An advantage of working in a small company is being exposed to everything. From coding, to marketing, to design, to project management and to pretty much anything that requires a human. Although it is chaotic, irregular and messy, it teaches a lot of things. Things like, am I doing the most impactful thing for this company? It cultivates a way to break from the “missing the forest from the trees”. But it also teaches about other domains that are rarely exposed in bigger companies. For the most part as an Engineering Manager at Babylon, my focus was tech and people. These two verticals occupied 80 to 90% of my brain power. But in a smaller company, one has to be quite intimate with their customers’ needs. In a bigger company, I could afford to outsource these concerns to a Product Manager. I wonder if this was a perk, or the complete opposite. It prevented me from knowing more about other domains. But it also afforded me to go deeper into managing engineers. I was well compartmentalised in the machine - one more cog.
This is what makes a lot of people jump from a stable, secure, mundane job. They miss the excitement. The irregularity. The absolute mayhem.