I've worked at various tech companies: from

What Silicon Valley "Gets" about Software Engineers that Traditional Companies Do Not

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2023-09-17 07:00:01

I've worked at various tech companies: from "traditional" shops and consultancies, through an investment bank, to high-growth tech firms. I've also talked with software engineers working at startups, banking, automotive, big tech, and more "traditional" companies. This mix had a healthy sample of Silicon-Valley companies and ones headquartered outside this region.

I've noticed that Silicon Valley companies consistently "get" a few things that their traditional counterparts fail to either understand or implement in practice - especially in Europe. These are practices that result in faster innovation at a company-level, better professional growth for engineers, and just better "utilization", for the better word for it. In turn, Silicon Valley companies can (and do!) pay higher wages, and they get more value out of the same person.

In this article, I'll use the term "Silicon Valley-like company" to refer to modern companies who create high leverage with each software engineering hire, and who have traditionally been headquartered in Silicon Valley - though many newer ones no longer got started there. They are the kind of companies that are comparable in working output per engineer to the likes of Facebook or Google. They use similar methodologies and can often attract talent from other "Silicon Valley-like" companies.

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