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Amazon is a great place to learn, explore, and grow as a software development engineer. At Amazon, you will automatically be compelled to raise your programming standards because of the people surrounding you.

For Amazon SDE interviews, the basic skills required are problem -solving and coding (Data structures and algorithms). The SDE interview questions at Amazon are mostly around Amazon LP’s, data structures and algorithms.

The interview process for the SDE new grads is the following: OA - 2 questions. Work Simulation - 4 questions (4 scenarios). OV - 3 questions + BQs (45 mins for each question).

To prepare for the Amazon SDE interviews, you can start solving coding questions. We recommend you to use Interviewhelp.io for your LeetCode preparation, system design preparation, behavioral coaching, and mock interviews. Try to solve as many questions as you can with a mix of levels (mostly easy and medium). Solving 400–500 such questions will be enough in this case.

In this article, we’ve listed 30 Amazon SDE interview questions for your better preparation. We’ve also explained the different SDE levels, the pros and cons of being SDE at Amazon, and Amazon SDE wages by levels in the United States.

Overview:

  • Pros and cons of being a software development engineer at Amazon
  • What are the different levels of software development engineers at Amazon?
  • Amazon SDE interview questions
  • SDE salaries at Amazon

Related read: SDE Career Path

1. Pros and cons of being a software development engineer at amazon

1.1 Pros of being a software development engineer at Amazon

  • The engineers around are really smart. They know how to get things quickly done while preserving the quality of code.
  • The culture at Amazon is fast-paced; this means that you won’t be sitting at your desk wondering what to do next. They take sprint planning very seriously and engineers calculate the amount of time for a particular task accurately.
  • Amazon preaches design and practices it even better. Design patterns are rooted within engineers here, and they know the trade-off between having to choose one design over the other. They take scalability into account for almost every task you do without compromising on maintainability.
  • Amazon never compromises on efficiency (read availability and latency) - This directly leads to their leadership principle of customer obsession.
  • There are tons of opportunities if you want to make use of it. Amazon is innovating and venturing into any domain you can think of, so you have a chance to grow more than any company currently.
  • The internal tools are great here. This makes the whole process more efficient as bugs/issues can be quickly resolved internally, and you don’t even need to pay a third party.
  • The compensation is pretty competitive. When you notice that $20k difference in base salary, consider the fact that if you’re in Washington, the taxes are much less (~13%) compared to California, for example.

1.2. Cons of being a software development engineer at Amazon

  • Employee perks are not that great. You just get a transport pass and free breakfast (read: cereals and bagels). There are team lunches sometimes, but that mostly depends upon your team.
  • Dependability between teams can cause delays in your work. Also, managers do not want to take unnecessary ownership of trivial/small tasks. (It is also a kind of advantage because no one wants to increase the operational burden on the team).
  • Amazon engineers are supposed to be available 24*7 for some periods over the year. Other companies do have on-calls, but I don’t think as much as Amazon.

2. What are the different levels of software development engineers at Amazon?

At Amazon, there are SDE I, SDE II, SDE III, Principal, Senior Principal SDE, and Distinguished SDE.

An SDE I is essentially a new and inexperienced (at the level of Amazon’s engineers) junior engineer, usually a college hire.

SDE IIs have a few years of experience, including experience with large codebases and some architectural experience.

SDE IIIs have many years of experience and have led or spearheaded at least one nontrivial or important project.

Principals are like advanced SDE IIIs. Usually, you’re looking at 10-15 years of experience, minimum, and each probably has a few published white papers.

Senior Principal SDE - is Level 8

Distinguished SDE - is Level 10 (The CTO is also a level 10 individual contributor).

Those at levels 8 and 10 are mostly people who helped to create things like AWS and Kindle or were distinguished engineers (or above) in Microsoft before joining Amazon. There are only about a dozen or so people in the entire company who are L8/L10 individual contributors.

3. 30 Amazon SDE interview questions

  1. Write a program to achieve O(1) complexity for the max of the stack.
  2. Design a data structure that handles circular dependency
  3. Organize a stack with push, pop, or shift.
  4. Given 2 sorted arrays, merge them. Follow up, ensure only 1 of each element is saved in the merged array, aka no duplicates.
  5. Given reverse polish notation, return the integer value of the expression, aka “5,3,+,2,/” would be 5 + 3 = 8 and then 8 / 2 = 4.
  6. Add spaces to a sentence, given a sentence and dictionary. “Iloveamazon” should return “I love amazon” for example.
  7. check if the string has balanced brackets, firstly with “()” only and thereafter adding all other brackets such as “[]{}<>”.
  8. Traverse a tree (BSF or DSF).
  9. Design a Twitter, and implement a queue.
  10. Define the process of inserting elements in a binary search tree.
  11. Create a class and methods.
  12. Justify why you’re tackling a problem in a particular way. Be ready to defend your strategy.
  13. system question: design a system like a paste bin.
  14. coding question: design a library to find/filter files in a system using an object-oriented programming language.
  15. Talk about a time you had to decide with insufficient data.
  16. Coding question on mapping alphanumeric keys with a string to create the least number of inputs.
  17. Question about building a basic interface for accounts.
  18. Tell me about a time you refused to lower your standards.
  19. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond.
  20. Tell me about a time when you took a calculated risk.
  21. Tell me about a time you got feedback from a customer.
  22. Search through a list of words and find the match.
  23. Location of a specific element in array Q: hash map.
  24. Implementing a min-heap and its operations.
  25. Make you can recognize problem patterns
  26. A string is given. Print the string after removing all the spaces in place using no additional space.
  27. Given is a binary tree. Print the path which is equal to a given sum. For example, print the path in which the sum is 14.
  28. Delete a particular node from the binary tree and free up the memory of the deleted node.
  29. A linked list is given, print the palindrome of the link list without using extra space and linear complexity.
  30. A binary tree is given. Invert the binary tree without using extra space and linear complexity.

In the pictures below, you could see feedback from some of the interviewed candidates:

4. SDE salaries at Amazon

The data is from Levels.fyi.

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