Startup Vs Established Company (As a Developer)?

Published on Jul 12, 2019

Which do you prefer and why?

There's always been so much hype about working for a Startup, especially if it's a.) Silicon Valley based, b.) a Remote role or c.) is Hip and Trendy. I used to think startups were cool and working for one would be a dream come true. These days after a few years of dev experience under the belt, I'm not so sure …

It may sound cool to be part of an up and coming, disruptive fintech crypto blockchain AI powered startup … but the reality is that you'll get worked into the ground and stressed out of your mind. Maybe that's fun for you, but honestly, I can now see that this is certainly not the reality I want for my career.

Next thing is salary: startups (usually) don't have money and sometimes try to lure you in with equity. This usually never works out unless you're willing to grind it out for years. I used to think having equity was cool and hip, but again, now that I've worked with a handful of startups, I'm not so sure.

These days if I do work for a startup, I'd prefer a drawn up contract, a decent hourly rate and the expectations laid out. But I think deep down I would prefer a more established company that has a solid product, where the business has gone through the growing phase and is now established. This means code changes won't be so chaotic which allows more time for well thought out code.

I'm curious to hear from other developers on which side of the fence you're on.