Blog #12

Why Developers with Startup Experience Are Worth Hiring

 16 Oct 2017

Why Developers With Startup Experience Are Worth Hiring
 
Working in a startup is a unique experience. For a developer, you can make a huge impact on a product that is constantly growing and evolving.
 
Over the last ten years, startups have made an impact across almost every sector. More big companies than ever are incubating and supporting them, as a way to stay innovative. More investors than ever are supporting startups, either through seed and venture capital (VC)-backed funding rounds, or through crowd-funding, which is open to anyone.
 
In 2016, over £6.8 billion was poured into UK startups; 50% more than any other European country. London regularly attracts five times as much investment as other leading cities in Europe, including Berlin. Regional hubs, particularly the North East and North West have seen a steady rise in the number and value of startup investments, at seed stage and beyond.
 
Although startups are known for having a high failure rate, those in the UK are more resilient. We are good at cultivating startups that don’t need hundreds of millions to succeed. Investors want to see proven business models, clients and revenue, which is why many startups in the UK grow into stable and profitable small and medium-sized businesses. At the same time, startups are valuable talent incubators and one that hiring managers can not afford to ignore. 
 
Benefits of Startup Experience
When assessing a potential developer, you would benefit from looking closely at those with startup experience. Unlike those with a corporate background, a .NET developer who's worked in a startup has a lot to offer and will usually have a wider range of experiences and transferable skills.
 
Here are a few of the benefits that developers gain from startup experience:
 
#1: Creative Problem Solving
To survive and thrive in a startup, founders and co-founders need employees who are innovative. Working in a startup means encountering dozens of problems on a daily basis, from how to keep growing to solve customer issues to writing smoother code. Co-founders don't have the time to micromanage team members. So if you’ve got a candidate who’s spent more than a few months in a startup, you can take a safe bet that they were considered a useful member of the team. They should be skilled at solving difficult problems, applying an innovative mindset, and writing clean, uncomplicated code that saves businesses time and money.
 
Developers in startups are usually well versed in agile and lean methodologies, which means they are who you need to get products from conception to roll-out quickly.
 
#2 Communication
In a small team, there is nowhere to hide. You can’t dodge responsibilities, and you need to make sure everyone is on the same page. Communication is key. Developers in startups should come equipped with a wider set of skills, including communication, that should make them a valuable asset from day one.
 
#3: Project, Product & Problem Ownership
Part of having nowhere to hide means that developers need to take ownership of projects, products and problems.
 
Passing the buck or blame doesn't help anyone. In a startup, everyone is in the same boat together. Startup teams should be good at pulling together - unlike the teams of wannabe entrepreneurs on BBC’s The Apprentice, developers in startups are only useful when they take ownership, communicate and help each other.
 
 
#4: Resilience
Working in a startup is stressful. It often involves working longer hours than in a corporate role. But this does mean that anyone with this experience should be able to manage stress and generally, prove more resilient, able to handle mission-critical tasks more easily than those who’ve not worked for a startup.
 
Taking ownership and solving difficult problems means employing successful time management techniques. Developers with startup experience should bring these same time management skills into a new role.

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