Written by Jamie Crowley
One of the main discussions I have with developers when they are looking for their next role is the type of company they want to work for.
A lot of this involves talking about the company’s industry. For example, I know a lot of people really enjoy working for a Fintech whereas others may prefer the fast-paced environment of a digital agency or something along those lines. I have found that people are understandably more open minded since Covid-19 as opportunities are at a premium and developers don’t have as many options as they would have done 5 / 6 months ago.
However one thing that always comes up is how someone feels about working for a startup in comparison to a larger / more established company. It seems to be that most people have a preference either way and typically steer away from the other when possible.
But why is this?
There are definitely pros and cons to both, and I want to clarify that the notes below are solely from personal experience of working in both types of companies myself as well as recruiting engineers for them. Personally, I would class a startup as a business that is less than three years old and an established business that has been running for 5+ years and has at least 50 staff.
A lot of junior / mid developers seem to prefer a startup environment as it allows them to get access to different areas of the tech stack as it tends to be ‘all hands on deck’
A company that has formed more recently will tend to have a more modern tech stack to work with
You get the chance to work closely with Founders, CTO’s and Lead Engineers etc
It is important to do research (especially now) into the company to ensure they are in a secure position financially
Benefits / Salaries can often suffer as the companies don’t necessarily have the same amount of funds as a larger business
Salaries & benefits are often more competitive
Clearer progression paths for new recruits
Working for a bigger company can (sometimes unfairly) reflect well on your CV when you decide to make your next move
Processes are often more defined, and the code base is a lot easier to navigate & make changes to
In contrast to the last point, it can sometimes be more difficult to make changes in a larger company as there are more people to run it by etc
As I said earlier, these are all generalizations and every single company is different. Having said that, I’m really keen to get your views.
Personally, I do prefer working in a startup like Amicus. I find that it helps me to build stronger relationships with my colleagues and the levels of flexibility & support are fantastic.