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small company, big company

Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
Where do you prefer to work? in a big team of developers or alone in small company?
What are the advantages and disadvanatges for each?
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Small or big, I would prefer going in depending on job responsibilities and future growth and technologies used there + if it fits your bill(both technically and co-workers and philosophically).

A company too small, is most of the times not so futuristic; but the pay scale may be enticing. The long term prospects usually are slim and rate of failure should be considered seriously before jumping into small entities. But, they may give great job satisfaction and skill sets at the end of the exposure to working in a small firm.


Kishore
SCJP, blog
Steven Bell
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
Small Con:
A small company is going to be a bit more risky in terms of job stability.

Small Pro:
If the small company becomes very successful you will likely find yourself pretty well off, especially if you get some buy in.

Small Pro/Con:
In a small company you are much more likely to 'wear many hats'. This means you will broaden your skills into a wide field, but you may end up streched thin and not be able to gain much depth in any area.
K Riaz
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2005
Posts: 375
A general rule is:

The larger the company, the less impact your contribution will make.
Raja gopal Y
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 08, 2005
Posts: 15
There are pros & cons,

Pros:
1. In a Small Company you are BIG,
2. Your Participation is more important for them.
3. May Be They pay Good.
4. Your vision / Exposure becomes small / less.
Cons:

1. Some times it becomes tough if you plan to Move to some other company,
Your profile may not shortlist for the first-round of Tech interview.

2. Will Get Very Good Exposure / Vision.

3. Easy to Jump.

Recently i planned to move from a big company to small company...Not yet Decided.


CHEERS !!!<br /> <br />RAJAGOPAL Y
Rohit Bhagwat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Posts: 205
What I feel is that if you are doing first job then you can prefer small company at start as you get actual coding experience and job responsibility .Whereas in big companies normally u wont get that responsibility that early..(This is not applicable in all cases).

Also your experience gets more value as you get to learn more when you explore more which happen in small companies.

This is debet topic so its endless to talk..

Regards
Rohit.
ankur rathi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 3830
In my opinion , BRAND NAME is always valuable , so if you have two options small company & big company , go for big one .
K Riaz
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2005
Posts: 375
Originally posted by rathi ji:
In my opinion , BRAND NAME is always valuable , so if you have two options small company & big company , go for big one .


Although it really depends on the work you do, you usually end up being a small fish in a big pond. The most important thing is the work you actually do . Whats the point in working for for a brand name company if you do rubbish work (its worst for newer people)? There is also too much bureaucracy, and you need to go through lots of people to do or arrange the simplist thing. How often do you sit down and chat to the Directors or the CEO?
Kj Reddy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2003
Posts: 1704
Originally posted by rathi ji:
In my opinion , BRAND NAME is always valuable , so if you have two options small company & big company , go for big one .


Brand Name is very much useful when you want to change the company. Your resume will be shortlisted easily, and you dont need to do marketing about your present company.

But in big companies you may not able to get to do all kind of work. You are limited to a particular role. When I am working in a small company as a developer I involved in requirements gathering, design, development, quality control and testing(unit, system, integration, regression testing). After that I joined in a big company where my role is just limited to design and development of a particular module.
soniya saxena
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2004
Posts: 300
Practically, it makes sense to work for a big company.
K Riaz
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2005
Posts: 375
...and then to move to a small company some years later when you realise what is wrong.
soniya saxena
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2004
Posts: 300
dear brother kashif, i started off with big, realized what was wrong, moved onto small, again realized what was wrong, and now having seen whats wrong with both, am in the process of moving onto the lesser of 2 wrongs, and that is BIG.

Originally posted by Kashif Riaz:
...and then to move to a small company some years later when you realise what is wrong.
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8904

Start off with a small company - You will learn a lot. I started off with a small company and learnt a lot there.




Groovy
Vijay Vaddem
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 13, 2004
Posts: 243
Originally posted by Pradeep Bhat:
Start off with a small company - You will learn a lot. I started off with a small company and learnt a lot there.




