Amazon Software Development Engineer Roles And Responsibilities
Amazon looks for software engineers who believe in the power of innovation. If you like to solve highly complex problems and dream of impacting lives on a global scale with your work, Amazon is the perfect workplace for you.
Amazon fosters a work culture of learning and curiosity and wants to hire people who want to make the world a better place.
As an SDE at Amazon, you will be required to:
- Build innovative, high-volume, and mission-critical software solutions.
- Shape the vision, definition, roadmap, design, and development of product features.
- Innovate new technologies to deliver game-changing products and services.
- Design and implement critical features in front-end, back-end, or full-stack systems.
- Understand the requirements of customers and bring a consensus between multiple teams.
- Learn new technologies and train new teammates.
Note: There are 4 levels of Software Development Engineers at Amazon: L4 , L5 , L6 , and L7 .
Know The Leadership Principles
Technical skills constitute 100% of a hiring decision. The other 100% is guidedby the leadership principles. The ratio might be be accurate , but what I want to highlight thereis that most books and advices do not dive deep on this topic while this is very important. Knowingthe leadership principles shows your culture fit and your understanding of the company principles. If you do not know them:
Learn and show you understand them. Connect your own experience with these principles.Explain how you apply customer obsession, frugality, bias for action or learn and be curious in youractual job. Doing this will prepare you for your interview.
This is an important part of an interview because these principlesdrive our work every day in the company. Showing that youunderstand and follow these principles is key.
Also, do not make up stories, be sincere, real. If you do not know something, say itand ask for more clarifications or to have another question to evaluate you. This is very easy for an interviewerto see when somebody is making up a story.
Recruiters Offer Their Best Tips For Interviewing At Amazon
- Prepare for behavioral-based interview questions
- Format responses using the STAR method
- Provide details
- Focus on “I” not “we”
- Don’t shy away from failures
- Know why you want to work at Amazon
- Ask for clarification when you need it
- Brush up on your writing skills
- Prepare for a phone screen and multiple interviews
- Study the Leadership Principles
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Easy Stacks And Queues Interview Questions
You might be tempted to try to read all of the possible questions and memorize the solutions, but this is not feasible. Interviewers will always try to find new questions, or ones that are not available online. Instead, you should use these questions to practice the fundamental concepts of stacks and queues.
As you consider each question, try to replicate the conditions youll encounter in your interview. Begin by writing your own solution without external resources in a fixed amount of time.
If you get stuck, go ahead and look at the solutions, but then try the next one alone again. Dont get stuck in a loop of reading as many solutions as possible! Weve analysed dozens of questions and selected ones that are commonly asked and have clear and high quality answers.
Here are some of the easiest questions you might get asked in a coding interview. These questions are often asked during the “phone screen” stage, so you should be comfortable answering them without being able to write code or use a whiteboard.
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What Happens Behind The Scenes
Your recruiter is leading the process and taking you from one stage to the next. Heres what happens at each of the stages described above:
- After the phone screens, your recruiter decides to move you to the onsite or not, depending on how well youve done up to that point
- After the onsite, each interviewer files their notes into the internal system, grades you and makes a hiring recommendation
- The Debrief brings all your interviewers together and is led by the Bar Raiser, who is usually the most experienced interviewer and is also not part of the hiring team. The Bar Raiser will try to guide the group towards a hiring decision. Its rare, but they can also veto hiring even if all other interviewers want to hire you.
- You get an offer. If everything goes well, the recruiter will then give you an offer, usually within a week of the onsite but it can sometimes take longer
Its also important to note that recruiters and people who refer you have little influence on the overall process. They can help you get an interview at the beginning, but thats about it.
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Graphs/trees Related Interview Questions Asked At Amazon
About 39% of all Amazon Senior SDE interview questions or SE interview questions are based on concepts related to graphs and binary trees that involve sub-concepts like nodes. Some of the most frequent questions asked by Amazon related to this subject are:
Check out the Problems page for more coding questions with solutions.
Clone A Directed Graph
Given the root node of a directed graph, clone this graph by creating its deep copy so that the cloned graph has the same vertices and edges as the original graph.
Lets look at the below graphs as an example. If the input graph is G
We use depth-first traversal and create a copy of each node while traversing the graph. To avoid getting stuck in cycles, well use a hashtable to store each completed node and will not revisit nodes that exist in the hashtable. The hashtable key will be a node in the original graph, and its value will be the corresponding node in the cloned graph.
