A not-so-long post telling my story at my previous company, why I quit and decided to create my own start-up.
I’ve been working on a Barcelona technological start-up for exactly one year and six months. It was my first real job as a Software Engineer, and the knowledge I acquired there is invaluable. When I entered as a engineer with zero experience, we were 14 employees. Now, we are more than 40.
I started as a Master’s student that was working and studying at the same time, that never applied the theory in a real work environment. Before blinking, I had to deal with real-world situations, build products for customers, and learn how to really work.
Before, I knew how to code, but not how to work in a company, including communication, collaboration, coordination, etc. Technically, I think my code skills have improved a lot, maybe not as “I am able now to code very complicated programs”, but more as “I know how to follow a code style, I know how to do things to be more performant and extensible”, and forcing more myself to code as good as I can.
“Either do the best you can, or do nothing” is something that I learnt there, with the great Engineering team that has taught me so many things, that never, ever, told me to prioritize deadlines over clean and extensible code, that commented every line of my Pull Requests. With the team that trust me and gave me the opportunity to work in great projects and take decisions that in other place, for a young developer with less than a year of experience, would have been impossible.
I also experienced, directly, the growth of a Start-up. Even though I entered when it already had 14 employees, we were humble, everyone worked very hard, and every success of the company felt like a personal success. When we moved to the new office at Castelldefels, I was more motivated than ever.
During my time at the company, I really thought it was a place where I wanted to stay much time, as I really saw a professional career then and I really enjoyed what I was doing. Sadly, some months ago things got ugly, people had been fired with reasons I don’t understand, and other unethical actions that I cannot mention here without exposing to legal actions happened. The environment in the office, from then on, has not been the same.
I had a good salary, so I could have stayed there more, working to pay my bills, and learning. But, since that happened, me and some coworkers started questioning such idea. A coworker and me started talking about creating our own company where we could apply innovative technologies in a sector that is growing and has many technological needs. For some months, that was just an idea, but it kept evolving until we finally knew what to do, had some contacts, and some possible customers.
And the moment when you have to jump came. A decision needed to be taken, to stay or to leave, to try or to continue. After thinking it a lot, and talking to possible customers and other contacts to see that our ideas were feasible, we decided to do it. We would create our own start-up and try. Maybe we fail, maybe we succeed, maybe it goes well for a few months or years. But it was the ideal moment. We are young, we have knowledge about the sector, we do not have many obligations. We learnt from errors that the company committed, from failures, but also from success and good decisions.
It will be hard for so many reasons… I will start losing money for some months, I will have to leave the cave of coders and talk more to customers (as a shy and reserved person that will be hard), there will be problems, there will be regret and there will be doubt. I will no longer work with people that are the best I knew in years. But I will keep such people as friends, I will grow as a person and, hopefully, we will create something that we really love and that will work.
Now, some words to current and former employees of this company:
I have no words for the Engineering team I’ve been working with. Thanks for supporting my decision, for being so helpful and for always being there. I will miss really much entering into the office and not seeing you there. This will be the worst.
I hope the days I have to stay at this company after resigning (15 days) are good days, where management understands our situation and we can finish in a good way, without any fight or problems. I hope management learnt from their errors in this matter.
I wish everybody that is looking for a new job, or that plans to do so, finds a better one where they can develop personally and professionally, and that meanwhile, the time you spend there is nice. All of you have great potential, and finding something better will not be difficult for you. If you need any help, just tell me.
I am sorry for the people that came to the company with a promise that everything would be wonderful. I personally told to current employees during the interviews that I really loved working here. It was true in that moment, for sure, but things have changed so much since then that, even though I know it is not my fault, I feel sorry.
I know that quitting my job will have consequences on the work of employees, such as more work-load, starting with projects they do not know, etc., and I am sorry for that. My intention is to stay 15 days to make the transition as smooth as possible, and will ask any question after that with no problem.
For the people that told me to come with me I can just say that I will surely count on you when we have enough money to do so, as right now it is impossible. We would start this new company with so many people, but we just can’t for money reasons. But all of you are invited to come to our new office whenever you want :) We will be located, at the beginning, in Viladecans, so it is not like we died or disappeared.
For me, the company will always be the good people that are part of it, forgetting the people that broke the dream.
I will try to keep this blog updated with my progress on the new start-up.
To infinity and beyond!