Amazon Development Center India

Saturday, October 23, 2004

First Just Do it for India!

The Just Do It Award recognizes and rewards employees who exemplify two of our core values: innovation and bias for action. To receive a Just Do It award, nominees must try something on their own initiative; in other words, they're not following orders or waiting for and obtaining approval. To avoid encouraging associates to just go out and do anything an important corollary to this award is that nominees think through the ramifications of their efforts well. The nominees' efforts solve a problem, fill a significant customer or business need, or take advantage of an opportunity. Importantly, nominees' efforts do NOT have to work out to be considered; it is their bias for action that is being rewarded. Finally, the effort may be related to their regular job, but the winner's efforts typically are outside, above, or beyond simply doing their regular job really well.

Vivek was awarded the first Just Do It for Amazon India. It was scrambleto get a Nike shoe (Nike = Just Do it! in case you are wondering) of size 14 (Just Do It winners have big shoes to fill) but we did manage to buy one just in time and got everyone in the office to sign it.

More about Vivek's accomplishment ...
As the Bangalore development center started hiring developers in August, one of the key challenges was to provide reliable network connectivity and basicdevelopment environment for the developers to be productive from day one. Efforts to recruit a bar-raising system administrator were under way, but to no effect. Vivek, who is also the first external SDE to be hired into the Bangalore team, saw the state of affairs and volunteered to improve the infrastructure. He setup a basic local area network (using his personal home router), liaised with the local ISP, built a central Linux server for development, helped setup individual workstations, installed productivity tools such as twiki, manageduser administration and e-mail accounts, handled security and virus issues, and acted as the go-to guy for all infrastructure issues. Amazingly, Vivek didall of this while developing key software components as part of his pizza team. Vivek’s ownership and initiative, in setting up and maintaining the development infrastructure, were invaluable to improved productivity at the Bangaloredev center.

Congratulations Vivek!

Architects of Amazon India

2 Pizza Teams at Amazon are composed of super-stars who are not only technically good but also carry a smart business head. Well, we have take it a step further inBangalore. Over the last 2-3 weeks, we had some good sessions to come up with theplans for our new office. It was fun to incorporate the core competencies of Amazon into our work environment. We will have a space free of hierarchy and open communication,a place that would underscore customer obsession, innovation, teamwork, passion for solving tough problems, frugality and having fun at the same time.

It was also fun wearing the systems hat and working as a team to get our development environment in better shape - configuring routers, VPNs, boxes, network, evaluating open source ...

Indeed day 1 and a honor to be a part of this super-star team of builders!