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My name is Anthony Ettinger, Sr. UI Engineer, Javascript hacker

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  • Do you learn more at a startup or a corporate company?

    Hope this doesn't create a war here on CareerDean. Curious to hear what people think is a better learning opportunity. Especially for someone in college, we think about this all the time. Should I start my career at a startup or a big company? For purposes of this argument, let's define startup as having less than 1000 employees.

    Please disregard any factors other than learning potential. For example, don't say something like "you may learn more at a startup, but work-life balance is better at corporate." I am willing to sacrifice work-life balance (I know a lot of CS students would) early on in my career for unmatched learning opportunities.

    Looking forward to what this community has to say! Especially if you have worked at both types, chime in!

    Anthony Ettinger's avatar image.

    Like anything....it depends.

    I've found if you want to work on cutting edge technology you either have to work in a R&D/Labs team at a large corporation or work at a startup.

    Startups tend to take more "risks" on their technology --- by that I mean they have not invested millions into any current stack yet, so they can pick the latest and greatest. If you want to learn the latest technology a startup will probably suit you better.

    That being said, one thing larger corporations *are* good at is refining their processes. A startup might setup on a VPS to begin their prototyping, but that's not going to work for a large company. They will tend to already have multi-tiered architected applications living in the cloud. Something that may be difficult for a startup to do off the bat with only an engineer or two.

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    Anonymous

    This is a solid point, Anthony. Startups are more nimble, so they can do a lot of things larger corporations may not be able to as easily - too much change is harder for a larger company.