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I work on a development team that kind of sticks together across companies. There were 12 of us when I first interned with them. They all got deemed redundant during a cost cutting initiative.

They basically split between 3 companies and I joined one of them. Spent a year in that job before most of us were recruited to one of the other two companies by a newly promoted member of the team who was building out her own group.

Fast forward about two years and that project had gone into maintenance mode. As usual, raises were not forthcoming, so we split between two companies different companies.

Have spent a year there and am there right now.

Now, they are reforming the original team at the first company and I am wanted again and my team members at my current company are going back.

As the most junior member of the original pod, I have mostly just been pulled along by one of the more senior members who wants me on their team. I haven't had a truly competitive interview (plenty of sham ones to satisfy HR) over all these job changes.

My concern is just about whether all the changing is going to make me noncompetitive in case the pod ever breaks up and I can no longer rely on my network for jobs.

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    Do you feel you do good work, or they are comparable to the interviews? Do you have substance to build a resume and face a proper interview, if need be? If yes, then nothing to worry. – Sourav Ghosh Jul 28 '20 at 15:42
  • A friend once said he first updated his cv once every 5 years, then it was every two years and now it is kept up to date annually... – Solar Mike Jul 28 '20 at 16:01
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    Does this answer your question? Is job hopping bad when it's for good reasons? – gnat Jul 28 '20 at 16:14
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    This is almost as if your core team provided services to the some/any/other companies. Have you thought about starting a company yourselves and provide your programming prowess as a company service? – Koenigsberg Jul 28 '20 at 18:12
  • Expectations in this regard vary a lot between industries and locations. – Myles Jul 28 '20 at 18:41
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It might.

On the one hand you are part of this group. And I imagine it's not for random reasons. If it's a high performing group, you're a high performer yourself (at least according to the group's standards), or if it's a tight-knit group, at least you're as competent as any in the group.

On the other hand, as you say, the group might split up, or some other difficulty might appear which makes it impossible to keep the "process" going.

It is a decent idea to try to actively manage your career rather than go as the wind blows. It seems like you're in a sort of comfort zone with this group. This is super, cause it offers for you a solid base. But you should also try to see what life is "outside" the group. Go to interviews with companies where you don't have any such help might give you a good signal of what life without it would look like.

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I always thought "job hoppers" (especially in development) to be those who change job after 3-6 months. Not year or two.

The main thing I see, and would present in any interview is that you might change companies. But you didn't change the teams. Imagine you were 12 people working as one company and you were hired by others to do things.

As a developer your skills are so good and recognized by other so much they are willing to take you with them. And as a person they like working with you they want you to work with them. Choosing your collegues is very hard.

And on top of that your first company want you all back. That's a sign of recognision and evaluation. You were let go as cost saving manouver. But company is willing to pay much more now than what it would cost to retain you for all those years. And they are willing to do that. That means THEY are willing to not care about the job changes.

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  • One way to phrase "job hopping" every year or two is to frame it as being "Project oriented". – JayZ Jul 29 '20 at 12:31

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