Working for tech startups
Category : amanarticles
Tech startups face lot of challenges in attracting and retaining talent. All the good talent is taken by big names and for the people who reluctantly agree to work with the startups, their dream is to “settle” in a big company. Hence, their focus is more on looking for opportunities than giving hundred percent to the project on hand. High attrition rates lead to incomplete projects or a lot of missed deadlines.
Since the team is young and inexperienced, lot of compromises are done during project execution resulting in a) diminished features in the product b) low quality of the product.
Some minor changes in the attitude of the team members can improve the situation to a great extent.
Empathy with employer: Career goals are important and everyone should pursue their career goals, but this should not be at a heavy cost to your employer. It happens so often when the project is at a critical stage and one of the team member announces that she has found another job. The person making the announcement sees the turmoil it causes and the impact on the project, but remains indifferent. Instead, they can negotiate with their potential employer to buy more time to join or time their job hunt during the lull period of the project.
Empathy with user: As a software developer, you are creating something to solve a problem for your users. When designing the software, think how an average user, who does not have a formal education in Computer Software, is going to use your software. If your software is unusable by an average user, it will not get any acceptance, instead of solving a problem, your solution may end up creating more problems for the user. Think like a user when working on the solution.
Agility and flexibility: Teams usually divide the project into tasks and assign the tasks to individual team members. For example, One team member handles the front end, another team member handles the database etc. This division of responsibilities is for smooth execution, but a lot of people take this as their territory that no one should trespass. Do not box yourself into the task assigned to you. If you started as an AngularJS developer, it should not stop you from venturing into other areas. You should be able to handle all aspects of project delivery even if you are alone in the team.
Inter dependability: If you are responsible for handling the database, and you see that the person doing the back end is struggling, lend a helping hand to the person. Teams that have members with attitude like “here, I have done what is needed from my side, your turn to shine now” never accomplish anything. Some individuals think of asking somebody for help as something injurious to their ego. They get bogged down with an issue that they can’t resolve, and do not seek help from anyone, leading to delays in the project delivery. There are a lot of good people around who who are ready to help, reach our to them and seek help. Likewise, you too should always be looking for opportunities to help other young developers.
Small, inexperienced teams can make it happen. It has more to do with attitude than talent.