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Working in a small Organization

Sameer Jamal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
I work for a small Pvt Ltd Company from past 1 year and as far as the experience is concerned I dont think I've gained much, as we do small projects, and do maintenance work most of the time. I think that working for a small organization does not add any value to you. Is it good to leave the job and search for the other one or stay with the old job till I get another.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Sameer Jamal:
I work for a small Pvt Ltd Company from past 1 year and as far as the experience is concerned I dont think I've gained much, as we do small projects, and do maintenance work most of the time. I think that working for a small organization does not add any value to you. Is it good to leave the job and search for the other one or stay with the old job till I get another.

Stay with your current job until you find a new one, given the current state of the economy--unless money isn't an issue for you.
As for small companies not giving you any value, I wholeheartedly disagree. I have only worked for small companies. I think they can be of great value--for the right person. I'll explain below.
First, we assume a big and small company, both of which do interesting work and have interesting opportunities. In a larger company, things will be more structured. They may have formal training, educational, and support programs (both direct and indirect). They will like have a structured environment for your to work in, and a structured set of tasks. There is a reasonable feedback system such that if you're getting off-track, the system itself helps compensate and puts you back on track. In other words, there are probably "bumpers" to help you on your travel. In small companies, you don't get a map. Opportunities aren't handed to you, you need to seek them out. Things are more free form, and you can cut your own path. You can also fall of the edge of a cliff if you're not careful.
Bottom line, if you like structured environments, go for big companies. If you're the type to take risks and sieze opportunity, try small ones. (Other issues like stability aside.)
Disclaimer: these are generalizations, and will obviously vary from one comapany to another.

--Mark
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
From my orthogonal experience I would add (as a matter of generalization) if you are young and unexperienced, big/structured organizations are good for you. They will form and educate you, give you solid seasoned culture -- and then when you absorbed all this, you are ready for small organisations. Of course, there are exceptions, but in general, I think, small organisations are traumatic for beginners. For more mature people they are a bless.
Disclaimer: all above observations are based on my proprietary and rather communistic experience
Sameer Jamal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
The problem which I faced in this company was It is not structured at all, you have to do each and every work right from system analysis to maintenance, and some time when you are busy in doing some programming thing boss says leave it for a while now please do some graphic designing as the new client is approaching, this is horrible suddenly you have to move in the totaly different direction and strt the work from the scratch.
Well Map if some one is not experienced and is at Entry level Biggies are not going to give the job to him.
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
Sameer Jamal wrote:
The problem which I faced in this company was It is not structured at all, you have to do each and every work right from system analysis to maintenance, and some time when you are busy in doing some programming thing boss says leave it for a while now please do some graphic designing
I've done plenty of jobs like this, and they are a fine learning opportunity if you look at it right. Small companies are the only place where you get to see and participate in all parts of the process. I've worked in companies so small that one day I'd be a salesman manning a booth at a trade show, the next I'd be counting capacitors, answering support calls, writing software and handling the company accounts. Sure it's a challenge, but there's no better way to understand how everything fits together.
Taking a job as a small cog in a large machine may be comfortable, but you don't get involved in anything other than one tiny area, and even if you have a great idea, people won't listen to you, because you are "just a whatever your job title is".
Grasp the opportunity with both hands, get involved in as wide a variety of work as you can, learn how to set priorities and schedule your own time, and how to suggest ideas or say "no" to the boss without upsetting anyone. These are incredibly valuable lessons, much more so than any corporate training program.


Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2578

Based on my personal experience, I think small companies are great as far as learning goes. You get to learn so much, because you need to do most of the things on your own. Moreover, small companies often have flat organization structure, offering more flexibility and freedom to take initiative and implement your own ideas. Some of the smaller companies here in India even pay better than few BIG names if you are worth it, but then that's not very common. As a drawback, your job is anything but secure; your work hours are anything but fixed. After all, small companies survive by charging their clients lesser dollars per hour, lesser man months/days as compared to bigger names. Clients on the other hand, if they are capable of assessing technical strength of the company and its core competence, can get value for their money and much cheaper solutions. (Rest of the clients opt for bigger names, and shell out lots of money!). You have to give your everything to the company.
On the other hand bigger companies are more formal, more structured (read boring) and if you get a job in CMM level 5 company and u are out of luck, you might end up spending more than half your life typing the documentation. The organization structure is not flat; you know what I mean by that. Few big, well know companies here do not even allow their employees to install anything on their comp. from net and experiment unless they have permission from their project manager/leader. So if you want to download latest XML parsers/tools from net so that u can experiment with them, that's simply not done. But big companies do have slightly better job security, more perks, more facilities and better reputation. So your home loan/credit card applications get processed faster. Your work hour are fixed, so your wife/parents know how you look like these days, your kids know that the stranger that stays in their house happens to be their dad who can occasionally spend some time with them. (I understand that there are few big companies, which know their stuff, and do provide flexible, open culture to their employees. What's more, employees there also know what they are doing! If you know any one of such companies, looking for Java ppl, pls do let me know )

