Why I chose to work at a startup over a big company
Jeremy Olson

I found the biggest difference between a big and small company is the latter usually lack direction and can be chaotic and so if you are not a self-starter or can create your own direction and manage yourself, you will have a hard time.

When I first worked at a small company, it was probably the worst type possible — an advertising company. Really chaotic and despite having a manager, offered no direction. Whenever he asked me what I’ve been doing I was just mystified because he never gave me any work. I was eventually given the ax but was really confused because I was never given any work.

Contrast to a bigger company which usually but not always have some kind of structure and method like a 2-week sprint with requirements in Jira and scrum meetings and it can be a well-oiled machine with you working regularly and productively. Having a sense of direction is definitely a plus and so you never really have to worry if you get the boot one day because after all you attended all the meetings and meet all the sprint deadlines so you done your job versus just aimlessly wondering, Had I done my job?

I often choose the bigger company over the smaller one because clarity is important for me and plus they usually will give you the higher salary as well. Interesting projects or making a difference is extremely overrated…extremely — this coming from a veteran developer of over two decades. I do personal projects on my own every week which are a thousand times more interesting than you can ever find in any job unless you happen to be in the top genius 2% of this industry.