Three months ago, when I joined this company, I wasn’t sure about how working for a startup could be, the kind of challenges I would face and how different from a big enterprise this job could be. Before, I heard many “horror” stories about startups in Indonesia: chaos, pressure… but after some time here, I think I can share my opinion based on my own personal experience and feelings.
It is not that I don’t have experience working for startups (I have worked for startups before the “startup” word was commonly used) but not in Indonesia where the working culture and the people are so different to Europe (just to name one thing, most of our colleagues are bellow 30 years old, and even our CEO is only 32, something that could be unimaginable in Europe).
Basically, I see two main differences between working for a big enterprise and a startup:
- you need to work more.
- you need to learn more.
Both things are really related. Once you join a startup, you will find that there are many things to do, and if you want to get them done, you need to do them by yourself. It is not that people don’t care, as maybe you have heard about startups, it is because when you start something, you need to move fast and as you may know “perfection is the enemy of progress”. Thus, you need to roll your sleeves and get ready to do things that probably, in another context, you would delegate to someone else or wait for someone else to do them.
As an example, in only three months, we have been able to implement many new things here. Managing our Cloud infrastructure as code with Terraform, configuration management with Ansible, secrets management with Hashicorp Vault, CI/CD pipelines with BitBucket pipelines… (more about this on next articles). A lot of things have changed in this short period of time. We worked a lot, but we learned a lot as well (sometimes we learned the hard way, I have to admit, but that’s the way you learn the most, isn’t it?).
After this experience, I feel like in big enterprises people just want to stay, while in startups people just want to learn. It takes a long time to reach a high position in a big company and when you reach it, you want to keep it (company car, bonus, benefits…). Who doesn’t want them? The problem is that at the end, you spend more time trying to keep your job than improving, learning and doing real things.
So, what do you want? If you want to learn… remember, we are hiring ☺