I'm working for 1.5 years as a software developer in a medium-sized company in Germany. We develop software for ourselves (in-house). Unfortunately, I'm not happy with some things.

No clean software development process:
We get incomplete software requirements or no requirements at all (only task descriptions). So that we need to come up with our own requirements. When the appropriate department starts testing our prototypes, this is when we usually get the "real" requirements. Our software then needs to be changed drastically, which is very frustrating.
Also there is no real communication between the departments, so that projects take much longer, than planned.

Personal issues:
Promises made during my job application have not been kept. There is little respect coming from our bosses. That doesn't concern only me: The general atmosphere is not the best, so that people are leaving.

I'm planning to change my job soon, too. Since I haven't been here too long, I will need to justify my job change to my future employer. I would like to mention those problems, without being rude or too specific. Maybe even using them to my advantage.

I would like to work in a company, that follows the agile software development principles [...describing them...]

So the future employer will see, that I know how to work in an agile team and that it's important to me.

How can I do it professionally, without talking bad about my current employer and so that my future employer doesn't think that maybe I'm the problem?

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    Since I haven't been here too long, I will need to justify my job change to my future employer Is that really the case after nearly two years? Commented May 25, 2020 at 16:58
  • Do you think there is any possibility or opportunity for you to introduce 'agile' (or at least properly structured) processes into your work in this company? Are your management aware that you know how to do agile etc and/or did you talk about that in your interview etc? If that's an option, I think it could be worth pursuing the "implementing and coaching on software development processes" angle. I'm asking this in a comment rather than an answer to get a sense of whether you think that's an option at all. Commented May 25, 2020 at 18:26
  • Sounds like you want to do agile, but don't understand that Agile is about incremental versions of software and being open to changing requirements.
    – JohnFx
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 21:51
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    @JohnFx: Requirements can only be changed, if there were some defined in the first place. We have the "reverse waterfall" model: First developing, then specifying the requirements ;-)
    – user117270
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 8:42

4 Answers 4


As someone who hires a lot of software developers, I'd tell you to give the same non-answer everyone else does. "I was looking for new challenges. Or I wanted to work in a shop that used such-and-such technology, like yours."

We really don't put nearly as much thought into why you left previous jobs as you are thinking. That is, unless there is a repeated pattern of very short jobs.


I will need to justify my job change to my future employer

Only if they ask for it and even then I would give a very bland generic response:

I'm looking for a new challenge


I'm looking for better career prospects

You could even say you're under an NDA not to divulge the reason why which will pretty much stop them in their tracks.

Why give this response ? Well frankly it's none of the companies business why you left and this line of questioning is on par with asking about age, children and religion. Why you left your previous work has little to do with you joining a new work even if you were fired. The phrase Past performance is no guarantee of future results is apt here but as usual employers will often ask this for a few reasons:

  • If you were fired they want to know what you did as you might do it again

  • Are you a job hopper? They won't want to hire someone who's moving around to further their career as it doesn't further the recruiters

  • Maybe the job they are offering has the same flaws that you are leaving, meaning you'll be just as unhappy and leave in 18 months from the new job

  • Some recruiters are nosey they'll form an opinion about you within a short space of time and asking this question lets them justify their opinion. I've worked with hiring managers that came back from interviews and told me what they thought of candidates frankly

Others may note that not giving a decent answer here may hurt your opportunity of being placed in a company and I 100% agree.

Frankly though the problems you are describing in your current company are rife in the software industry so jumping to another job won't magically change this. There are very very few companies in the world that have a perfect requirements gathering process. I see it as part of the development process that the developer themselves are able to tease out the requirements from the stakeholders before they are near the end of a project. I would actually suggest that you work on this rather than move company some examples of things you can do:

Rather than jump into creation of an app when you get the requirements you should:

  • Write down what you think the overall requirements are and pass that back to the stakeholder
  • Insist that you speak with the real end user rather than a middle manager
  • Create a mockup or barely functional version of the app and demo this to the stakeholder early on
  • Get the stakeholder to be involved in the process. I would do short (2 week) releases of the product and at every point formally ask the stakeholder to come have a look at what you've built and comment on it. This is especially important at the early stages

If you find that no-one will let you do any of the above then it's time to leave.

So in all honesty if you say this to any hiring manager / recruiter they'll know that you'll feel the same way about their process. So if you want to move that's fine but don't mention this problem with requirements at all as you'll kill more positions than if you just say something generic.


Not everyone looks for the exact reason for leaving a company. Recruiters and interviewers are mainly interested in filling a position, and they only assess if a candidate can become their potential employee or colleague.

They'll stress on the reason only if your stress about it. Telling them that you are looking for a more challenging role or you are looking for new opportunities would suffice. Concentrate on enhancing the technical skills. And prepare well to answer this rather mundane yet important question.

In one of the jobs where I was selected, I was not even asked this question.


It depends from employer to employer, and is mostly to make sure that the candidate won't abscond or elope just under the context of "better opportunities". Every company looks for a loyal candidate. Be honest with your reason and if your technical skills are good enough for them, it won't even matter. Best luck with the job hunt!

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