We've come up with some thoughts on what would attract somebody to a small company such as ours vs a bigger organisation...
Software development is a highly-skilled job and as such software developers are usually self-motivated, independent and good ones are very much in demand. Consequently, they are attracted to things over and above the basic salary and benefits. As a small company it’s sometimes hard for us to compete against bigger organisations on many fronts, however there can be many advantages to working for a small company:
- Flexibility. We’re still a business and obviously we all have to work hard to get the job done and keep our customers happy. However, we have fewer rules and less structure when compared to bigger companies, and this can lead to a significantly more relaxed and flexible working environment. Had to work late to meet a deadline? Time off in lieu to compensate shouldn’t be a problem. Want to see your child’s school play one afternoon? And if the team decide they want to take the afternoon off to take a trip to the Cambridge beer festival, well…
- Influence. I have worked for big companies, and I know how easy it is to lose sight of the impact your role has on the bigger picture. You’re just one of the many. Working for a small business, your role is vital and your impact on success of the team is large. You have influence over technology choices, project methodologies, even the direction the company is taking.
- Responsibility. Each member of a small company has a lot of responsibility. The sums of money involved are small when compared to big companies, however your work would directly impact us and our customers. You will see how the software you build affects the working lives of those who use it - for better or for worse. Our goal is to improve the lives of those using our software and if we don't achieve that initially then we’re all responsible for making sure we do.
- Variety. You’re not restricted to one product or project. You’ll need to get involved with everything based on the needs of the company. You may not enjoy working on everything, but it provides a breadth of variety and experience that perhaps not all companies can offer.
And of course:
- Recognition. Your successes and good work will get recognised and appreciated (and possibly rewarded too if you’re lucky!) Of course your mistakes will get noticed too, but as long as we all learn from them, then fine.