I beg to differ with Map here, but I believe that smaller companies are great and more exciting for beginners; for you are young and often single, so you can devote more time and efforts to the company. The company in turn can offer you lots of exposure and experience and an opportunity to learn and grow tremendously. As you grow older, monetary compensation, job security, other facilities do take higher precedence.
I have a friend who joined a big company as a fresher; I joined a smaller company much later. Today I realize that his technical knowledge in general is rather poor. And believe me, he is not the only one, many of my friends who got into bigger companies early in their career show this trait. Moreover, they do not even feel the need to update themselves technically. They simply do not have that willingness/eagerness left anymore. I am really glad that I have had a chance to learn so much only because I was in a small company, I had to do lot of things on my own, learnt so many things coz my job wasn't secure. I doubt if I had ever learnt so much if it hadn't been for these factors.
I understand that it gets quite frustrating sometimes when you have to work on those silly things for a long time, I have experienced it myself. But then, that's part of the game. You'll have to bear it unless you are in a position to decide what technologies you want to work on. And believe me, the only way to get into this position is to know your stuff really well; so read more, experiment more and learn more. Smaller companies provide an excellent opportunity to do this. And ur work gets too frustrating, get another job and quit.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what is it that you are looking for at this stage of your career and life. What is it that you want from your employer, and then prepare accordingly. All the best!!!
- Manish
Dave Vick
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
I'm contracted to a big company but a small IT department with little to no formal development structure and it has been great. At first (it was my first IT/programming job) it was a little daunting as my boss would take me to these meeting with people who wanted stuff done and not only was I trying to learn my job but also all fo the associated terminology at the post office. After the meeting my boss would just run me loose on the project and occasionaly come around and see if all was well.
The best thing was that he understood how long some things take and would give me enough freedom to learn things and do things the way I wanted to. The plusses would definatley be the opportunity to learn on my own - I retain more that way and figuring out how to locate solutions is a great tool. He also let me make my mistakes then figure out why they were wrong this alos helpd the 'lesson' sink in more than if someone had just told me I was wrong.
the down side is that there is no structure so haven't actually learned any analysis and design techniques other than what I ahve tried to pick up on my own. This is the one area where it would have been great to have a mentor to give a little guidance.
All in all the I think the real make or break factor is your supervisor. Regardless of the size of the company or departmment it is the supervisor who makes the environement what it is - I've been extemeley lucky in that. Others might not be, but you ahve to make do with what you can get. You can always try to approach your supervisor with your suggestions and ideas.


Dave
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Sameer Jamal:
The problem which I faced in this company was It is not structured at all, you have to do each and every work right from system analysis to maintenance

Right, that's the point, you get exposed to all sorts of jobs. You gain breadth.
Originally posted by Sameer Jamal:
and some time when you are busy in doing some programming thing boss says leave it for a while now please do some graphic designing as the new client is approaching, this is horrible suddenly you have to move in the totaly different direction and strt the work from the scratch.

Having a bad boss is orthogonal to the size of the company. There are plenty of bosses who do this at large companies, itt's just the tasks you jump between aren't as different, but any context swtich, even from on application to another, will cause the same loss of concentration.

Originally posted by Sameer Jamal:
Well Map if some one is not experienced and is at Entry level Biggies are not going to give the job to him.

This you are clearly making up. Large companies very much do hire inexperienced people. IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, etc all go to colleges to do campus recruiting. They hire people right out of school.
In fact, in today's market, big companies are more likely to hire inexperienced people then small companies. Big companies can make long term investments in people. They also have established training programs.
Small companies, on the other hand, are under tremendous pressure to produce. They don't have time to teach junior engineers how things are done. They have to hit the ground running, and for that, experienced people are a better value.

--Mark
Sameer Jamal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
Tbanks for your help dear ranchers. Info posted by you is really worth million $
Reid M. Pinchback
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 2002
Posts: 775
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

In a larger company, things will be more structured. They may have formal training, educational, and support programs (both direct and indirect). They will like have a structured environment for your to work in, and a structured set of tasks. There is a reasonable feedback system such that if you're getting off-track, the system itself helps compensate and puts you back on track. In other words, there are probably "bumpers" to help you on your travel.


Or so the theory goes. Depends on the quality of the management and the kind of business the company is in. Some days a large organization can seem more like a Quidditch match, except one where you have a feeling that more people are busy releasing bludgers than seeking snitches.


Reid - SCJP2 (April 2002)
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Reid M. Pinchback:

Or so the theory goes. Depends on the quality of the management and the kind of business the company is in. Some days a large organization can seem more like a Quidditch match, except one where you have a feeling that more people are busy releasing bludgers than seeking snitches.

As with most of my comments...
These are generalizations, and exceptions are to be expected.

--Mark
Reid M. Pinchback
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 2002
Posts: 775
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

exceptions are to be expected.

That is what we all love about you Mark; your understated sense of humour.
 
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