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I'm looking for software engineers to hire at Amazon

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  MBinde.com
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C++ and Web Developers needed at Amazon.com

Posted 5/2003

I'm a manager at Amazon.com -- you can look at my resume to see more details about what my team has been doing and browse around this site to see if I'm interesting enough to work for. I and the other managers in my area are looking for several intermediate and senior software engineers, as well as web developers (HTML::Mason and CGI) with strong design and usability skills.

If the description below sounds interesting, please send your plain-text resume to me (I can't easily read word, pdf, etc.): . Please first make sure that you've read the qualifications below, however, as the requirements really are requirements.
We're a good-sized (about 20 engineers) close-knit software development team working in the CTO's organization at Amazon.com. Our mission is simple: make Amazon, particularly IT, happy. (Okay, the real mission is to enable high-quality, rapid software that.... but really, it's to make Amazon happy.

We do this by working on innovative software that makes our product lifecycle, from idea birth to code death and across all domains (hardware, software, network, database, configuration data, etc.), robust and fun. When someone says to us "I want our software developers to be able to push out new code directly to the website!" we don't automatically say no, we say "Huh; I wonder what sort of tools and process we would need to be able to make that a reality?"

Our team doesn't exist at most companies: most places, they don't have their entire business involved with running their own software, or they hack together a bunch of perl scripts to handle it, or they pay millions and millions of dollars to get a cookie-cutter solution that never solves their real problems. Amazon's body is its software, and its lifeblood is the operation of that software: we need top-notch product management, not just a good source code control system and some makefiles.

We're are smart developers who get their jollies from making life smoother for other people. Our customers are right next to us: they're demanding, but you get to see your work used quickly, and used every single day. Our projects often include savings of multiple millions of dollars, and our team and related teams have increased in size for the past several years.

Our team is very friendly -- please leave your ego at the door or you'll spoil it for everyone. Assignments rotate through the team, and people work both in areas where they are experts and areas where they are new. We have no "architects" versus "implementors", everyone does everything from requirements and design through rollout. Senior engineers are responsible for leading the larger projects, and more junior engineers lead smaller projects or pieces within the large projects. Writing documentation is required, but think how nice it is when everyone else is writing documentation for you too.

Everyone is expected to come to the office and be creative: we drive many of our own projects, and work with all of IT, so walking around and saying "What if..." isn't just encouraged, it's required. Amazon grew up fast, and we have a lot of opportunities for innovative work that makes a real, tangible difference in how we do business. Our role is often one of suggesting projects to our customers, and I'm an old hand at persuading our technical leadership that we need to get particular work done.

And, when it's all done, I expect members of my team to transfer into other teams at Amazon and spread the joy. Everyone who works in our area learns what "IT operations" really is, and how important it is that software be written with its run-time environment in mind -- yes, Virginia, it does matter where you put your log files.

We absolutely require these skills to have been used in an industry setting:

"It'd be cool, but not at all necessary, if you had...":
  • UI experience
  • Any "infrastructure" experience (network engineer, systems engineer, database, etc.)
  • Product or program management experience
  • Data modelling
  • Any unusual background in IT that would lend itself to new perspectives on product management problems
  • Your personal brewery you could bring to Seattle with you (we love homebrew and microbrews)

  Melissa D. Binde [ ]