On Dear Design Student, Mike Monteiro argues:
Q: I graduated from school this year and I’ve been looking for my first job. After interviewing around, I finally got a job offer at a small startup. How do I decide if it’s the right offer to take?
This one is easy. Don’t take it. You’re just starting your career, and a startup is the absolute worst place for you right now.
from 8 Reasons to Turn Down That Startup Job
He goes on giving 8 reasons why it is so. The main point is that Junior designers need time to learn the trade, and someone to mentor them. And it all sounded very familiar to me, but not about designers. I’ve been feeling exactly the same thing, but for Developers.
Most Startups I’ve known, have development teams composed mostly of Junior Developers. Either because they can only hire developers straight out of the University, or because they don’t want to pay for anyone else. And I see the same problems happening regularly:
- Rushed tech decisions
- Unmaintainable projects
- And a constant sense of urgency
Not only that environment strangles chances for personal growth. It creates bad habits to those who only worked in such places. I’m not saying that all startups are like that, but most are.
I call for more responsability from company managers. Fresh developers need space, time and help to grow, if they are to become proper engineers.
And for junior developers, avoid the lure of “world changing” startups. Look for places where 60 hours workweeks aren’t the rule. Where you don’t need to “hit the ground running”. Where asking for time to learn something is common, and not looked down upon.