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December 2016

Using Amazon’s career site (blog series): when you know what you’re looking for

Career site search

Note: this blog post is for the active job-seekers out there. Casual readers may be bored by the detail. What can I say? I am honest.

Not long ago, I shared a post about Amazon’s career site and some thoughts on career sites in general. I promised more words on how to use Amazon’s site for different job search scenarios related to how much the job-seekers knows about Amazon’s many organizations and job roles. 

In this post, I’ll talk a bit about the user experience when that person knows the group and role that interests them. I hope to make this process of navigating our site as simple and fruitful as possible for those of you who are interested in joining us. So my insight on how the site actually works might help you save some time.

As I am sure you know, Amazon is a big company, and we do a lot of hiring. So there are high volumes of teams and jobs represented on our site. There are three things you can use to cut through this massive amount of information: navigation, search and filters. Unless you want to spend time scrolling through thousands of job postings looking for the right one. I’ll use an example to illustrate the approach I recommend when you know the team you want to work in and the type of role on that team that would best match your skills.

Here’s the example: I recently posted about Prime Air. And I suspect that the idea of drones delivering packages to customers is pretty exciting, especially for folks working in tech. So for our example, let’s say a software developer is interested in working in Prime Air.

Continue reading "Using Amazon’s career site (blog series): when you know what you’re looking for" »

Prime Air's first delivery

We recently released video of Prime Air's very first, fully autonomous customer delivery. On December 7th, a nice man in England placed an order which was delivered to a little landing spot in his yard. The amount of time from click to receipt of order? Thirteen minutes. Though keep in mind, as the video explains, that we are testing with relatively nearby (and smaller) fulfillment facilities.

You may have noticed that the drone design has changed. And since the purpose of a private beta is to test, learn and innovate (or re-innovate), there may be more changes to come. I wish I had some inside knowledge to share but as I have mentioned before, we have so many teams launching new, innovative projects that even those of us working here often see all of these cool innovations roll out at the same time you do.

To learn a little more about Prime Air, you can view our informational webpage here

Some of you might also wonder what kinds of skills it takes to work in Prime Air. Current openings include research scientists, software developers and  variety of other kinds of engineer roles. You can check out their current openings on this page.

Oh, and a little trivia for you: the first delivery was a Fire TV and a bag of popcorn. Sounds like someone planning for a fun night in.


Amazon Prime Air_Private Trial_Ground-HIGH RES

Seattle for newcomers (and people who want to be)

Seattle peopleAsk someone on the street here in Seattle where they are from and chances are they will name someplace other than Seattle. According to new US Census data, on 40% of King County residents were born in Washington State. As someone who has a hard time answering the question “where are you from?” I’ve never been able to come up with a simple answer. I’ve been in Seattle for 17 years now, so even though I would never refer to myself as a native Seattleite or Washingtonian, this is certainly home to me.

Working in the tech industry, my friends are a mix of Washington-born-and-bred and fellow-transplants. The tech industry here attracts a lot of new talent from outside the Puget Sound area (Puget Sound = the body of water Seattle sits on; no, we are not a coastal city). Many of the people, like myself, who have relocated here for work, have fallen in love with Seattle. Like any other city, we have our growing pains. But to me (and others), they are far outweighed by natural beauty, clean air, mild climate, proximity to things you want to do, interesting culture and professional opportunity.

The Seattle Times covers changes in the makeup of Seattle’s population, and they ran some stories this past week aimed at helping transplants acclimate. These stories and resources are also good for people thinking about joining us here.

This quiz will help you find the just-right Seattle neighborhood for your lifestyle. I took the quiz and my old South Lake Union neighborhood was one of my recommendations. The Times has assembled some neighborhood profiles here as well.

If you are planning a visit to check out our fine city, here are the top attractions. In my opinion, Pike Place Market is the must-do. It’s the “tourist attraction” that locals still love. I love everything about it, especially on a chilly, rainy day.

Just for fun, here’s an architecture quiz. Those of us who now call Seattle home can test whether we are worthy. I got seven out of 12. Someone needs to brush up on their local architecture.  Fun fact: one of the buildings featured used to be home to Amazon.

Seattle is known for its great restaurants. But that doesn’t just mean the cloth napkin kind. Here is a guide to cheap eats in Seattle including a map. Seattle is the city that introduced me to pho and I am eternally grateful.

When I got here, I couldn’t have told you the difference between Snoqualmie and Snohomish. Now, I think I do better than average when it comes to local pronunciation. Here’s a quiz where you can test your pronunciation of local towns and attractions. And you can compare your success with that of the folks here. It may make you feel better about your first time trying to pronounce Puyallup. PEW-al-uhp.

Here’s the rest of the Newcomer’s Guide. Let me know if you have any questions, like whether everyone in Seattle really drives a Subaru (nope, just 10% of residents) or whether there is actually good pizza here (you’ll love it, once you calibrate your expectations, especially you Chicagoans).

For more info on moving to Seattle:

The things I wished someone had told me about moving to Seattle

Seattle relocation information

It might feel a little strange just grabbing your merchandise and walking out of the store

Innovation results in people learning to change old habits. I still walk into the smart elevators at Amazon and look for a button to push. There’s no button. I still reach down to pull my keys out of my ignition switch before I get out of my car. There is no ignition switch. But I HAVE gotten the hang of using my voice (and Alexa) to reorder dog food and turn on my lights.

Someday soon, I expect to feel what I assume is the adrenaline rush of walking out of a store without paying for my merchandise. Because I have to imagine that at first, shopping with Amazon Go is going to feel like shoplifting, even though your Amazon account is automatically charged for your items. Amazon Go was announced yesterday and you can learn more about the customer experience here.


New projects like this are constantly under development at Amazon. And unless you are on the team creating them, you are just as surprised as everyone else when they launch. Amazon Go is in a private beta right now. But I suspect that someday soon, depending on where you live, you may have the opportunity to experience another new way of shopping. Without lines.