Orchard Lab

A place to share my thoughts and learnings

Journey at Amazon

Posted at — Dec 1, 2022

I’ve never imagined that I could stay at one company for almost 8 years, let alone Amazon.

But here I am, last week I finished my longest career tenure at Amazon. It was a grateful, intensive yet fulfilling journey.

Over the years, I’ve realized that how much time you spent on one place is not about that company, but more about people around you. I felt so lucky to have a great(best) manager, a stable and caring team and lots of super smart and talented people there. We tackle one problem after another, creating new initiatives, cancel projects, start new ones. All those ups and downs with the team are just a valuable experience for me. Those people constructed my whole working and growth experiences, those experiences and opportunities shaped who I am. It gave me new perspectives on seeing the path ahead of me.

I am so grateful for working with my hiring manager (Krishna G) for about 6 years. While I was still hesitating joining the team back in 2014, he said to me over the phone: “You will not be bored here.”. Ok ok, I cheated a bit, he also said to me “You will not be doing on-call”. But anyway, it turns out both of what he said to me were true, I got the opportunity to do dedicated front-end work and improve a lot of our customer and developer experiences, and I had a intensive and yet very enjoyable fulfilling experiences solving all kinds of problems. He’s always trying to motivate me to find the next thing to create/improve to make our customers happier while leveraging my own interests, most importantly, giving me the freedom to do so. I once shared in my yearly review that “Krishna is like my charger, who can always find ways to boost my energy level to 100%."

I always tell me friends that don’t expect learning secret technologies at Amazon (I am sure there are of course), cause that’s not the point. The secret of Amazon is all about learning and exercising the LPs (Leadership Principles). I am grateful that I got the chance to really understand and breathe the meaning of them in the day-to-day work. All the technical choices, product initiatives, ideas, innovations start with LPs. By arming with those north-star values plus the relentless emphasis on writing (which is really just critical-thinking), making Amazon a unique place to be.

Like all other journeys, you will encounter a forking point someday. It’s not about how anything wrong with the current trail, but the fork leading to the new path just seems so much more attractive and aligning with my believes and core values better. Which I will share more in the next post.