of more than a trillion dollars and more than a million employees, is undoubtedly the small part of the top of the pyramid.

If you want to divide the Silicon Valley technology companies according to the fame and scale of the three, six, nine, etc., the market value of more than a trillion, more than a million employees Amazon is undoubtedly the tip of the pyramid of that small part.

But if you let a Silicon Valley programmer according to the willingness to join the technology companies to sort, then Amazon is definitely in FAANG five popular big factory in the bottom of that one, even from the point of view of cost, ranking may not be as good as IBM, Intel, Oracle, these old “retirement home”.

Nowadays, when you tell people you got an offer from Google, they may say “Wow, congratulations, it’s not easy, next time you get a good lesson!” But when you tell someone you got an offer from Amazon, they may not be surprised and ask, “Well… Do you want to wait for Facebook?”

In recent years, Amazon is known for its low entry barrier and many places, and coders with some experience have been surprised to get a ticket to it for a long time, and even see it as the bottom of the barrel. “It’s okay, go to Amazon for two years before jumping” has even become a kind of buzzword among coders to comfort each other.

For Silicon Valley working people, the company’s fame is not the only criterion for them to choose, but the salary and benefits, promotion channels, company culture and work-life balance are the important factors that affect their pace. And obviously, Amazon has not “won” the hearts of many workers over the years.

| The hourly wage is “touching” and the benefits are “bananas”

In fact, from the perspective of the base salary, Amazon in the Silicon Valley many technology companies is not low, and even should be in the first echelon. However, when you take into account the working hours, company benefits, then you actually get the hourly rate will drift down several levels.

In the 955 work system prevalent in Silicon Valley, Amazon should be the most supportive of the “996 is the blessing” of one of the companies, after working hours overtime is the norm, many employees late at night and holidays are on call, not in time to return e-mail phone will be immediately chased, and most of the night guard the computer on call is also a lot of Amazon programmers lingering “shadow”.

In the Silicon Valley, a number of technology giants, more famous overtime factory is Amazon and Facebook, but Facebook, although overtime, but also never stingy in sending money. And Amazon? Basically, it is taking the average wage to do twice the work of others.

Recently, some users refer to the domestic Internet circle to “Baidu” as a unit to compare the salary level of the major factories, to a “Amazon” (referred to as “hemp”) as a unit, the Silicon Valley major technology companies to compare the level of wages, work intensity.

From the current statistics of the company, in the work intensity beyond Amazon, only Facebook and Netflix two, respectively, 1.2 and 1.3 hemp, but their salary is given how much? 2 linen and 2.3 linen respectively. And like Google, the intensity of work only 0.6 mah, but wages reached 1.5 mah, you can say that Amazon’s coders this heart “mah not mah” it.

That pay is worse than others a cut, benefits to keep up with it, right? But sorry, the iron must be hard, the company does not have what can give you.

First of all, you do not have to expect that the gym, laundry room, game room like Google to employees equipped with these advanced benefits, even an ordinary canteen can be managed, is also not here. Whenever Linkedin and Google employees next door start to stumble over which cafeteria to eat which country’s cuisine at noon today, groups of Amazon employees have already put on their coats and went out to find food.

And in addition to lunch, the day break drinks, snacks are not all, throughout the company, there is and only one thing absolutely enough, that is, bananas. Bezos proposed an initiative called “Community Banana Shelf” in 2015, and started to set up banana shelves in Seattle to distribute bananas to people for free to encourage healthy eating. Since then, bananas have been “inexhaustible” at Amazon, with an unlimited supply for employees.

Nowadays, the break area of other technology companies are a variety of fruit drinks and snacks, and when the camera turns to Amazon, it becomes a cup of bitter coffee + a bunch of bananas, Amazon “banana factory” brand is also so slowly set up. Employees even joked that Amazon may feel that employees are small yellow people (Minions), willing to pay everything for bananas.

Banana factory, military training camp? Why Silicon Valley coders are increasingly uncomfortable with Amazon

| Recruiting people to better drive people?

And over the years, in addition to the impressive banana, there is a word closely linked to Amazon – PIP (Performance Improvement Plan), also known as the Performance Improvement Plan. However, instead of the improvement plan, it is better to say that it is the layoff through train, because once you are PIP, either means you have decided to be laid off, or you stand on the edge of being laid off.

And in order to make this drive-through more scientific, more humane, Amazon also gave it a set of perfect system design: the bottom of the work evaluation of people first into the list of devlist, then the small leaders will give you some tasks to do the final assessment, through the “out of prison”, through the either their own baggage to go away Otherwise, you will enter the PIP waiting for layoff instructions. Of course, if you are extremely dissatisfied with your evaluation of the small leader, you can also choose to appeal, in front of other executives and confront him face to face, but it is said that the success rate is extremely low.

For many engineers, PIP is a nightmare, it means you can not promote, raise, change the group in these months, the record will always exist in the company file, it is like you labeled a “bad student”, follow you everywhere.

The scary thing about Amazon is that the frequency and proportion of its PIP is particularly high, in the major technical forums, 10 PIP engineers may be 8 are Amazon, and the reasons for being PIP is also varied, some are considered to be technically incompetent, some are referred to the lack of communication skills, and some are not in tune with the manager.

