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Leonardo Montini for This is Learning

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I QUIT from a TOXIC Software Development Workplace

I worked as a Full Stack Web Developer on what I realized it was to me a toxic workplace for software developers and I decided to quit. Today, exactly one year later, I’m 100% sure I did the right choice.

I didn't change my career path, I'm still a web developer (focused on Frontend though) but changing company also changed my life, in better.

It's a personal topic, not my usual technical content, but I wanted to share with you my own experience. In particular, what made me think it was time to quit and start looking for a new position. Maybe it can help you recognize some red flags in your workplace so you can evaluate if it's something you can solve or not.

In my case, it was not about the money but rather the company culture which made the difference.

You can watch the full video where I go into details here:

I know not everyone likes to watch videos, so let me write down some of the main concepts I talk about.


The first thing I also say in the video is that this isn't at all to shame on my previous company. I met great people there and I'm still in touch with some of them. Also, the project I worked on put me in front of a lot of challenges which helped me learn a lot about the web development world.

However, at some point I realized that the company culture wasn't aligned with my values and quitting was indeed the right choice.

Red flags

The first thing you start looking for is red flags. Red flags are things that make you think "This is not right".

In the video I go through 4 of them I noticed in my previous company and, unsurprisingly, managers played a big role in them. You know the saying:

People don't leave companies, they leave managers

For example, the management did not want the dev team to study and learn things, because they have to work. Other departments were totally fine in doing courses paid by the company though.

One more that played a huge role but is not entirely related to the management was how feedback and blaming were handled. People tended to hide their mistakes hoping no one would notice and eventually something would break in another step of the chain.

What made me quit

I have to say I never had problems with the salary. Not too high, ok, but they always paid on time and I never had to worry about it. Some colleagues were great and I had a lot of fun with them.

After a couple of years there I noticed quite a few red flags and I started to think about quitting. But getting out of your comfort zone is never easy, especially when you're not sure about what's next.

How did I find the strength to quit?

Well, let's put it that way, sometimes a really negative experience is what you need to realize what you really want.

In the video, I go more into the details and the feelings I had at the time, but let me write down the gist of it.

One day I wasn't sure on what path to take in fixing a bug and I asked my manager for some advice. His response was something along the lines of:

I'd rather fix it myself than explain it to you

Mic drop 🎤

Should YOU quit?

There's no right or wrong answer here, but often times it's just a communication problem. If you're not happy with your current job, try to talk with your manager and see if you can find a solution.

In my case, it was the company culture that was not aligned with my values, but we did some attempts with some colleagues to change it. We tried to suggest new ideas and ways of working but it was always met with resistance.

Start looking for red flags, if and how many you can notice. In the video, I highlighted some I found in my company but there might be a lot of different ones. I might talk about it more in general in another article/video.

Work to Live or Live to Work?

If you wake up every day already tired and afraid of one more terrible day at work, maybe it's time to start looking around for a new job.

I've been in that exact situation. Fortunately not at unsustainable levels, as I mentioned I had great colleagues who made my life better at the office, but I was still not entirely satisfied.

However, if I'd chosen to stay there, I'd have probably ended up in a burnout situation and it was something I definitely wanted to avoid. And you should too.

I'm not gonna expand on the burnout topic today, but if you're not familiar with this term I suggest you do some research and make sure to avoid getting to that point.

Was it worth it?

Fast forward one year, getting a new job made me love even more working as a software developer, so much so that I decided to take some of my free time to write articles here on and to start a YouTube channel.

My current workplace allows, actually encourages, me to study and learn new things. I'm not forced to work overtime and I'm not afraid of asking for help when I need it.

Was it worth it? 100% yes.

Maybe I've been lucky, but I'm sure there are other companies out there that are aligned with my values and I'm sure you can find one that fits you too.

If you're interested in all the details, you can watch the full video here:

Thanks for reading this article, I hope you found it interesting!

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Top comments (10)

nlxdodge profile image

That last red flag was indeed quite the mishap on his side. This is what my parents also did when they owned their cafeteria. The new employees don't get learning time or good support, and thus work slower. Then the owner who has to train them complains that they work slow......

When I look at my own work, I have self study time. Although not much but at least I can learn things I want. We can give feedback even to the manager and he listens as well and even improves or explains things well. So I am not ready to leave yet, even if I can earn a bit more money across the street.

balastrong profile image
Leonardo Montini

Thanks for sharing!

Great to hear you're doing good at the current job! Indeed if you're having a great time, getting slightly more money isn't definitely a valid reason to leave. Health and growth value much more!

ant_f_dev profile image
Anthony Fung

Thanks for sharing.

I now realise that culture and 'company fit' are so important. Some people might like things that others dislike: there's no one-size-fits-all.

It's extremely important to be able to recognise red flags though.

balastrong profile image
Leonardo Montini

Exactly! In that place I run away from there were other developers who were ok. Not interested in studying and learning anymore, salary was arriving in time each month so all good on their side.

We're lucky in our job with the remote working option which lets us pick a company where we actually fit, rather than being forced to going to the local one or move to another city.

fpsd profile image
Francesco • Edited

My current workplace allows, actually encourages, me to study and learn new things.

Each company should set a path of success for their employees, this sets the foundation of a healthy collaboration and commitment to company goals. If a company sets the grounds on mediocrity in not setting up itself on a path to success,

I'm not forced to work overtime and I'm not afraid of asking for help when I need it.

Even if sometimes some "extra" time is needed to meet ambitious deadlines at times, in a normal work setup they should be avoided as hell. Sometimes it is better to let a fire burn in order to spot inefficiencies in the process in order to fix them, unneded overtime work is like hiding the problem under the carpet :)

I think you made a good decision to try to find happiness at another company that meets your expectations and I am sure that in future you will get better at spotting red flags during interviews or even from the first contact email from a recruiter.

I wish you all the best!

balastrong profile image
Leonardo Montini

At my current company they do not ask to track the exact time on a daily basis.
If one day for whatever reason you find yourself working for 10h you're free to work 6h the day after (if this does not compromise someone else's work or some clients, obviously).

Thank you for the kind comment!

santoshyadavdev profile image
Santosh Yadav • Edited

All the best 🚀, you are doing great work Sharing your knowledge, happy to see you are at the right place now.

You made a right choice a year ago.

balastrong profile image
Leonardo Montini

Thank you Santosh! Yeah it was definitely the right choice, I'm so much happier now!

gturedi profile image
Gökhan Türedi

"Work to Live or Live to Work?" part is great point!