Go Small or Go Home
I moved from IBM to Apigee four years ago (when it was less than half its current size), and to be frank, I was not at all sure whether I would survive, let alone thrive. It is time to chronicle what I love and the one thing I don’t. I’ll give you the good news first.
- Decisions are made much more quickly “Switch to Slack?” Done.
- The future is ahead of us “Should we do bot detection?” You bet.
- Legacy code hasn’t hit us yet “Change our persistence layer?” Yes, if it reduces our COGS.
- Very few people are at the end of a phone line “Let’s get together now and resolve an issue, in person.” Yup!
- One gets to do more, learn more “CTO talking to financial analysts?” Check.
- A straight line to customers—and to business impact “Ask 10 customers what we should do?” They like us, they'll tell us.
- Really smart people with different perspectives are all around you “Tie in analytics and run-time closer together?” Joy (our chief data scientist) and Greg (our chief architect), separated by 20 feet—what’s the issue?
- There’s no “this is the way it works, get over it” “Sales engineers contributing code?” Why not?
- I wake up and look forward to work “A cold coming on—should I stay at home?” Probably not, the office is too much fun. I know, this is weird, hahahaha.
And the one thing I miss? Not being able to give people a lot of time to grow in their jobs. “Take five months and become a Spark expert?” Nah. If you want an environment where you can be shielded and grow your skills, then a smallish company is not for you.
I think I moved at the right time. Earlier, I would have had a chip on my shoulder (“I have to prove myself”). I joined at a point when I felt that I didn’t have to establish myself here. I was here to have fun and make a difference. If I had waited much longer, I wouldn’t have moved at all.
Find the right time, and give a small(ish) company a spin.