A platform has done a simple statistics, Amazon’s staff PIP rate of about 10%, other technology companies just between 0.5% to 3%, and unlike Amazon PIP is about the same as layoffs, like Google, Apple, etc., even if you are PIP will only have a very small probability of being fired.

Banana factory, military training camp? Why Silicon Valley coders are increasingly uncomfortable with Amazon

In fact, from the scale and speed of recruitment, in many technology companies Amazon can be said to be the largest and fastest, during the epidemic, Amazon’s total number of employees also exceeded one million for the first time, becoming the second largest employer in the United States after Wal-Mart. But just recently, Amazon has been revealed that many of the employees they hired were actually just to meet the company’s annual mandated layoff goals.

According to Business Insider’s report last week, several project managers at Amazon disclosed to them that the company would issue layoff targets to the department every year, and in order to complete the hard targets managers had to go and recruit some people quickly, although at the beginning they knew that the recruited people would soon be laid off.

And although Amazon’s official explanation does not exist “hire to fire” this statement, but also admitted the existence of the last elimination system. According to internal documents, including the new CEO Andy Jassy, including the senior management are very concerned about the mobility of employees, Andy Jassy before AWS also clearly put forward to maintain the annual turnover rate of 6%, if the task is not completed, the next year also have to make up the difference.

Banana factory, military training camp? Why Silicon Valley coders are increasingly uncomfortable with Amazon

And such a cruel elimination system has undoubtedly caused great psychological pressure to the employees. Previously, there was a Chinese employee who was put into PIP by his manager just three months after he joined the company, and he chose to commit suicide by jumping off the building after repeatedly complaining. In the U.S. anonymous workplace communication forum Blind has also been PIP employees said that they were too much pressure and admitted to a mental health resort, and threatened to revenge on their own team and Amazon’s HR.

Aron, who previously worked at Amazon, told Silicon Star that he had been PIP’d, and that the nightmare time was unbearable, with his manager praising him to his face and then giving him an NI (Needs Improvement) in his evaluation, and listing his deficiencies in emails and meetings, such as not being proactive enough, not being curious enough, and so on, leaving him in deep self-doubt. And he told Silicon Star People that examples like him are not a minority at Amazon either.

“It’s luck to follow a good Manager, but not everyone has that kind of luck.” Aron finally left Amazon for Lyft by brushing up like crazy during PIP, and he said the moment of leaving was like a relief, even the air smelled sweet.

|Employee’s nightmare: 14 “military rules”

In fact, whether it is the “cold” overtime system, the company’s welfare on the principle of frugality, or in the PIP system to emphasize the competition, effort, behind the 14 leadership principles (14 Leadership principles) practiced by Amazon have a great connection.

Each of the “14 leadership principles” was written by founder Bezos himself and is considered the cornerstone of Amazon’s business empire, running through all aspects of Amazon’s operations and management. And in the Silicon Valley job search circle, 14 leadership guidelines can also be said to be no one knows no one, the reason is simple – the interview must be tested.

Banana factory, military training camp? Why Silicon Valley coders are increasingly uncomfortable with Amazon

In Silicon Valley, where the culture of questions is prevalent, interviews at technology companies are generally a sea of questions, and whoever can get past the five levels and do the questions right will be able to win the top spot and get on. But Amazon is different, in its interviews in addition to doing questions will generally be added to a major event – Behavior Question (BQ for short).

The so-called BQ, is the interviewer will be for your past experience, let you tell a story about yourself, or deal with a certain type of problem ideas to reflect your certain qualities. For example, they will ask you to tell how you successfully persuaded others to accept your idea in a project, or ask what significance your project had for the company, etc., and use your answers to determine whether you have met the 14 leadership qualities.

According to the feedback from several partners who have interviewed with Amazon, the on-site interview at Amazon is generally 4 rounds, and each round is basically a third of the time about BQ questions. Several interviewers take turns to bombard you with questions about your ideas and motivations, often to the point that those who are not good at speaking coders want to “die” in place.

And when you easily through the interview to enter the company, think you can not hear outside the window, from then on to code at ease? Wrong. These 14 “military rules” will be you can not escape the spell, from now on in your work like a shadow.

Every new employee entering Amazon, will be in the induction training to learn leadership guidelines, and will be assessed after the training test. In the future, the leadership of your work will be based on the 14 guidelines, even if you write good code, but also because of the lack of leadership performance may be put into the PIP candidate list.

And these 14 guidelines are integrated into the company’s daily operations management. For example, a linen work partner said that whenever he wants to subscribe to buy a product or use new office supplies, he will immediately receive an email that says “Frugality (Frugality) is one of Amazon’s guidelines, please think carefully before placing an order whether you really need it? If you really need it, remember to cancel your subscription or return it to the company when you’re done with it!”

Banana factory, military training camp? Why Silicon Valley coders are increasingly uncomfortable with Amazon

But finally, Silicon Star people also want to say that Amazon can grow into a great enterprise today may also be this “wolf” culture is inseparable, it is slightly cruel at the same time, but also did cultivate a group of comprehensive development of excellent technical talent, and for many practitioners, Amazon is still a strong attraction today. technology giant.

So, what do you think of Amazon’s workplace culture of survival of the fittest? Welcome to leave a comment if you want to spit, or want to do justice to it, and tell us the most real Amazon ~ in your eyes!

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/banana-factory-military-training-camp-why-silicon-valley-coders-are-increasingly-uncomfortable-with-amazon/
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