The DevMountain BLOG

Startup Vs. Large Company: What's a Good Fit for You?

posted by DevMtn Team on March 14th, 2017

As a web developer, what is a better fit for you, a startup or a large corporate company?

One of the most popular question we receive from students within the program is “Where should I work, a start up or a large more established company?” Once students from the DevMountain program are ready to head out into the world with their newly acquired skills, we tell them to “not just take any ol’ job.” The company a beginning dev settles in with will have a lot to do with overall career trajectory and happiness. It is important for a new web developer to internally ask some questions to find out if they are wanting to work at a startup or if they should stick with a large company. Much of this will come down to personal preference and the pros vs the cons which we have tried to identify today in this article.

Large Company Pros

The Company is Established

When you work for a company that's been around for years, you know that you'll have a job from year to year. There's less chance of failure when you're part of an established company. While job security is never a guarantee, it's unlikely that you'll walk in one day to find that the company has folded.

Processes in Place

There will be a period of training when you take a new position in an established company. There'll likely be someone to train you in the culture and rules of the business as well as the processes required for your specific job description. Only in extreme circumstances will you be pushed into a position without proper training and processes in place.

Better Pay

With an established, large company, you can bank on the fact that you'll be paid better than you would at a startup. Established businesses have the customers in place with funds coming in to pay their workers. They can also provide competitive benefits packages to new employees.

Advancement Opportunities

With a large company, there are more positions available. This means there are more opportunities for an employee to advance to higher management and more responsibilities. With this extra responsibility comes a direct spike in the pay they'll take home.

Cons Working for a Large Company

Personal Initiative isn't Encouraged

In a large company, there's a culture that many employees must conform to, and they might not have an issue with that. Everyone sticks to their job duties and never stray from what's required. Initiative isn't encouraged or rewarded in a corporate environment.

Many Workers on the Project

When there are many co-workers involved in the same project, it can slow things down considerably. As an individual, it might be difficult to make your voice heard among the personalities involved in the project. There's no real chance to make yourself stand out when part of corporate culture.

Not a ton of room for growth

Typically in a large company, higher leadership positions are filled by those who have been with the organization for a long time. Whereas at a startup, as the startup experiences growth, that means the startup is looking for leadership and managers to build out teams and processes. Typically a startup looks internally at employees already on staff to fill these newly created positions.

Pros of a Working for a Startup

Unique Experiences

When you work for a startup, you'll have the unique experience of seeing it grow and flourish from the beginning. Employees of a startup will often don many hats in the performance of their jobs. For example, a coder will have to be able to learn quick marketing techniques to help out others in the office.

Room to Grow and Learn

Some startup employees start in one position and will quickly move to others. One day, they're learning about SEO and the next, they are working on redesigning a product or service for customers. There's room to grow with the startup as it does too. Eventually, a startup could turn into a valuable business that is able to pay its employees. That means you're in on the ground floor to see how it has evolved.

Innovation and Personal Initiative are Valued

When there are less voices in the company, your personal initiative and the innovation you bring to the workplace are valued. This is unlike the large corporation where there are processes in place that can't be varied. With no processes in place, you're able to work as you see fit, which is freeing.

Flexible Work

Startups are run by entrepreneurs who value the contributions of their employees. Bosses at a startup allow working from home and shorter work weeks in some cases. While they often expect more hours, those hours are incredibly flexible. They understand the lifestyle of the remote worker and telecommuting if that makes employees more productive.

Casual Atmosphere

When employees are not telecommuting, startups are usually full of people who are incredibly casual. It's one of the perks to working for a startup. There's often a group of young people working together and brainstorming the next steps in the business. It's an environment full of creativity and relaxed work.

Varied Benefits

Startups have to be incredibly creative when considering the benefits for their employees. They can't offer the best pay or benefits package, so they will offer free food during the work day, or free access to a gym or health facility along with the flexible work schedule.

Cons of a Startup

Need to Adapt to Changing Job Duties

Anyone who is rigid about sticking with their assigned job duties won't love working for a startup where they might be doing marketing, coding and customer service in the same day.

Pay is Low

As mentioned above, the pay is quite low. This is why startups will create a fun, casual work place for its employees. As the company grows, that pay might increase.

No Job Security

A startup isn't the most secure work place. It's the seed of an idea that might flower into an amazing company, or it could wilt and die. This could be a problem for those who have huge responsibilities in their lives like mortgages and children.

Heavy Workload

Along with many responsibilities in the day, there are not enough people in a startup to perform all the tasks that need to be accomplished each day. This can lead to long hours and a heavy workload.

Lack of Strong Work Leadership

The boss is usually the one who came up with the fantastic idea for the business, but they are not always the best leader. Often, the entire team will work as a group with no one being a clear leader. This could work depending on the group dynamic.

