I am a software developer, recent bachelor graduate in the field. I have 1 year experience in mobile development from an internship during my studies. Besides that, in the past 6 months I've been doing some freelancing work as mobile developer.

For 2 months now since graduation, I've been looking for a full-time job as software developer.
In the last 2 weeks, I had a phone interview, completed a coding assignment and a face-to-face interview with the same company. They offered me the job and the salary & other benefits seem great.

The thing is that I feel that it was too easy. I didn't really put much effort into getting the job and I have very very limited experience in the area of web development, in which I would have to work. What I'm worried about is that it won't be the most challenging environment because:

  • The coding assignment I did had poor code architecture. (I know this because I showed it to one of my friends who has experience in the area) They didn't mention anything bad about it, instead said that it was very good.
  • I'd be part of a ~5 people IT department in a non-IT company. Previously, I worked in an IT company with ~50 people.
  • The interviewers (project leader and a developer that I would work with) didn't strike me as people that I would learn a lot from (professionally). I feel that I wouldn't have much guidance from them. That kind of guidance that you get from a person that really knows his stuff from a lot of experience (senior developer). At my previous company, I was stunned daily by how good were my colleagues and learned a lot from them. Unfortunately, I didn't get this impression about my interviewers in the 1 hour interview. But then it's possible that I'm all wrong, since I'm quite new at this.
  • There's only 1 internal product that I would be working on, compared to developing software for clients at my previous job. From what I understood, the product requirements change quite all the time and they didn't seem to be much into using the best practices.

What is true though is that I could make a big impact in such a small team. I am willing to learn on my own, but I feel that I won't know if I'm going the right direction without proper feedback from a senior developer. Is this worrying rational? Of course, it's also possible that I'm underestimating them.

Everything is great related to this job offer, except this impression I've been left with after the face-to-face interview.

Also, would it be ethical to take the job just to try it out and then quit if I don't feel that I'm growing fast enough professionally? (first 3 months are trial period) I could keep applying for jobs and attend interviews meanwhile, but currently I have nothing else lined up.

My goal is to learn fast how to perform my job the right way and make sure I go in the right direction professionally.

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    So, what exactly is your question? If it is whether it's ok to leave after a short time if something you feel better about comes up, that question has already been answered on this site many times. If you're hoping the Internet will help you feel better about your upcoming job, that's off-topic for this site. It's too specific to your personal situation. maybe you can rephrase the question to be more specific? – Kent A. Sep 23 '15 at 23:35
  • Thank you, Kent! I'm hoping that the internet will tell me if other people decline jobs based on thoughts that the job might not be demanding enough. This being the start of my career, I want to start it right, it's quite important I believe. Is it a bit more clear now? – Alex Sep 23 '15 at 23:40
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    I think the job will be plenty demanding for you since your friend said your web work wasn't all that great. You'll have a lot to learn on the job. Don't read too much into the easiness of the interview. Just because they didn't tell your your work was weak, doesn't mean they're weak. They probably have lower expectations of new grads (most folks do when interviewing). If they made you the offer, they probably think you're worth training. – Kent A. Sep 23 '15 at 23:45
  • I didn't know this regarding lower expectations of new grads. Didn't consider that before. Very good point! – Alex Sep 23 '15 at 23:57

Is this worrying rational?

Worry is human.

When something seems a bit off, we worry. When the interview doesn't go the way we expected (even when it's better than expected), we worry.

Normal stuff.

Also, would it be ethical to take the job just to try it out and then quit if I don't feel that I'm growing fast enough professionally? (first 3 months are trial period)

If you are hoping it might work out, and as long as you decide within or at the end of the trial period, it's completely ethical. That's what trial periods are for.

Both you and the company get to decide if this is a good fit or not. If you conclude during the trial period that your worry was well-founded, then just quit and move on. Three months should be more than enough time to figure things out one way or the other.

  • Thank you for your answer! Also, the thing is that I feel bad about the following: they need to have a working beta very soon, and if I join and quit within 3 months this could quite possibly hurt their advancing forward. They'd need to spend time again looking for someone else and integrate that person again when found. Is this worrying too much? Or should I just think it's business? – Alex Sep 23 '15 at 23:35
  • I'm not planning on leaving if everything is fine and I'm advancing professionally. – Alex Sep 23 '15 at 23:47

Is this worrying rational?

The worrying is normal, but if I were feeling it, I would not consider it rational.

Would it be ethical to take the job just to try it out and then quit if I don't feel that I'm growing fast enough professionally? (first 3 months are trial period) I could keep applying for jobs and attend interviews meanwhile, but currently I have nothing else lined up.

Lots of employers get 'wounded' when employees do this, but it is completely allowed. I've been working for 11 years. For 11 years I send out at least 5 resumes a week. Just to keep a pulse on what's out there and to keep my options open.

Honestly, this sounds like an amazing early-career opportunity. An easy assignment where you can step back from the structured world of education and internships and learn to stand on your own two feet.

  • Thank you for your answer! Could you please elaborate on why would this be an amazing early-career opportunity? – Alex Sep 23 '15 at 23:28
  • Being in school and going through internships are when you rest under the wing of a mentor or a teacher. Now is when you leave that behind and learn to work. A smaller company with a more focused workload is what you are aiming for. Get 2 or three years at a smaller company under your belt, and you can move on to a larger organization swinging. So many people make the mistake of starting with a giant company and a TON of pressure to early and getting overwhelmed. – user2989297 Sep 23 '15 at 23:50
  • Very good point! I think I might be afraid of the lack of a mentor. Without one, I guess I'm afraid that it's possible to fail badly. So I just have to take the risk. – Alex Sep 23 '15 at 23:54
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    You're not in academia anymore, you're in the grownup world now :) Better to get your sea legs as early as you can. – user2989297 Sep 24 '15 at 0:11

Yes, it is rational to worry that you will fail at something or disappoint someone who you value.

If they are offering you good money + benefits to learn a new skill set, jump at it (especially if you have nothing in the pipeline; body's gotta eat, right?). Having web dev on your resume along with mobile dev is like having another arrow in your quiver when the next opportunity shows up. If no one is there to teach you web dev, you teach yourself. Their expectations will likely be different than if you sold yourself as an experienced web developer. Just keep the boss apprised of what and how you're doing.

If you don't see a "mentor" there waiting for you, join the club. Having a senior person at a company who will look out for you and guide you is very rare. And if you decide you don't like web dev, it's expected you would bail out. Don't burn any bridges (2 weeks notice minimum, help to hire your replacement, orderly handover of work, etc), but don't expect the company to look out for you beyond what you can produce for them. Companies get bought, buy other companies, go under, move, change all the time, regardless of what they promise you.

Good luck.

  • Very nice advice, Dave! It was really hard to decide (because of all the good stuff they were offering), but I eventually turned it down. – Alex Sep 25 '15 at 23:14

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