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Linked List Coding Problems
A linked list is a linear collection of data elements whose order is not given by their physical placement in memory. Instead, each element points to the next. Wikipedia
The questions pertaining to linked lists revolved around iterating, reversing, sorting, and manipulating different linked lists.
Some examples of linked list questions asked were:
- How would you find the middle element of a linked list?
- Reverse a linked list, both recursively and iteratively.
- Implement deep copy on a linked list where nodes also have a pointer to a random other node.
- Find the Kth element from last in the linked list.
For similar linked lists interview questions, check out the sources below:
Weeks 9 & 10 System Design Interviews
System design interviews are now an integral part of the software engineering interview process particularly if you are applying for a senior role. These interviews have a significant impact on your hiring level.
Learn distributed systems concepts like Cap Theorem, Consistency, Partitioning, Load-Balancing etc.
Look at the course Grokking the System Design Interview for more design interview practice.
As part of your System Design Interviews, you are asked to design a web-scale service. Interviewers are interested in evaluating your ability to describe the different parts of a scale-able service, such as:
- How are web-servers load-balanced?
- How are large files stored?
- How is the network set up for redundancy and maximum throughput?
Youll want to practice questions like:
- Design Instagram
Check out my article the Top 10 System Design Interview Questions for Software Engineers for more example questions, tips, and resources for the System Design Interview.
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Timeline And Difficulty Level Of Amazon Software Engineer Interview
To ace the Amazon Senior SDE interview questions or the ones for software engineers, you need to know the exact process and timeline for applying successfully and getting selected. This process has been outlined below:
If all of this sounds daunting, be better prepared by learning more about the Amazon Senior SDE interview questions by reading our article
Can You Tell Me About Atime When You Were More Than Halfway Through A Project And Had To Pivot Quicklydue To An Unexpected Change How Did You Handle It
This is a question that could be applicable to nearly any role, though it may be more common in technical positions. Its focus is on ascertaining your level of agility and ability to make course corrections under pressure when priorities change.
While developing a new system for an employer, a requirement came in late. Since the project was rapidly nearing completion, integrating the feature became a challenge. The point in development where it would have been addressed typically had already passed. To address the new requirement, I first took a step back and reexamined all of the existing work. The goal was to minimize disruption to segments that were complete, and a bit of planning ensured I didnt use a less-than-ideal approach simply because I was under pressure. After identifying a course of action, I implemented the changes methodically. I relied heavily on testing to ensure there were no unexpected ramifications or that issues could be addressed quickly. By using a strategic approach, I was able to limit the negative implications of a last-minute change, expediting the remainder of the process while ensuring the final result met every need.
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Any Questions About Amazon Software Development Engineer Interviews
If you have any questions about Amazon coding interviews, do not hesitate to ask them below and we will be more than happy to answer them. All questions are good questions, so go ahead!
What Do Software Development Engineers At Amazon Do
Software Development Engineers are the drivers of technological innovations at Amazon. Their main responsibility is to build, invent and sometimes convert outdated practices into simpler and faster solutions.
SDEs at Amazon build scalable solutions to complex problems and leave an impact on millions of lives. At Amazon, Software Development Engineers are passionate, skilled, and open to exciting challenges.
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Who Can Apply For Amazon Sde
Graduates with a solid understanding of Computer Science, ideally with a degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or a related field. Applicants should have several years of software engineering experience. Its important to note that applicants who have previously applied for a position as an SDE at Amazon, in the last 6 months, can not apply.
Top 3 Amazon Interviewquestions
Alright,lets take stock. Right now, you have a winning strategy for answering Amazoninterview questions. Thats a great foundation.
But, havingclear examples can also help. It lets you review questions you may face and seehow to put the tips above to work. We arent going to leave you hanging.
Here are thetop 3 Amazon interview questions you could encounter when meeting with thehiring manager, along with tips for answering them.
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How To Prepare For Amazon Sde Interviews
Nishit explains that most candidates struggle either with their confidence or with their interview preparation routine. He says that the best way to prepare for an interview is to go back to getting your fundamentals right.
You should constantly be trying to apply your skills through various assessments and projects on your own. In HLD, the key concepts like sharding, applications, hashing, etc. become quite important for clearing your interviews. Therefore, having your fundamentals clear can help you not only land the job but also on the job where you constantly need to learn new skills and come up with new ideas.
Nishit recommends GeekforGeeks as an excellent resource to get your concepts sorted. He also mentions that consistently working on problem-solving questions along with a few other role-specific questions can help. Try to satisfy each prerequisite for the SDE role by taking ample time to develop the said skills.
