I have been in a company for 3 years. I was the first developer, which gave me the title of CTO. I have been interested in the company’s capitals. We made our business grow, we raised some funds and now we are a small business of 10 peoples and among them 3 developer that I am managing.

With the coronavirus outbreaks, economic activity in our sector have heavily slow down. Our company might not die but for, at least, the next 8 month we will hardly have no growth.

On a personal scale, I am not happy with my job. I have made some mistakes in the way I developed my company codebase / infrastructure that made them hard and annoying to maintain. To not discourage others developer so they don’t leave, I do the hard and annoying maintenance while they work on the interesting projects that we decided to start appart from our main stack so there is no flaw in it.

Our roadmap is disturbed regularly by clients as they demand gets priority, making it hard for me to achieve anythings.

On top of that I’m earning 60% what a developer my worth should be paid on the market, because I’m a cofounder and the company is hardly making any money. (It should have been reevaluated as we were supposed to raise fund in may but that sounds compromised until Q4 if we are lucky).

So I have been thinking of leaving the company, as I have dreams to fulfil (working abroad / expat stuff) and I’m not willing to endure those conditions for another 8 month. I also think I have a lot more to learn and would love to find a business with new projects were I can learn news things from more experienced peers.

The problem is if I leave the company will die for sure as I handle ~ 60% of our technical infrastructure (+ it will kills hope of fund raising). But I don’t want the business to die, because my cofounder are 200% into it and loving it, all my coworker seems to like what they do and like the good company atmosphere we have (kinda everyone is friends with everyone).

To be short I hate my job and want to leave but I don’t want to be the bad and selfish guys and kill the company. What do I do?

Sorry for potential poor English.

  • 6
    Why not spend the time to correct the mistakes and fix the problem? Sounds like you are in the position to make the call.
    – Joe W
    Apr 27, 2020 at 15:09
  • 1
    almost exact duplicate: How to resign from company that will fail if I quit
    – gnat
    Apr 27, 2020 at 15:31
  • 1
    Welcome to The Workplace @Bouncy Chips.Unfortunately we can't give personal career advice on this site. We can't answer a question that depends so heavily on your own abilities, preferences or circumstances. You should check out the linked questions for advice to people in a situation like this but only you can really make up your mind. Check out the tour and help center for more on how to ask questions we can effectively answer here.
    – Lilienthal
    Apr 27, 2020 at 16:59
  • Btw as a life lesson: Those side-projects that now seem "clean" will look ugly in a year or two. And if just because you learned new techniques and consider your old code ugly. Even more so when multiple developers did stuff and they too had to give way to some real life requirements. Code ages and you need to constantly de-age it. That's a reality whereever you work. Apr 30, 2020 at 9:30

1 Answer 1


You have one life and it's yours to live. If you aren't happy and wont achieve your goals then you should find something else. Whether it kills the company isn't really something you should worry about.

You are not the company. If its success relies on one person in a team of several, then it's probably going to fail anyway. - Never think that you are irreplaceable.

Until you find another job, do what you can to fix the problems. Talk to your business partners. Consider dropping the stack that's causing problems and move to the new one. - No excuses, either fix it or drop it.

I have recently seen a company that failed because they refused to drop an old stack that had similar issues. It just haemorrhaged money out the business.

The bosses refused to update it because it would have lost them clients and money. - Instead of seeing the long term goal they focused on short term profits and never updated having to give away hours and hours of maintenance for free.

Over the last 4 years they went from 14 tech staff to 2. If they had taken the hit and updated, they would have easily survived.

  • 4
    Never think that you are irreplaceable. - No one is irreplaceable. It's just more difficult to replace some than others. When someone indicates to me that they're irreplaceable, they're telling me that the company should replace them immediately. They've become a liability. Apr 27, 2020 at 15:46
  • 3
    While agree everyone is replaceable, there are sometimes individuals in a company, that help define the identity of a company. The loss of those individuals, often are difficult for a company, but those individuals don't often exist (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Hewlett and David Packard, Michael Dell, etc). Important all of those companies survived without those individuals, their corporate identify must have changed, but they all still exist. Mark Zuckerburg obviously is still with Facebook
    – Donald
    Apr 27, 2020 at 16:28

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