Overall, you have to consider which factors are essential to help you work toward your goals. Will you do better with an always evolving, “think outside the box”-type mentality, or a structured environment that allows you to methodically work toward your goals? Neither is better than the other—just different. And it completely depends on your personality, work style, and unique needs to determine which will be the best for you and your career.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of organizations, and you'll need to decide in what kind of environment you'd like to work.

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Celebrating International Women's Day

posted by DevMtn Team on March 8th, 2017


At Devmountain, we are passionate about entrepreneurship, building, creating and doing. An important issue for us is encouraging women to participate in these activities. Women only make up about 20 percent of the software development industry, but this International Women's Day, we want to make a movement and raise that percentage. The number is better for coding bootcamp graduates, at 38 percent according to Course Report, however there is still plenty of work to be done to change perceptions.

Women Coders- A study

A recent study by researchers at North Carolina State University and Cal Polytech State University found that women are often just as good if not better coders than men. After looking through 3 million code contributions on Github, they found that code from women was accepted at a slightly higher rate- 78.6 percent vs 74.6 percent for men. This only held true when the GitHub user profiles were not identifiable as male or female.

While women may end up in a position to best their male counterparts at coding, the problem seems to stem from much, much earlier in the learning process.

"Too often I run into women who don't think they can learn how to code," said Krissy Weekley, a DevMountain grad and current Head of Student Success. "The truth is there isn't a significant difference between men and women coders, and women shouldn't let the mis-perception that men are better coders stand in the way of learning how to code."

Women bring an important point of view to the development world and should be encouraged to learn these skills.

Creating vs Creativity

Too often creating and creativity are perceived as separate abilities, aligning along gender lines. Men create and women are creative, or so the stereotype goes. Societal norms often imply that men are engineers and women are graphic designers. But why is that distinction made? The reality is the creating and creativity are one in the same- and are only separated by a skills gap, and our interest in gaining those skills.

So if the goal is to increase female participation in software development, we need to do what we can to change interest levels and break perceptions. At DevMountain, we want to increase conversations around women's participation in tech and entrepreneurship. As part of those efforts, we will be hosting multiple events in March to celebrate International Women's Appreciation Day.

Events to Celebrate Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship

On March 8th, We have partnered with local entrepreneur Alison Faulkner for a big party to celebrate International Women's Appreciation Day. For more details on the event, go here.

We have also teamed up with Microsoft for an event celebrating women on March 30th. Rachel Nilsson, who recently appeared on Shark Tank and successfully secured money from the Sharks will discuss women in entrepreneurship at the event. Here's the link to the event page.

We'd love to have you attend these events, and if you're a woman who is trying to decide if a coding career is right for you, please contact us. We'd love to convince you it is.

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DevMountain Coding Bootcamp & CIRR; What is it and who is talking about it?

posted by DevMtn Team on March 7th, 2017

DevMountain coding bootcamp joins the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR)

This last week DevMountain joined a coalition of leading coding bootcamps who have joined forces to solve education’s most important issue: outcomes reporting. Before last week, incoming and current bootcamp students had no true insight to questions around the majority of coding bootcamp outcomes.

That’s why DevMountain has teamed up with 14 other leading bootcamps on something we are calling CIRR. The Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR) is the industry standard for educational outcomes reporting. Every coding bootcamp in CIRR will use a unified outcomes methodology, allowing for a standardized reporting.

With CIRR, our outcomes reporting will be optimized in the interests of DevMountain students. Now, bootcamp students left with questions about outcomes can look to a resource that can be trusted.

Because the CIRR organization will create truth in advertising standards, and common definitions, documentation and validation requirements for all participating organizations, it has started to turn heads. In the wake of CIRR's launch, it has received a ton of positive press and attention this past week.

The Wall Street Journal: Coding Boot Camps Band Together to Boost Accountability

Schools aim to avoid missteps of for -profit schools by issuing audited job -placement data.

Tech Crunch: Coding bootcamps commit to transparency in reporting around job placement

A group of coding boot camps and white-collar training programs from around the country are banding together to create a single standard for reporting graduation and job placement data.

South Florida Business Journal: Organization dedicated to standardizing coding school industry formed

A coalition designed to establish and implement best practices across the coding school industry nationwide has been formed.

EdSurge News: New Reporting Agency Aims to Track Coding School Outcomes and Standards

CIRR’s inaugural 2016 cohort data will be released on March 29 along with CIRR methodologies around definitions, documentation and other requirements.

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5 Tips to Round Out Your Tech Resume

posted by DevMtn Team on February 27th, 2017

Best tips on how to perfect your tech resume.

