Zappos is the Best Company I've Ever Worked For

I joined Zappos back in 2020, right when the pandemic had just shut everything down.

I had transferred from AWS Config team in Amazon, and even though I worked remotely for almost a year and a half, Zappos and my team made me feel right at home.

Zappos in Brief

Zappos is a online retailer known for its exceptional customer service and unique company culture. Founded in 1999, the company has become a leader in the e-commerce industry and has gained a reputation for its strong focus on company culture and customer satisfaction.

Acquired by Amazon in 2009, Zappos spearheaded the "company culture" movement that proved itself as a model of keeping companies hiring the right team members as companies grow. Amazon itself was one of the early adopters of company culture.

The Zappos 10 core values shape how we work, how we serve our community and customers, and how we make decisions.

One of the key elements of Zappos' company culture is its commitment to serving the community. The company's core values help to shape the way that it operates and encourages employees to be proactive in giving back to the community.

The company has launched a number of initiatives, such as its "Zappos for Good" program, which encourages employees to get involved in their local communities and make a positive impact.

If you take a look our Zappos posts on LinkedIn, you'll see not only all the wonderful and generous things they do for the community, but also a lot of fun we have:

Zappos is known for its exceptional customer service and has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure that its customers have a positive shopping experience. For example, the company offers free shipping and returns on all orders, as well as a 365-day return policy. It also has a team of customer service representatives who are available 24/7 to answer questions and help customers with any issues they may have. But on Christmas, they have the day off to spend with their families!

Through its philanthropic efforts and exceptional customer service, Zappos has built a strong reputation as a responsible and caring business that is dedicated to making a positive impact on the world.

So Much Fun

I've been to more fun events in the last 2 and a half years at Zappos than the entire 20 years working at other software companies.

This is Napoleon, a llama. After a company all-hands, we all left the meeting and were greeted with a petting zoo, including goats, rabbits, and chickens.

surprise llama

Last week we received company gifts and they were serving chili.

The week before there was an on-campus family winter festival with activities for all the kids, a DJ, an arts and crafts sale, VR Christmas games, pony rides, and ice skating rink.

The week before that? It was Cyber Monday, but we made it Pie-ber Monday, and they served pies (so many pies) and gave away pie-related swag: shirts, oven mitts, and pie servers.

There is always something happening here, and it's all too much to remember!

We have our own bar. During company events and each payday, the bar is open (with bartenders) and drinks are free. Margarita? Don't mind if I do.

Our campus bistro and coffee shop are top-notch, and half-price.

For those working remotely, we take care of them, too. Online board games, surprise gifts, and swag, of course. And for big company events, they fly in to Vegas to have fun with the team.

What does the company do to support work-life balance?

Work-life balance is great. I choose 9-5 but some folks are 10-6 or whatnot. It's pretty flexible, at least for my team. There is an oncall rotation every couple of months but I rarely ever get paged. I don't check email when not at work. I don't even have it set up on my phone.

What does an average day look like?

On my team, we do agile with sprints. We do a daily standup. Maybe there might be a meeting during the day, but you get a lot of time to focus. We have people that are in office every day, and some that work 2-3 days a week in the office, some locals that come in rarely, and some in other states that work entirely remotely.

What does your work process look like?

This is how projects happen, and it could take anywhere from a few weeks to many months.

  1. Investigate a potential project
  2. System Design
  3. Design Review with Team
  4. Architecture Review
  5. Iterate on design
  6. Break the design into sub-projects
  7. Break it all down into bite-sized tasks, including operationalization work.
  8. Prioritize this project with other projects
  9. Start project work
  10. Finish it
  11. Launch
  12. Measure results

On a coding level:

  1. Take a task from my work in the sprint
  2. Write that code
  3. Write tests, ensure good test coverage
  4. Write integration tests
  5. Code review
  6. Push to repo
  7. Should flow through CI/CD to production without issue.

How is your boss/management? Micromanagement or hands off?

My manager is pretty hands off. I work independently most of the time, but as a senior engineer it's expected that I can take a task and get it done. I do ask team members for help when I need background/historical info or help with systems I haven't worked with.

How Can I Join Zappos?

Apply online! Here are current openings in software:

Can You Refer Me?

If I don't know you and haven't worked with you, I can't refer you. Sorry!

How Do You Do Interviews?

The interviews have both a behavioral and technical component.

Behavioral questions explore your experience how you handled situations in the past. These see how much your personality aligns with our 10 core values. I told you they were important here.

For the technical part, at least for my team, we do interviews using an online coding tool, with the questions provided by the interviewer.

Keep in mind that Zappos is part of Amazon so we do have a hiring bar to meet that is similar to Amazon. So for software engineers, bone up on those data structures and algorithms! For frontend work, I don't know what they ask about, but I bet there's Javascript. 😅

How Can I Get My Resume Noticed?

We are Zappos. If what I've mentioned above about our company gets you excited, add something special to your resume to show it! Show how you'd be a great team member: a fun video about yourself, a fun image, or a special project that's very customer-centric or zany or kooky!

We'd love to have you join us.

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