Working at s IT Solutions: My first large company

I have been working self-employed for s IT Solutions since 1 March 2010; from 1 September I'm salaried there. (I shall still be doing bug-fixing for my old customers, consultancy, and perhaps some smaller new development projects on the side. This is explicitly allowed in my employment contract.)

s IT Solutions is the IT provider for Erste Bank and the Sparkasse Group. My role is in the team doing the Internet presence of those banks (e.g. corporate homepages; has more software of a greater complexity than one would perhaps imagine..) and the online banking services for those banks (which has as much software as one would imagine..)

It's the first large company I've ever worked for. Every other company was either a start-up or had grown from being a start-up. Obviously there are a lot of differences, but I have to say there are both advantages and disadvantages to both options. Working at start-ups one gets a lot of marketing that working for large companies is really bad, that everyone would rather be working for a start-up, "doing something they love", and that those of us who manage to make it into the start-up world are those who have had the courage to make the move, "fire the boss", and we look in pity at those who haven't had that courage; examples 1 2. I’m pretty angry about myself having believed that marketing unquestioned for so long.

My experiences with large companies are obviously incomplete as this is my first large company, so I can't really tell which properties are properties of only this company, and which are properties of large companies in general. But the benefits which have become obvious so far as:

And some disadvantages:

Some things are the same:

And this consequences which is an advantage/disadvantage depending on your viewpoint ;-) (but in my view an advantage)

So the main thing I'm trying to say is I believed assertions, by startups, that only startups are good, for 10 years of my life, going to no effort to actually verify or refute them. This was a mistake, which I regret.

This article is © Adrian Smith.
It was originally published on 1 Oct 2010
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