After carefully considering a couple of opportunities, I think I know what I should do, but first I would like to sanity check my decision against some fellow software developers.

For reference I have over 5 years of website development experience and just under 3 years of experience with application development. I'm currently employed and have a family.

I have a couple of offers on the table from 2 different companies. They are both offering me the same salary and are both the same distance from my home.

The first is a young, up and coming consulting company which is about 3 years old. They have about 30 employees and they promise the opportunity for rapid growth due to their rapid expansion. They are offering me a level of position equivalent to the one where I'm at now, which is software developer. Due to the nature of their work I would have the opportunity of being exposed to new and different technologies. A con is that their benefits package is slightly below average.

The second opportunity is with a large international corporation, that has 1200 employees. They offer software as a service, therefore I would be supporting the company's application, which is sold and used by external clients. The downside is that they are offering me a position that would be a demotion (in my opinion) and doing something completely different to my prior profession as a developer. They would like for me to start in their Product Support department as a Tech Support Engineer. They said I wouldn't be doing any development more like looking through log files and being a subject matter expert helping clients troubleshoot and resolve issues. They said that from this position one of the next steps in the available career paths is software development. Their benefits package is really good. This company competes with companies like SalesForce.

Some of you may think the choice is obvious and I think I'm getting caught up in the glamour of working for a large, reputable, well known company and letting that inject doubt into my decision making. However compensation-wise, the larger company is offering more and is offering more stability.

What do you think? What would you do?

  • Hello, welcome to the workplace. I am afraid we don't answer "advice on what to do" questions, because it depends entirely on the individual. You have a better chance of getting an answer if you ask what factors to consider to make that decision, but that would likely be closed as a duplicate, and you seem to have nailed that down already yourself. – Masked Man Jan 6 '17 at 6:19
  • In your comparison you didn't mention comparing with what you've got right now. In other words, suppose the two offers you're considering came separately. How would you respond to each on its own, if each were the only alternative? – Brandin Jan 6 '17 at 7:41
  • @MaskedMan, thank you, it's my first time posting here and I wasn't aware. I read on the software development stack that career advise questions may be more appropriate here. Honestly, I wasn't looking for advise but more to see how others would logically think about this situation if it was them. The answer below from Andrew is exactly the type of feedback I was looking for. – Arkeynum Jan 6 '17 at 14:22
  • @Brandin both would pose a considerable pay raise from where I'm at and cut my daily commute by more than half. It would be an ever tougher decision is the second opportunity was the only offer. I don't know if I would be able to do it due to the fact that the job is not doing actual development. Thanks for that perspective! – Arkeynum Jan 6 '17 at 14:24
  • @Arkeynum Glad to hear you got a useful answer. Rather than "what would you do in this situation?", you were probably looking for "how would you choose between various options?". Those questions are fine here, and looks like the answer also covers that fairly well. Career advise questions are off-topic here, but you are welcome to bring that up in our standard chatroom, The Water Cooler. You need some reputation to enter there, though. Hope to see you there soon! :) – Masked Man Jan 6 '17 at 14:55

I generally make a list of basic points when having a decision like this. So here's what I have gathered from your post.

Job 1

  1. New Tech
  2. Similar Level Job
  3. Rapid Expansion (so seemingly secure)
  4. Lower Benefits

Job 2

  1. More Benefits
  2. Not doing development
  3. Demotion

Based on those, I would ask you the following questions:

  1. Do you just care about package? (There's nothing wrong with answering yes here)
  2. Do you enjoy Software Development
  3. Do you think you are a good Developer?

If you answer Yes to 1 then take Job 2.

If you answer Yes to 2 and 3, then I can't see how you take Job 2, unless you answer Yes to 1 and that's more important.

Personally, I can't see how you can consider Job 2. It's not Software Development. They have told you you can get "Promoted" to become a developer. Why would you need a promotion to do a job you already do? I probably wouldn't even have applied for that job unless I wanted out of the Software Development industry.

Job 1 is going to be stable as they are expanding. This means the company is making profit/getting investment, so for the short-medium term, it's going to be secure. Don't be fooled into thinking Job 2 will never do redundancies, because large companies do redundancies too.

I'll let you into a secret. It's not glamorous working for a company with 1200 employees. Yes, the benefits are usually better as they have more employees to barter with (so to speak), but you still just type code into some software. (Or read logs etc).

So, unless you just want the money/benefits or want to do less development, take Job 1.

  • Thank you very much, this is the exact feedback I was looking for. I answer Yes to 2 and 3, and that's why I had come to the same conclusion, I just wanted to make sure my logic wasn't off. I really enjoy software development and worked hard to get my foot in the door. It feels wrong to then take a step backwards in my career. Thanks again! – Arkeynum Jan 6 '17 at 14:18
  • No worries. I always write an objective list between roles (if i'm in that position) and try to decide. The one time I didn't do this, I left within 6 months... – Andrew Berry Jan 6 '17 at 14:20

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