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Amazon's Principal Engineering Community created the following tenets to articulate and perpetuate the guiding values and expectations of Principal Engineers at Amazon.

As Amazon's most senior individual contributors, Principal Engineers work on Amazon's hardest problems. As they navigate these complex and ambiguous challenges, the Principal Engineering Community uses the following set of tenets to guide them. Tenets are a key part of Amazon's peculiar culture helping to bring Amazonians together and focused on achieving our mission and vision to be Earth's most customer-centric company. 

Exemplary Practitioner

Principal Engineers are hands-on and lead by example. We deliver artifacts that set the standard for engineering excellence, from designs to algorithms to implementations. Only by being close to the details can we earn the respect needed to be effective technical leaders.

Technically Fearless

Amazon’s startup culture does not admit the luxury of conservatism. Principal Engineers tackle intrinsically hard problems, venturing beyond comfortable approaches when necessary. We acquire expertise as needed, pioneer new spaces, and inspire others as to what’s possible.

Lead with Empathy

Principal Engineers shape an inclusive engineering culture where others are heard, feel respected, and are empowered. We are conscious of how our words and demeanor impact others, especially those with less influence; we take responsibility for that impact, intentional or otherwise. Our work builds productive relationships across teams and disciplines, and across a wide range of life experiences.

Balanced and Pragmatic

Principal Engineers are pragmatic problem solvers. We apply judgment and experience to balance trade-offs between competing interests. We simplify processes and technologies while advocating a long-term view.

Illuminate and Clarify

Principal Engineers bring clarity to complexity and demonstrate smart ways to simplify. We frame each problem in its customer and business context and boil it down to its essence. We probe assumptions, illuminate pitfalls, and foster shared understanding. We accelerate progress by driving crisp and timely decisions.

Flexible in Approach

Principal Engineers adapt our approach to meet the needs of the team, project, and product. We solicit differing views and are willing to change our minds as we learn more. We recognize there are often many viable solutions, and that sometimes the best solution is to solve a different problem, or to not solve the problem at all.

Respect What Came Before

Principal Engineers are grateful to our predecessors. We appreciate the value of working systems and the lessons they embody. We understand that many problems are not essentially new.

Learn, Educate, and Advocate

Principal Engineers are constantly learning. We seek technical knowledge and educate the entire organization about trends, technologies, and approaches. We combine vision and discretion to drive fruitful and even game-changing technology choices.

Have Resounding Impact

“Deliver Results” is a low bar for a Principal Engineer. Without seeking the spotlight, Principal Engineers make a lasting impact that echoes through the technology, the product, and the company. We amplify our impact by aligning teams toward coherent architectural strategies.

For more information, visit the Principal Engineering Community page

If you are interested in pursuing a senior individual contributor role at Amazon, please contact the Senior Technical Talent Recruiting team using this email alias: