The AB Blog

The A, B, (and C) of Amazon's Culture

I'm 32 and want to Start Programming. Can I ever Become good Enough to join Google, Microsoft, Amazon?

Someone recently asked me, on Quora: "I'm 32 and want to Start Programming. Can I ever Become good Enough to join Google, Microsoft, Amazon?" I thought it would be good to repost my response here, too. Yes. You can. Google, Microsoft, or Amazon can certainly employ you as a Software...

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The Amazon Bar Raiser

The Amazon Bar Raiser is an Amazon cultural institution. She serves as the keeper of the Amazon cultural flame. She is an esteemed Amazonian (often an Amazon veteran,) whose goal is to ensure that the company keeps the hiring bar high with every consecutive hire they make. The Bar Raiser works on...

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Under a lamp post, at 7pm, on my First day at Amazon

My first day at Amazon: a gloomy Seattle morning on January 7, 2013. I walked into Amazon's Arizona building on 207 Boren Ave N to attend New Employee Orientation. I had no idea, at the time, that I was already late on a couple of deliverables that my future team had in store for me. The New...

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How an Amazonian will Answer the Question: “Why is the sky blue?”

Why is the sky blue? An Amazonian will answer this question with a granular, data-rich response. At Amazon, data provides the answer to all questions. At Amazon, data wins all wars. Data matters more to win an argument than assumptions, or proxies, or the title of who's making the argument....

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How is Amazon leading the tech giants? How do they differ from Google or Microsoft?

How does Amazon lead the tech giants? And how does it differ from Google or Microsoft? The biggest difference is that Amazon is a customer-first company, while Google and Microsoft are technology-first companies. The biggest difference is that Amazon is a customer-first company, while Google and...

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Amazon's Hiring Bar

Amazon's Hiring Bar has two separate requirements; any job applicant who wants to work for Amazon must meet both of them. If the candidate fails either requirement, the result will be a "no-hire" decision. What is Required to Raise Amazon's Hiring Bar? The first requirement is whether the...

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Words Matter: Amazon's Addiction to Clarity and Disdain for PowerPoint

Words matter at Amazon. They are the sentinels who ensure that a culture with a relentless push for clarity, indeed remains clear and specific. When you want to convince anyone of anything, at Amazon, you write a narrative (an up-to-six-pages-long essay.) In meetings, people spend the first...

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Social Cohesion vs Truth-Seeking

Amazon hates social cohesion and loves truth-seeking. Social cohesion means accepting an argument or a viewpoint that you disagree with, for the sake of avoiding conflict. Truth-seeking means the opposite: pressing on with an issue until the truth (to the best extent possible) becomes...

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At Amazon, Output Matters more than Input

At Amazon, output matters more than input. Amazon refers to 'output' as the results you achieve, while 'input' means how hard you work to achieve these results. To put it bluntly, nobody at Amazon cares about your input. Nobody cares about how hard you work, or how late you stay, or how many...

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