Top 35 Amazon Interview Questions
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once said:
Id rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.
If youre about to head into an Amazon interview, that might legitimately be the most intimidating statement ever.
Having said that, this scary quote from scary Jeff doesnt mean Amazon wants you to fail. Instead, it simply means they only want to hire people who prove themselves worthy.
Want to make sure you make the cut?
Well, with a bit of preparation , its possible.
So, grab your broadsword, don your plate armor, and lets get ready for battle! )
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Amazon Engineering Interview Process
Amazon continues to improve people’s standard of living and significantly contributes to the economies of many countries. Jeff Bezos, the former CEO at Amazon.com says:
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job to make the customer experience a little bit better.”
Amazon’s engineering interview process usually takes four to eight weeks and typically follows these steps:
- Submitting a resume, cover letter, and referrals
- Getting an HR recruitment call or email if shortlisted
- Performing online assessments
- Having one to two phone screen interviews
- Having four to six on-site interviews
- Debriefing – interviewers making a unanimous decision
- Receiving your offer letter
Carrus Coach and former Amazon Bar Raiser Teresa Fung highlights that the process can vary slightly between the levels. Online assessments are commonly applied to L4 and L5 applicants Once they pass OA, it is possible to move straight to the final loop, or have a phone interview in between before reaching the final loop.
Overview Of Amazon Coding Interview
To land a software engineering job at Amazon, you need to know what lies ahead. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be. So, lets break it down.
Interview Timeline: The whole interview process takes 6 to 8 weeks to complete.
Types of Interviews: Amazon coding interviews consist of 5 to 7 interviews. This includes 1 assessment for fit and aptitude, 1-2 online tests, and 4-6 on-site interviews, also known as The Loop.
The Loop: The onsite interviews include 1 to 3 interviews with hiring managers and 1 bar raiser interview to evaluate Amazons 14 leadership principles.
Coding Questions: Amazon programming questions focus on algorithms, data structures, puzzles, and more.
Hiring Levels: Amazon usually hires at entry-level 4 , and the average salary for that level ranges from $106,000 to $114,000 yearly.
Hiring Teams: Amazon hires based on teams. The most common hiring teams are Alexa and AWS.
Programming Languages: Amazon prefers the following programming languages for coding questions: Java, C++, Python, Ruby, and Perl.
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Key Tips For The Amazon Online Assessment And Interviews
1. Become familiar with the culture at AmazonMany candidates overlook the importance of this step. Prior to spending hours preparing and practicing for your Amazon SDE Online Assessment Test, you should check to see that Amazon is a good fit for you.
If you know any engineers who currently work for Amazon or anyone who used to work for them, seek them out and ask them questions. Find out what the culture at Amazon is like and see if it suits your outlook and personality.
You should also take time to familiarize yourself with Amazons leadership principles. These principles will not only give you an idea of what to expect from a job at Amazon, they will also help you prepare for your Amazon interviews.
2. Know what to expect from your Amazon interviewsYou will need to answer 3 question types when you attend your Amazon interview: coding, system design, and behavioral. Here we will focus on behavioral interview question preparation.
When you are asked a behavioral interview question, it is of key importance that you are able to show your interviewer that you have an in-depth understanding of Amazons Leadership Principles. Amazon uses its leadership principles as the basic structure against which they assess and evaluate all potential new recruits.
To become comfortable with this type of thinking out loud we suggest that you practice coding interviews with a friend or family member. This will help you get used to the idea of explaining your thought process as you code.
Faqs On Amazon Software Engineer Interview Questions
Q1: What are the eligibility criteria for applying to the post of SDE I, II, or III at Amazon?
A: You will need a bachelorâs degree or more in computer science and about two to three years of experience in software development.
Q2: What kind of work experience does Amazon look for when recruiting software engineers?
A: Amazon requires software development applicants to have an excellent track record of developing large-scale, low latency software products and also values in-depth understanding of algorithms, data structures, and databases.
Q3: What other technical competencies are required to apply to Amazon as a software developer?
A: You will need to have knowledge of diverse software like EC2, S3, DynamoDB, Elasticsearch, Lambda, ECR, ECS, Lex, and API Gateways. You will also need to be highly adept at programming languages like Java and Scala.
Q4: Is it always necessary that I need to be a leader to crack the Amazon interviews as a software engineer?
A: No, it is not necessary, but you should have some prior knowledge of the leadership principles practiced at Amazon.
Q5. How can Interview Kickstart help me ace the Amazon software engineer interview?
IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview.
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