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Developer! Are you looking for the freedom you will never have in your company?

It's a fact that software developers are in great demand these days, to say the least… The growing need for building more tech products vs. well-trained resources is out of balance.


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There's plenty of studies and articles explaining why that happens and that as the number of tech companies increases, we have X more job offerings every year for almost the same number of computer science students. But that's not the point of this article! If you're a developer you already know this as you're constantly being harassed with "come to the dark side" messages from nagging HR recruiters trying to lure you into changing your job.


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So what are your criteria to evaluate if you should change your job?


Is getting higher pay, higher responsibility or just a change of scenery? Well, what I'm about to tell you is beyond all of those reasons! If money or status is all you care about, then you should stop reading here as I'm not adding relevant information for your decision criteria…


1. Building a product from scratch

Yes, it is easier to do improvements on an existing product. It sure releases you from several headaches, but bear with me for a second: Imagine that you could build Twitter from scratch. Or GitHub? Can you imagine the feeling of belonging and the sentiment of calling a product a baby of your own? Let's ignore the crying on their first months of life… 😅 Taking it into perspective it almost feels like magic and that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.


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2. Being able to work with several technologies or areas of expertise

Working with a big company as a developer means you'll have a very limited scope in what you do and the role you play within the company. Usually, you're assigned to developing a specific feature or a component within a feature (featureception? 🧐) reporting to a manager that reports to another manager until the chain is completed. This may seem like it takes most of the responsibility out of you, but I'm sure that it will eventually make you bored or even hate your job. On the other hand, working in a small company (especially in a startup), having fewer resources to hire loads of people makes you have an important role in what the company develops. It will make you learn new things as emerging tech, owning a big chunk of the product development as well as articulating with other areas of the company, which will increase your skill set and make you a more valuable professional!


3. Working remote, flexible hours and a fun environment

It is a fact that big companies are trying to adapt to this new future of work environment in which you can work from home, enter and leave work when you please or simply have a table tennis game during lunch break. But changing a company's culture (even if you're improving it) is something that takes a while. In newborn companies (especially tech ones) that culture is already built-in: working remotely is an option, having to leave early to go to a doctor's appointment or just to collect your kids from school, having lunches, beers, dinners, go surfing and other fun activities… More than that, you can be yourself and not afraid of that scary corporate boss that doesn't like your yellow flipflops or your black hoodie. Working in a place where everybody works for passion and not as an obligation will make you want to wake up to go to work everyday!


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4. Long term opportunities are enhanced or created

As a wise man said once "with great power, comes great responsibility", Uncle Ben (or Voltaire if you're old school). Responsibility of building a product or leading a whole department brings you invaluable experience that would be difficult for you to replicate outside of the startup ecosystem. So if you take a step back and visualize the whole picture, even if you get paid more now, working in a very narrow function and with the same tech stack every day for 10 years will bring you a lot less than being able to learn new tech, lead projects and build new products, in which you'll have a faster learning curve and even if your startup tanks, your experience will be worth at least 3x more in the market.


5. Accepting that risk is everywhere, whether it is a big company or a small one

Failing is what makes us humans. And if you think that only startups fail, you're wrong. Remember MySpace? What about Blockbuster or Kodak? All big companies that failed to innovate and eventually went bankrupt. It is true that statistically, startups have a bigger tendency to fail as they're building new products or services that may or may not have market fit. But sometimes, a big bank also goes kaput (remember Lehman Brothers?). Instead of running away from risk you should evaluate it and embrace it as part of your decision. If you truly believe in a company's vision isn't it riskier to stick with a company that you don't like, even if it brings more financial stability? Risk is not only financial, but it is also a bunch of factors that you should consider, like emotional stability or happiness, for example.


6. You can make a difference in the company's vision and culture

Last, but not least… Joining a small company is not just about creating a good product, learning faster or having more long term opportunities. When you're in a company with less than 50 people [YOU]() will make a difference. You can set the course of a company to success or failure, but assuming you're in it to drive it to success you're leaving your mark that eventually will last for a long time, even if you leave it. This is something that you won't get anywhere, I'll assure you that!


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To sum it all up…

These are the reasons why choosing a startup over a big corp might change your life for good! Statistically, it will make you happier, train you to be a better professional and a better individual, and of course, if it all works out, it will make you get better pay in the long run!


Bonus Conclusion

This works for software developers as it works for any other field, such as business developers, marketers, even executive management! 😎


Our Culture

This is what we're building at TAIKAI. Not only as a product but as a team. It may sound like a cliché, but I truly see my team as a family that is building a future together and that is reflected in our culture. Don't trust my word for it! Ask anyone who's in the team!


TL;DR:

The smaller the company the happier you'll be!


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