terrencecodes in  
Software Engineer a year ago

Enterprise vs Startup Culture

For those that have worked on software development teams in both enterprises AND startups ...

I am a relatively new software developer (full-time for about 3 years). I am currently working for a startup where about 12 of the 40 employees are also software developers. Previously, I worked for a company with about 250k+ employees and dozens of software development teams.

The conundrum I am facing is that my current team (at the startup) is all about new features and services and are less concerned about code construction, best-practices, tech debt, etc. I am sure this is normal as the company needs to make money rather than focus on less non-revenue-generating activities. However, I continue to evangelize that the lack of housekeeping is hindering our current agility and will cause a snowball effect in the future.

Again, for those that have worked on both enterprise and startup software development teams, what has your expereince been? How do you rectify these two mindset?

Personally, I'm starting to think I am not meant to work for startups ... given my meticulous nature.
ProdanonProduct Manager a year ago
Enterprise (big 4 bank in their financial tech team): 6+ months to release minor features. TONS of business case work, clear ROI outlined with many many many assumptions, P&L impacts to other complementary products to ensure no/minimal cannibalization, revenue by sales segment, engineering hours estimation (yes before even ticketing, designing, or gathering requirements, which was basically useless but execs wanted to see this), etc. you get the point. By the time the feature launched it was no longer impactful, customers found their own workaround or left to another more nimble fintech and kept the DDAs as the primary product at the bank.

Series B startup: minimal red tape, business cases still track ROI but are centered around customer experience and improving it with as few resources as possible. Delivery cycles can be as small as a sprint, up to something like 6 sprints. Most massive projects get broken up to be more agile and only target the P0 work and refine the later pieces so that we’re not wasting resources.

My take: you ship more and learn more at an emerging company. Large companies are for coasting in my experience. Also all of the ICs were in like their 40s and 50s and had 0 promotion potential because the management team was super legacy and weren’t planning on leaving and nobody was fired for missing deadlines.
terrencecodesSoftware Engineer a year ago
Thank you, @Prodanon, for you comments.

Very interesting perspective. How did you make the most of your time at a startup?



Software Engineer