I totally agree with Pradeep..... I too started off with a small company...
and compared to my friends who are working in big companies... I learned a lot and was far ahead of them.... Now im a happy developer in a medium sized company....

Srinivasa Raghavan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 1228
I started of with a small company having emp strength = 60; low salary ,more work on shoulder . Learnt many things did some certifications ( Company dint pay for it ... ) , in the mean while struggled a lot for a decent job and got into a good MNC with emp strength around 40k across the globe.

Now company is paying for my certifications ,Pg degrees etc etc but not that much work on my shoulder.

So in my experiance i sugget to work in a small company gain as much knowledge as we can, gain knowledge about the world while searching for a job. and shift to a good one.


Thanks & regards, Srini
MCP, SCJP-1.4, NCFM (Financial Markets), Oracle 9i - SQL ( 1Z0-007 ), ITIL Certified
Sachin Mehra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 07, 2005
Posts: 77
my 2 cents..

Having worked for a big company and then for small company, I think its better to work for a big organization.

Some of the benefits that seem to be available in small company like higher pay packets can be negated by the other benefits like onsite opportunities, interest free loans, ESOP's given by some of the big organization.

considering the varied kind of opportunities given by large company, it easily outweighs the benefits provided by the small company.

I think going to small company makes more sense for instant benefits...but does not really make much career sense in long run.
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
I think decision to work in small or big company also depends on other factors like type of work done,location and personal development and your technical/communication skills.
Here in India,I have seen very talented people in TCS(yes,TCS ) and also saw some mediocre in TCS who come in morning at 9 AM and leave by 5 PM.
Similar is the case in small companies.IMO,go where you feel work is exciting and chances of you being rewarded/respcted are higher.


Namma Suvarna Karnataka
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
So I used to work in small company...
I was the one who chose the software, I was architect and developer. If I decided to learn PHP by doing my next project in PHP - it was up to me.

Then I thought I need to gain some good experience with team of developers. And I took job in huge company, where I had somewhat worse benefits, but had tuition reimburcement (which I didn't use).
These are the issues I had to face: the team is not using newest technology and servers. Database is Oracle, which I was never allowed to play around with (even test instance). My boss was all the time doing his own politics where I, as developer, had to answer for his decisions.. For example, he could choose not to implement some guy's request for whatever reason, and the guy would come to me inquiring about it. I had no choice but to play too busy or stupid. and many other things like that..
So basically in 5 months I found myself stuck with exposure to limited tools, I was tied by my hands and legs in what I can do - I couldn't be creative.
I'm thinking to leave for smaller scale company where customer satisfaction and quality are in the first place and where I will have more freedom of how I want to do things.

I'm worried about work load, but even with large load I would do what I like to do and keep learning.
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
Originally posted by Arjunkumar Shastry:
... and also saw some mediocre in TCS who come in morning at 9 AM and leave by 5 PM.


The best developers I've ever met had this schedule.. What's wrong with that?
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8904

Similar is the case in small companies.IMO,go where you feel work is exciting and chances of you being rewarded/respcted are higher.


What is rewarding ? Being a top performer in a company and earning in Indian rupees or being a "average" performer and having onsite opportunities.
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
Originally posted by Rita Moore:

The best developers I've ever met had this schedule.. What's wrong with that?

I was not referring to the timing but was saying some people just come and go as we used to do in high school.
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
Originally posted by Pradeep Bhat:

What is rewarding ? Being a top performer in a company and earning in Indian rupees or being a "average" performer and having onsite opportunities.

It depends on individual and type of work.Onsite does not necessarily some "great challenge".In terms of money ,yes it is more rewarding as you are earning your 4 month's Indian salaries in just 1 month.
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8904

The best thing to do is to work for a medium sized company.
Sachin Mehra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 07, 2005
Posts: 77
Originally posted by Pradeep Bhat:
The best thing to do is to work for a medium sized company.


