I hopefully will be joining a big multinational bank as a technical analyst (fancy term for a software developer profile) by the end of this year. It pays better than what most of the developers in my country (India) get paid. While I am happy with that, there are certain things that do not make me swoon at the thought of joining the company, they primarily are

  1. The people they hire are strictly not the best software developers I know. Since they hire from my campus, I know of their hiring history and know many developers in the firm. (Please note, I use this term very responsibly, I do not mean to demean them.) I am apprehensive about the kind of environment, practices and pace I will be made to work at.
  2. Uptil now, I have worked (interned) at startups where I shouldered a lot of responsibility and worked with technologies that I struggled to keep up with, and the best part is, I LOVED IT. I loved the challenging fast paced environment, this is something that will be (I have checked with people currently working there) absent from a mammoth organization, and something I will miss.
  3. The technology stack they work it is laborious and old. I know that any true software developer should not be affected by the language he works in, or the framework followed. But some of the things they use are VERY old. Most of them must be used only be used by very few legacy software companies. The scope of learning and keeping abreast with the latest technologies is severely limited as a result of this.

Now I know that many of the problems I have stated here are borderline assumptions( Although I have talked to various people in the firm and done my own research before forming my own opinions). And I very well maybe in for a surprise and absolutely love it there. That is a possibility and I will join the place with an open mind, BUT I do want to go into the work environment prepared for the kind of problems I most probably face, and make sure that my time spent there is productive.

I know many people who would suggest against joining a company I am not very fond of, but this is a compromise that I am making, for the financial well being of my family, and a choice that I am making independently and with a certain degree of comfort.

So my main questions regarding the same are:

  1. How do I make the most of a job working with slightly aged technologies?
  2. How do I make a place for myself, and prove myself to be useful (or even make myself standout) at an organization having thousands of employees?
  3. How do I make sure that I learn a lot and advance my career even if the scope of the same might be limited?
  4. How do I attain a certain degree of job satisfaction despite the job-profile not being the one I had hoped for?

Any suggestions/help would be appreciated. I also do apologize for my border-line judgmental viewpoint.

  • As you know OP, large corporations like that in India just hire graduates en masse each year, since they cost nothing, and after a year only keep the top few. (You apparently think you'll be one of the ones retained - if so, fantastic news. If it happens, that will be your first baby step to becoming a top engineer.) The idea that working on legacy systems is not mentally stimulating is upside down: that is the most difficult and hence challenging programming. Regarding standing out, there is absolutely nothing you can do: if you're good it will be obvious. Concentrate only on code.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


I have worked both for a bank and a very large multinational, so for what is worth here are my 2 cents:

  1. Working with legacy code (refactoring, maintaining, etc.) is a valuable skill on itself. It may not be glamorous but many companies require people skilled on it.
  2. Don't try to stand out in a company of 100k employees. First start trying to stand out in your team, and work your way up from there. Large companies usually are very KPI (Key Performance Indicator) driven, so try to learn what they are looking for. Ask for a development plan from your boss, agree to some goals and try to exceed them. Network internally and try to look for venues to show your achievements (e.g. internal events).
  3. Look for opportunities inside your company to work on topics of your interest. Look for SIGs (Special Interest Groups), reach out to people working in a project and try to get involved, or propose a plan to modernise a part of your legacy code. Be aware that depending on the company culture, these practices can be either encouraged or frowned upon.
  4. This is a philosophical question that will hardly have a universal answer. I subscribe to Joe's reply.
  • Had to look up the acronyms.. KPI = "Key Performance Indicator" aka performance reviews? SIG = "Special Interest Group"?
    – user812786
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 12:27
  • @whrrgarbl I edited my answer to expand the acronyms
    – angarg12
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 12:47

First, no need to apologize. It is undeniable that working in a big company differs from working in a small startup and it can be hard to adjust if you change fields.

Now, there are different Approaches, depending on you taste. Not that with everything you do or try to change/accomplish in a big organisation it takes a lot longer than you are used to so be patient and don´t get frustrated. To even make a small impact in a big company can be a much bigger task than turning a startup completely around.

One option would be to find your area where you can specialize and be "the guy" in the company. While this is not too desirable from a management standpoint as it makes the company somewhat dependent on single employees, you usually have a lot more freedom once you are the only expert in a very specific field or technology.

Another option would be, to broaden your skills and also think about how you can help your company become more efficient, improve processes etc. This is if you want to do more organisational tasks and less programming. Having someone who can translate between business and programming is valuable to most companies and can be an interesting challenge of its own.

Also, you could join an open-source project which has the cutting-edge technological properties that you like. Keep in mind that for the company, technology is a means to an end - for you it is a passion so part of it could be considered a hobby.

What ever path you pursue, be patient and try to learn the logic of the existing business processes first. There are often more reasons than you realize if something seems dumb and complicated. Get used to company culture, reporting lines and find the right tone in your communication. It is easy to upset someone and that will never help you advancement in the matter.

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