Perfecting your resume is one of the most important parts of landing your ideal job. This is particularly true for people who are seeking employment in the tech industry. The five tips on this list are highly effective ways to impress prospective employers:

1. Have A Good Online Presence:

If you're looking for a new job, it's important to pay close attention to your online presence. If you haven't started a blog or website yet, you should get one online right away. You can mention your blog or website to organizations that you apply to, and this is likely to improve your chances of landing a job. If you are applying to jobs in the tech sector, it's expected that you will have a well-developed online presence. Please, ensure that there aren't any technical flaws with it. Always be sure to take effective security precautions. All of these steps will show prospective employers that you know your way around building and hosting sites on the web.

In addition, your social media presence is also important. Especially if you will be handling social media within your new job responsibilities. While it's important to be cautious not to post anything that could cast you in a negative light, you should take steps to showcase your talents to employers. If you have already created software or designed any other form of technology, it's a good idea to talk about this on social media.

2. Tailor It To The Job You're Applying To:

It's essential that you know exactly what type of job you're looking for in the tech sector prior to seeking employment. This will allow you to tailor your application accordingly. When you know what job you're looking for, you'll be able to mention experience that's directly applicable to the job. It's extremely important to avoid providing similar information to all the organizations that you apply to.

In addition, many employers use keywords to sift through resumes. This helps them to ensure that applicants are knowledgeable about the job they're applying for. The keywords are chosen because they directly relate to the specific job they are trying to fill. It's essential to include these keywords on your resume for it to be considered. If the keywords aren't on there, there is a good chance that your resume could simply end up getting discarded. Do some simple Googling to identify a handful of keywords related to the job you are applying to.

In addition, it is important to be as familiar as possible with the specific company that you are applying to. You should research the company thoroughly online. This will allow you to tailor your application and accordingly. One area that's of particular importance is the company's culture. Make sure you know what the company is looking for as far as a culture fit. Companies are looking for candidates that not only meet the job requirements, but also are a good fit culturally.

3. Learn To Code:

Code is one of the most impressive skills you can know if you're looking for a career change in the tech sector. Code can enhance any career from writing software to web design. Even if your end goal is not to land a job specifically writing code, basic HTML and CSS are great additions to any resume. Learning more in-depth skills such as Javascript or other scripting language basics can take your resume to the next level.

Self-education in code is certainly possible, but it takes some serious dedication and hard work. If you're going to learn outside an organized curriculum, there are many online free resources to get you brushed up on the latest in code. If you are looking for a structure hands-on curriculum, bootcamps are a great solution.

4. List Plenty Of References When You Apply:

It is essential that you create a network of people you can leverage to give you credibility. This will allow you to list references that will enhance your chances of getting a job in the field. One great way to do build your network is to keep in touch with the professors, instructors, and other graduates from your schooling.

Furthermore, you should get involved with any tech meetups in your area. Most regions of the country have a tech meetup of some kind. Not only are these meetups an excellent way to get references, but they can help you gain skills that are useful in the tech sector. If you are unsure about the specific type of job that you want to get after graduation, tech meetups can help you to decide.

Social media can also be an effective networking tool if you know how to use it properly. If you are able to connect with successful people in your field through social media, they can make great references to include.

5. Think Accomplishments Over Duties

Work experience is a key component of your resume, but it should not feature a comprehensive list of all the jobs that you’ve held (especially if you’ve worked in the industry for years or had many jobs). List the most important positions that will show the hiring manager that you’re qualified for the new job. Provide the largest amount of detail for your current or most recent job (or the one that is most applicable to showing that you’re qualified for the new position). Be sure to list your accomplishments, rather than just job duties.

Again, think about what the hiring manager wants to see to convince him or her to call you in for next steps within the hiring process.

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Design Trends 2017 Infographic

posted by DevMtn Team on February 17th, 2017

For the third year in a row, Coastal Creative released their newest version of their Popular Design Trends Infographic for 2017. They have once again captured amazing upcoming and current trends within the 2017 Design landscape. Each of the attributes mentioned on this trending list is undoubtedly taking hold and becoming part of popular UX and Graphic Design this year. DevMountain definitely expects to see the following trends on super current and successful sites throughout the web in 2017. Take a look at what Coastal Creative saw in 2016 that they expect to continue to be popular, and what we can expect for 2017.

UX and Graphic Design Trends for 2017

DevMountain offers Design courses that give you the design skills specific to the high demand creative career path employers are looking to fill. Check out DevMountain’s highly ranked UX Design classes to aid you in making your desired path a reality. With a team of real world professionals, a reputation for being one of the most accessible and impactful Design programs in the country, and a program that allows you to take a hands-on approach to learning, DevMountain can help you achieve the career of your dreams.

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