amw (amw) wrote,

analyzing my job history

Since i am now actively looking for work and have interviewed at a few places, I am trying to figure out if there is some kind of pattern to the companies i like. I decided to make a little table to figure it out.

Funding Industry Profitable Size Head Office Location Product Release Schedule My Role Did I like it?
Government Government N/A ~50 Brisbane suburbs internal tooling on-demand support yes
Private Health/Manufacturing yes <10 Brisbane suburbs clinic administration/industrial automation on-demand developer/support yes
Public Media/Big Science no thousands Silicon Valley suburbs storage quarterly developer no
VC Construction yes ~150 Melbourne downtown document management quarterly developer yes
Private IT no ~30 Toronto downtown IT administration biannual developer/lead no
Public Fashion yes thousands Berlin downtown e-commerce weekly developer/lead no
Private HR yes ~20 Berlin downtown business process management on-demand developer/lead/support yes
VC Supply Chain yes >1000 Hong Kong downtown supply chain management weekly developer/support no

Some columns like funding source, profitability and release schedule are things that i actively ask about during interviews because i always thought they were stuff that mattered to me. For example, i like to tell myself that i avoid VC-funded companies because they are just get rich quick schemes and not profitable or real companies. But, as it turns out, that's not true. Release schedule. I want to deliver on-demand. I hate having to wait around even a week to deliver a fix or new version to a customer. And yet, there is that one company that released quarterly (at the time) that i still enjoyed working for.

I guess the problem with trying to do analytics on only 8 jobs is that there isn't enough data to draw any useful conclusions.

But here is one interesting thing. It seems every company i joined that was more than about 100 people, i was not happy. In all of those cases i felt like decisions were made too slowly, and there was not enough of a mindset of real continuous improvement. Even when the bosses said "we're just a big startup" or "we are agile", it never was. So perhaps that's something i need to think about at my next company.

Also it seems that generally... Actually, in all cases apart from my current job, i am happier when i am doing support. Most developers hate support. They look down on it. They think dealing with ignorant customers and fixing bugs is annoying. Personally i find that to be something that gives my job a bit of meaning and context in the real world. I guess that ties in a little bit to the on-demand delivery. Right now i can't deliver on-demand, so even if i help a customer i can't really help them, i have to tell them to wait for the next release and that sucks. But when i can roll out fixes straight away, that makes me feel good.

What does this all mean for the jobs i am currently interviewing for? Well two of them are at large companies with thousands of people. And i can tell, already, that the process is a pain. HR people doing all their box-checking. Taking ages to get back to me. Even if the work itself is enjoyable, i wonder if i am just not cut out to be part of a huge corporate machine like that?

And then there is the robotics job, which is a seed-stage start-up. They have one customer and one product and are going to need VC funding to ramp up and a shit-ton of sales to become profitable. Because it's so small, i probably would have more of an opportunity to support customers. And perhaps i could influence the release schedule by helping to engineer a platform that is easy to update remotely. (Obviously the robots are all on-site.) I mean, it seems like it hits the right things for me. Then again... no solid customer base and not (yet) profitable. Is that what i want?

We will see. I have a screening call over lunch with one of those faceless multinationals where a few of my acquaintances once worked. Last night i had a call with the 🤖CEO so that seems to be almost at the offer stage.

Sigh. Job hunting is exhausting.

Oh, hey everyone. I also turned down a promotion to director of software development at my current job. I'd have ~5 team leads under me, each with several guys under them. Would've been great for my résumé. Horrible for my mental health, at this company at least. The CTO was disappointed. I think he's pretty clear now that i will be out the door in the next couple months.

I just want to make sure i walk into the right door.
Tags: career, looking back

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