This is a thought reflection on the technology/computer software industry, specifically in Bangalore, India.
Quite often, software engineers ponder as to how to take their careers to the ‘next level’, either within the same company or by taking up a job in another company. It’s a tricky question to answer and most of the times, money/salary becomes a measurable decision factor. However, after making that decision, some of us realize that money in itself is not enough. Company culture, hiring manager qualities – all of these come into play. Unfortunately, there is no generic way of measuring up all of these upfront before joining a company. No matter, how much research we do upfront, some of us end up in shitty jobs. So here’s a baseline comparison of the industry to some everyday elements that we Bangloreans can relate to. This is just a parody and nothing else .. no offense meant to any company as such :).
Working in a large services industry is like traveling in a BMTC ordinary city bus. One of those ugly looking beasts on the city roads that chug at 20 kmph. You’ll not find a workstation to sit on your date of joining. You’ll have to stand in a mile long line for lunch. The organization moves at a snail’s pace and you feel uncomfortable all the time. 4 guys are crammed into a cubicle where 2 guys can sit comfortably. You can’t maneuver as per your will and wish and have to tread a safe path, always.
On the plus side, large services companies have the same benefits as these buses – mass movers at a low price. It’s a low risk game where in you sacrifice maneuverability for stability and job security.
Working at a good technology startup is like riding a good dual sport motorcycle, something like the BMW F800 GS. You feel great riding the bike, can pretty much travel anywhere on this planet – except for mountains, lakes etc. The organization is like the sport bike – very nimble, agile and super fast. One day you can be traveling on a smooth road, the next day the patch might get so rough and you’ll be just wanting to get off the bike and throw it into a deep chasm. Startup life is more or less like this. The group or the ‘biker gang’ is just so tight knit. To say that the group is ready to die for one another wouldn’t be an exaggeration. However this type of a career is not for every one. There’s a lot of risk and there’s absolutely no such thing as ‘stability’.