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Ibrahim Shamma
Ibrahim Shamma

Posted on • Updated on

As a Software Engineer in a startup, plan your leave to the corporate world

Before why we should leave the startups we need to address the following:

Why we end up in Startups in the first place?

You finished your college or boot-camp or whatever, you found out about some startup that is using hot tech, state of the art solution, or it is just the only opportunity you got.
Either way, there is nothing wrong, startups make a good starting point to your career, they have less restrictions on what build and how, you can experiment technologies, build an app by your self and what it comes with it from learning, technologies, but spoiler alert, most of those projects you were excited about failed, the startups is a place to experiment and get exposed to technologies, this is one of the many reasons the number of startups created per year in a nation is considered a key KPI for growth.

According to history, most startups fail, with up to 75% rate of failure, if we focus on what will mostly happen is that whatever you are working on will not be relevant in couple of years, and that project you were working as a solo engineer like Madonna on solo performances will fade, and you will start thinking how sustainable your employer is, and how sure you can be paying the bill the next month, you will start losing the excitement and honeymoon mode you are in while building something.

Here are the notes to consider before start your next move

With the current bad economy we are more limited

Here comes two solutions, go to another new hot startup and repeat the cycle? or find a stable Job in some Giant Corporate where you are performing a stage full of people, product, testers, engineers, support and many more, your responsibilities and influence will be shortened, but trust me it is for your own and your employer good.

Take off the Ankle Weights, and move faster

You know when athletes wear weights on their ankles, they become slower, it is great for training but at some point you got to take them off when your muscles become stronger, to relate into all of this personally speaking, spent 6 years in successful and non successful startups, before moving away into corporate, because I was doing too much in the startup world, when getting into a specific role of engineering in a corporate people around me were amazed of how diverse my engineering skill, from frontends, backends, data engineering, databases and many stuff I could not recall, all of this made my corporate Job from responsibility perspective look so easy, and that made me have time for a lot of ideas I never had time to experiment with, and with good paying and stable corporate job you are not worried about the next bill anymore.

Getting to the next level in sinking ship might be your least of a priority

Most great engineers were so great by focusing in their craft and not having to worry about how to feed a family.

It is not about only coding

Tech is much more than technical knowledge, one aspect you are not aware of when being in startups is the politics.

Corporates are slow and that's a feature

You may have other plans delayed for so long, contribute to open source library, or start your own, or even personal non tech stuff like traveling and marriage etc, with the slow nature of startups you can have a better time capacity management for such events

Embrace the Rough Seas: Why Every Sailor Needs to Weather the Storm

If you did not get the chance to build small products and prototyping and especially in small teams, you should aim into achieving this before going into bigger teams, where they don't have the authority to ship broken product done a night before into prod

Blind Spots and Boundaries: Navigating the Terrain of Limited Perspective

You might be incorrect and actually the startup you are working on is near an acquisition, or going public, then your stay is most likely going to be worth it, in terms of compensation.


Always aim into what is in favor the long run, your family is more important than your CEO, your kids need you more than the project you are working on solely, and it is at the end of the day a business that is not yours, relax.

Top comments (1)

dato2003 profile image

Honestly I think you are right. Start ups are very high risk high reward type of workplace. whereas me personally I value stability over flexibility.