Jesse B. Hannah (she/her)Jesse B. Hannah(she/her)

Dear Amazon Engineering Recruiters

2 minute read

tl;dr: No.

Look, I hate that I’ve gotten so many emails from Amazon engineering recruiters that I even feel like this needs to be said, but I don’t want to spend so much as half a brain processing cycle on this again, and am tired of copy-and-pasting the same response over and over, so I’ll make it quick.

There are two reasons why my answer is no. The first is that I am very happy with where I am now, and I have neither any intention to nor interest in any changes any time even remotely soon. I’ve found a role as a senior SRE that has been immensely fulfilling1, and at a company and with people that put their money where their mouth is when it comes to being inclusive, fair, ethical, and equitable, and there is no other place I would rather be for the forseeable future.

The second is that I will never have any interest in working for Amazon, as a result of their unethical treatment of their supply chain workforce and refusing to take necessary measures to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19 at their warehouses, and their retaliatory firing of employees2 that attempted to organize and advocate on behalf of improving their own coworkers’ working conditions. The National Labor Relations Board substantiated that at least two of these firings were retaliatory and illegal and filed a case on those workers’ behalf, and Amazon was forced to agree to a humiliating out-of-court settlement — requiring them to pay back wages and “post a notice to all of its tech and warehouse workers nationwide that Amazon can’t fire workers for organizing and exercising their rights” — rather than face public excoriation in the hearings process.

Tim Bray resigned in protest as VP at AWS over the firings, and has openly celebrated the settlement and called for further judgements against Amazon for the other employees whose firings are suspected of being related to their involvement in employee activism. Consider every single word of his statements and reasoning for leaving as my own for refusing to even consider working for them:

Firing whistleblowers isn’t just a side-effect of macroeconomic forces, nor is it intrinsic to the function of free markets. It’s evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture. I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison.

If you’re an Amazon recruiter that comes across my website, or my profiles on GitHub or LinkedIn, I hope you find this post and save yourself the time and energy.

  1. It turns out that spending so much time on the infrastructure for my own projects, that I hardly ever wrote any actual code for my own projects, has its benefits after all.
  2. Incidentally, everyone fired was a woman and/or a person of color.