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Search - "startups-from-hell"
My previous job I got by winning an Xbox Kinect hackathon. Not because the game I made was really good or anything. But because I was the only one who actually built something. (Apart from a guy who’s application would cheer louder as you raised your arms.) So that evening I left the hackathon with an Xbox one and a job.
My job was to build advert games, games whose primary goal is to advertise a company or event. This is the job where I learned I DO NOT like game development. So after about half a year I quit.
Because I still needed money I did some freelance work as a game developer (I developed 3 advert games for 3 startups).
I was still looking around for dev jobs but because I was a student I had no luck, they were all looking for full timers.
At some point I called this one (Dutch) company and spoke to a very odd French person on the phone. He invited me to come over for an interview. I had very little information about the job so I started researching the company. They are a small company specialized in complex content migrations. I wasn’t that into migrations but hell, I’m always up for something new.
Upon arrival I was greeted by the familiar French voice and saw a collection 6 diverse developers sharing a space. We did the usual interview dance and practices and that’s where I figured out this is a java job. They developed tools for the professional services team to perform these complex migrations I mentioned earlier. With me never having touched java before I was quite sure I wouldn’t get the job. But I took the test anyway.
About halfway through the test I was stopped and they started to ask me some conceptual questions, I did okay there but nothing special. That same day the architect took me to their CEO and told him I had:
- very little experience
- no migration experience
- was still a student so could only work 20 hours a week
- he saw some potential they could work with
Quite unexpectedly, they still hired my 20 year old ass.
Now the company has grown to a good 20+ developers with a nicely sized professional services team and we are launching our first out-of-the-box product in a couple of weeks.
So that’s how I got my job. If you read to this very end, my hat is off to you!7
This startup I started working for with their shitty code base written by interns, restrictive sys admin who had no actual use in the company since I was the one setting up their servers, know-it-all CEO, stupid HR representative who used to grill employees for being 10 minutes late in the morning, very small apartment "HQ", using fingerprints to signal our entry and our leave to and from the office, no formal process, and, to top it all, monitoring our own laptops which we use for work with a software that takes screenshots every few minutes. In short, it had the worst in corporates with the worst of startups combined in one company.
If, hypothetically, we could overlook all this, I couldn't overlook the horrible smell this place had. The apartment was overlooking a small garden which was a home for many stray cats and dogs. You can imagine how horrible this smell was. The weird thing was that no one there seemed to really care about the smell!!
I lasted there for only one week before I gave my resignation and I believe I had every right to do so.5
After months and months of slaving away, I quit my start-up job and feel completely amazing- here's what happened:
Met a classmate in grad school and he talked about starting his own company and he had full funding and etc. After graduation, moved to the new city where the job was located.
There were all these promises of us being co-workers and working on cool things and many other promises made. Soon after starting the job, most of these promises we're just smoke and mirrors.
Started working day in day out. Worked from 8am-9pm most days and worked on weekends too. Treated me like a I was a dog, talked down to me, gave unrealistic deadlines, pressured me with attitude and threats of losing my job. Hell, they thought they were the smartest person to touch the earth basically- example being that they mixed jQuery with VueJS in our Django template.....who the F*** does that. Another thing being that they had issues with me soft deleting records since they wanted them completely hard deleted and we had gotten into a giant argument about that fml.
What led to me leaving the job was that I had gotten sick one of the weeks, and I still showed up to work. Each day I was gradually getting sicker and sicker. Still tried my best to get work done. Saturday morning I get the most passive aggressive and bitchy text from my co-worker. "if you don't complete blah blah blah by Monday, we are going to have issues. Then on Monday you will work on blah blah blah". They blew the fuse with me. They would always punish me for being sick or taking a vacation. I'm not a dog, not a machine, I'm a f****** person. Went into his office when the work week started and gave my resignation on the spot and felt like it was the best decision I've ever made.
Now I just feel like a giant toxic cloud has disappeared from my life. I did walk away with so much experience and knowledge but now I just feel extremely burnt out from programming. Is this what I even wanna do anymore?
Few lessons I learned along the way:
1. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
2. Free lunches aren't worth it
3. Unlimited PTO doesn't really mean unlimited- there's always stipulations
4. Start-up life isnt as cool as they say- don't take TV portrayals as the real thing
5. Your mental health is extremely important
6. It's okay to admit to yourself that you're burnt out
7. Take a break
8. STARTUPS ARE NOT FOR EVERYONE
This is just my experience and what I learned, so telling my story. Phew, feels so good to get that off my chest8
I actually only started programming a little less than two years ago. I entered my freshman year of college as a mathematics major, but as time went on I ended up enjoying coding in C++ much more than trying to work out partial equations.
I have since become fascinated with many aspects of computer science, mainly web development and systems programming (I discovered Linux and the command line only a year ago and I'm practically in love). I've since been working for a couple fairly new startups with duties from developing a mobile native app in AngularJS/Ionic to migrating content to new servers and developing custom themes on WordPress. I have deep, deep aspirations of eventually being employed by Google as a Senior Software Dev (although I'd definitely prefer working for a company that would allow 100% remote work 😁). I've even finally began developing my own projects, ranging from a URL shortening service to a basic online encyclopedia.
I wanna spend the rest of my life doing this shit. Hell, I hope I die at my computer.1
Fucking hell it is so hard to find an internship these days.
Now, I am just an normal student from a small college in India. The companies who are even slightly big/established won't even consider your resume unless you are from one the best colleges or know someone extremely high up in the management. The smaller startups are so disorganised that they just want free labour for a website or an app. Now ok I admit I slacked on my entrance exams and couldn't get a good college, but at least give me a chance. Take an interview, a test something. My mates from even slightly better colleges get internship offers from bigwigs just because their college is better and companies hire from them regularly. They come to campus and also takes interns with them. Meanwhile, here we are. Sitting empty on our assess waiting for a service recruiter to pick us all up.
I feel like it's worthless to slog through this shitty college now. Shitty colleges in India are lost causes. Shitty infrastructure, shitty faculties and the number one thing they care about is ATTENDANCE. Fuck them and fuck the education system.
Oh and did I tell you that the college administration won't let you intern at a no name startup and you need a No Objection Certificate from the Department Head to be able to pursue your internship otherwise it won't count towards your curriculum.
I am sorry if this bothered any of you and sorry if I came out to be a really arrogant person but I needed someplace to vent.
Desperately need advice from devs in India...
asking this here since really stressed about this and don't know who to ask to...
I am an engineering student from Bangalore, India from a basically no name college...
I have been coding for 2 years now, web stuff, primarily rails and js...
i have worked with handful of startups, done internships, and am working on my own projects which i will launch soon...
Lately my college has made it a mission to make my life hell even though i always perform well academically...it has gotten to a point where I am not able to work or learn anymore...
I wanted to ask what consequence my career will face if I drop out ?
I believe lack of a graduation degree will make me not eligible for many jobs...please suggest what I should do...6