I agree. But which are those companies where one would get best of both worlds? Any names?
Kj Reddy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2003
Posts: 1704
iNautix, Chennai
Jayesh Lalwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502
It really depends on your style and your career goals

Big company: As some one said earlier, you will be a litte fish in big pond; lot of company politics; but there is more stability; more chances to interact with a lot of differrent type of people

Small company: more freedom; more chances to explore new technologies; but more personal responsibility; less stability

It all depends on what your personal style is:

Are you the kind of person who gets bogged down by crisis? Go for a big company. Big companies usually have better plans in handling crisis. Small companies usually work ad-hoc, and building a reputation is more important for a small company. So, a situation which will result in a "yeah, we slipped, we will just release a patch after 2 months" in a big company might result in "OMG!! we will lose the client!! Finish this, and finish this yesterday" in a small company

Are you the kind of person who detests politics? Go for a small company.Small companies can easily hire/fire people. Unresolvable conflict is managed in small companies by firing people who don't get along. Unresolvable conflict is managed in big companies by moving them into differrent departments. Not only is that process slow, but reputation (and hence petty bickering) tends to follow the people. In the worst case, in big companies, a manager might start give grunge work to people who don't relate well, in the hope that the employee gets bored and leaves the company him/herself. It's not pretty to see.

Do you like working in big teams, or do you prefer guidance from senior people? Not saying that small companies don't have big teams and/or senior people. But, chances are that big companies will have the people with most experience. Big companies tend to keep their turnover low by promising good long-term/family-based benifits, like good retirements plans, great medical insurance, longer and laxer family leave policies, on-site benifits like creche, etc; whereas small companies tend to keep their their turnover low by providing short-term benifits like stock options, higher salaries. At the risk of sounding ageist, big companies tend to attract older, family-oriented people, and small companies tend to attract younger starry-eyed bucks. Disclaimer: Not saying that older people don't like working in small companies. As I said, it depends on the individual, but as you get older and priorities change, all those benifits at big companies start sounding attractive. Also, as people stay longer in big companies, the harder it is for them to leave the company. If you are a fresher joining a big company, it is not uncommon to hear this phrase "You're 25? Boy, I joined this company when you were born. I sure do feel old now!!". I've even heard this "Factory methods?? I've been implementing factory methods since I was working in (insert some obscure mainframe language here) 15 years ago. We just called it creator methods then. Java has just copied these tried and true methods and renamed them" Makes me crack up everytime, because in my mind Java is sooo revolutionary.

Do you want to learn more about a specific domain, like finance/healthcare/goverment? Go for big company. Big companies tend to be more product-oriented, so you get exposure to the business side of things. Small companies tend to be more service-oriented, and you will be concentrating more on the technology than the product. This is not set in stone, but atleast in US, usually it's the big companies that are selling the products, and small technology companies who develop the technology for big companies (there are exceptions like IBM, Microsoft and Sun of course, but I'm talking about a person who wants to work in a certain domain). The caveat is that if you are really fresh, and your work is primarily as a code junkie, then it doesn't matter. This applies to people at the middle level who get involved in requirement analysis/design

DO you want to start your own comapny and want to grow into the management side of things? Go into big company. It's much easier to find a manager who is ready to mentor you in big companies, than in small. Also, you have to learn how to deal with company politics if you want to learn how to manage people

Usually, I remcommend people to get into a small company right after college, get exposure and exprience in the technology of your choice, get into a big company, get exposed to management side of things and then decide
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8904

Are you the kind of person who detests politics?


Small companies have politics. That is the reason I said Good bye.
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
I agree.I have also seen politics in small companies.This is especially done by those people who establish themselves as "backbone" or"task implementor" of a company.As there are few norms etc these people form their "group" and then try to harass those who don't want to join that group.
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Jayesh Lalwani:
... I've even heard this "Factory methods?? I've been implementing factory methods since I was working in (insert some obscure mainframe language here) 15 years ago. We just called it creator methods then. Java has just copied these tried and true methods and renamed them" Makes me crack up everytime, because in my mind Java is sooo revolutionary....


I suspect you know that the Factory Method is described in GoF, which was published in 1995, 1 year before the advent of Java 1.0, and was in use by various names before that time, they state that all their patterns are collected from prior use.

