In this post, we’ll break down a few types of companies that depend on software developers, and highlight what each can offer to your career.
Startups are typically new businesses operating on investment capital, that aim to meet a marketplace need by developing an innovative product, process, or service. Both Seattle-based startup Porch and New York-based startup Newsela are hiring developers and offering some sweet perks.
As a developer, you’ll likely be expected to work in a fast-paced, small team, where you’ll be exposed to new technology and lots of responsibility. You will have the opportunity to hone and implement your personal preferences for specific platforms, tools, and processes, and you should expect frequent adjustments to code and team, alike. Here are a few reasons why Fast Company thinks you should work for a startup.
Pros: Flexible, challenging work environment; opportunity to help build a company and culture from the ground up. Cons: Less conventional workstreams; smaller offices, longer hours.
Software as a Service
Software as a Service (SaaS) refers to the licensing and delivery model for software that is accessed through a subscription, and centrally hosted by the provider. Instead of companies buying and installing software on their own servers, SaaS providers like Salesforce or Netsuite host the software themselves, and charge customers by usage or on a schedule.
If you join a SaaS company in its “startup” phase, be prepared to code! The perks will likely include full benefits, competitive salary, and flexible work schedules, but the work will be intense.
Pros: Work in a trending, flexible industry; lots of positions available. Cons: Highly competitive market.
Agencies act as a strategic partner, working to achieve marketing, advertising, or other specialized goals on behalf of their clients. They need to be adept at using new technologies, and for this reason depend on technical talent of all kinds.
Working for an agency is a great way to build interdisciplinary skills as a technician, and to add projects to your portfolio quickly. You’ll also have the opportunity to regularly interface with the clients, salespeople, and account executives who depend on your code.
Pros: Wide-range of clients, projects, tools, and strategies; networking and cross-pollination with other agency skill sets. Cons: Client volatility; a less developer-oriented office culture.
E-commerce companies use computer networks to facilitate the trading of products or services. Amazon, Nordstrom, eBay, and Groupon all use technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
Online retailers provide an interesting challenge for software developers because you will be building infrastructure that is vital to the business, but isn’t necessarily the top brand priority. At SaaS companies, the software you write is the product; in e-commerce, the software is the vehicle that gets people to the product.
Pros: Wide variety of sizes/styles; competitive compensation and perks. Cons: Around-the-clock operation; coding errors can be particularly costly.
Global enterprises spend decades establishing their codebases, teams, and chains of command. Working for organizations like Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and Symantec will shape your style of collaboration and the technologies you favor. You’ll deal with larger bodies of code, larger bureaucracy, and larger paychecks. You will also be expected to understand and champion the brand itself, in and outside the office.
Pros: Bigger compensation, brand, and constituency from which to glean inspiration as a coder; ability to diversify your career from within. Cons: Less flexibility and autonomy; slower process adjustment; more bureaucracy.
Are you ready to pursue a career in code and work at companies like the ones listed above? Join our one-day Code 101 workshop to further explore if a coding bootcamp and future in software development is right for you.