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Amazon Culture

by @ 9:39 am
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The tech geeks have been abuzz over a critical article written by a Google developer and leaked on Google+ by mistake. In that article, the author criticizes Google for its lack of a coherent platform and its SOA shortcomings as compared to companies such as facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon.

The author has since recanted his claims, calling them an opinionated rant. Surely a desire to remain employed by Google must have been a strong incentive. Never mind the Google critique, what really interested me was his depiction of Amazon. As an ex-employee of Amazon, he would have been in a position to know.

This is one of the passages describing Amazon:

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 shit 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.

A comment post from an Amazon ex-employee reads:

Amazon was a purely political environment where, if you weren't watching your back you'd get stabbed and become a rung in someone else's ladder. In our group, the manager had zero engineering experience (literally had gone to college to be a prison guard, somehow ended up "managing" programmers, though barely computer literate.

 

One might suspect the author has an unjustified grudge against Amazon, but I don't see why the author would trash Amazon when the goal of the article was to pick on Google. Software people generally tell it like it is, so perhaps he just happened to be in bad teams over at Amazon. I give it that at best.

My opinion of Amazon was already low, brought down by their arrogant and unethical behavior, but reading this article gave me more validation for my dislike of this company. I have continued to bypass Amazon and shop elsewhere since my initial disturbing experience with them. It's been most satisfying to deprive Amazon of even a cent of my money.

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