An internal memo indicating that Amazon began limiting new SDE-1s positions — the lowest level of software development engineer position — to “campus” hirings. This refers to students in a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD program, as well as recent graduates. According to the memo, those with years of experience in executive or part-time programs can also apply.
This change will affect those who have been away from school for longer than 12 months or candidates for higher-ranking SDE-2 positions, but they won’t be considered for the former.
Amazon stated in an internal memo that it is changing because of its “pipeline” candidates through student programs. However, neither the memo nor Amazon’s spokesperson explained why campus hires are better for entry-level jobs than industry candidates.
The note stated that the change is global and Amazon-wide. The decision was made by Amazon’s Steam which is a group that includes more than two dozen senior executives and top HR leaders. Exceptions will only be allowed with the approval of a VP or higher.
Amazon could also be targeting younger engineers to make them more affordable. Experienced engineers are known for earning higher salaries.
The memo stated that “For the foreseeable futur, we will prioritize ready-to-place candidate through Student Programs.”
In recent years, students programs have been a key source of talent for the company. Some engineers believe that Amazon has dropped the hiring standards for recent hires. The company had dropped itsrespected “barraiser” interview process last year for some entry-level posts.
August Aldebot Green, an Amazon spokesperson told that “any implication that we have reduced our hiring standards is incorrect.” We have over 1,000,000 employees. While we value all opinions, it doesn’t mean that every opinion is valid.
This change is coming at a time when Amazon is undergoing major restructuring. Amazon announced 18,000 job losses in January. This is the largest company restructuring announcement. In order to reduce costs, it shut down many projects and teams in the past year.
Andy Jassy, Amazon’s CEO, has made it a priority to overhaul the engineering culture. Jassy informed employees at an internal meeting in 2021 that he was aware that there were developer complaints and that the engineering culture must be “meaningfully improved than it is currently,”. To address these concerns, it also established a new team named “Amazon Software Builder Experience” .
Some employees still feel that Amazon is losing its intensity, has a slower, more bureaucratic culture seeping in.