Within 15 years Java will be replaced by something new, Sun is already working on a new language, and you will be able to talk about (insert some obscure web language) in your discussions with your juniors.

What makes Java sooo revolutionary?
- objects? - Smalltalk 1971, other experimental systems before that
- garbage collection? - APL 1966, LISP, BASIC, many others
- no direct access to memory or pointers? - APL, LISP, and early versions of Fortran and Cobol, all in the '60s
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by peter wooster:

What makes Java sooo revolutionary?
- objects? - Smalltalk 1971, other experimental systems before that
- garbage collection? - APL 1966, LISP, BASIC, many others
- no direct access to memory or pointers? - APL, LISP, and early versions of Fortran and Cobol, all in the '60s


Great questions... but not for this thread. Please don't hijack it.

--Mark
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

Great questions... but not for this thread. Please don't hijack it.

--Mark


Sorry, I wasn't trying to hijack the thread. I was merely replying to a statement in a previous post that implied that working for a large company might expose you to people with a long enough work history to know that Java isn't as revolutionary as he believes.
Jayesh Lalwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502
Originally posted by peter wooster:


I suspect you know that the Factory Method is described in GoF, which was published in 1995, 1 year before the advent of Java 1.0, and was in use by various names before that time, they state that all their patterns are collected from prior use.

I did'nt know that. Thanks for pointing that out

Within 15 years Java will be replaced by something new, Sun is already working on a new language, and you will be able to talk about (insert some obscure web language) in your discussions with your juniors.

I hope I can mentor people as well as I have been when I started out

What makes Java sooo revolutionary?
- objects? - Smalltalk 1971, other experimental systems before that
- garbage collection? - APL 1966, LISP, BASIC, many others
- no direct access to memory or pointers? - APL, LISP, and early versions of Fortran and Cobol, all in the '60s


That's exactly the point I was making. For people like me, who have started working right when Java was introduced, Java felt so new and ground-breaking, whereas in reality Java has taken good ideas from various technologies. Don't want to hijack this thread, but I just want to point out that if you have just passed out of college, it is helpful to work with senior programmers who have had exposure to various technologies, even though they might not be conversent with the latest buzzwords in Java. So, if you are relatively new to the field it helps to work in a big company with senior developers.
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Jayesh Lalwani:

That's exactly the point I was making. For people like me, who have started working right when Java was introduced, Java felt so new and ground-breaking, whereas in reality Java has taken good ideas from various technologies. Don't want to hijack this thread, but I just want to point out that if you have just passed out of college, it is helpful to work with senior programmers who have had exposure to various technologies, even though they might not be conversent with the latest buzzwords in Java. So, if you are relatively new to the field it helps to work in a big company with senior developers.


Thanks for the clarification, I wasn't sure if you were saying that seriously or tongue in cheek, I should have taken the sooo as a hint. Sometimes you will find small companies with a lot of senior people, but it's the exception.
K Riaz
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2005
Posts: 375
Originally posted by peter wooster:


What makes Java sooo revolutionary?
- objects? - Smalltalk 1971, other experimental systems before that
- garbage collection? - APL 1966, LISP, BASIC, many others
- no direct access to memory or pointers? - APL, LISP, and early versions of Fortran and Cobol, all in the '60s


How many languages have put them all together? It it wasn't revolutionary, then why wasn't it done before? That is why Java is what it is today.
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Kashif Riaz:

How many languages have put them all together? It it wasn't revolutionary, then why wasn't it done before? That is why Java is what it is today.


Just a hint that Java isn't the "Be all and end all" of languages Fortress.

And now for something completely different: which is better a big company, a small company, or no company at all. ie, start one of your own.
[ March 28, 2005: Message edited by: peter wooster ]
Sachin Mehra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 07, 2005
Posts: 77
Originally posted by Jayesh Lalwani:
It really depends on your style and your career goals




Well analysed by Jayesh. Just want to add that besides the personal style of Individual, I think small company is for short term goals/gains and Big compnay is for long term goals/gains.
 
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