Should I work at a startup?
January 23, 2012 8:43 AM Subscribe
Is it worth it for me, a software developer with over 15 years' experience to work at a startup in order to update my skill set?
Looking at the job market in Toronto, there seem to be two classes of jobs I qualify for: maintaining legacy code at large businesses or working at brand new startups where they're looking for someone who can learn whatever cool new technology they're working on. Everything in between lists some "must have" technology that I don't know anything about. This is worrying because it signals to me that I'm not keeping my skills up to date. My background is in development tools and low-level stuff with a smattering of Perl and Python. I'd like to get into mobile apps and/or cloud services.
Because of this, I'm considering looking for a job at a startup and have managed to get an offer. Assuming the worst case and I'm
underpaid, overworked and the whole thing tanks in a year and a half, I figure that having the new skills on my resume will be worth it in terms of job opportunities.
On the other hand, I'm in my early forties and plan on starting a family soon. I'm really too old for the over-caffeinated lifestyle.
The pay cut certainly wouldn't help me save for retirement either.
So my question comes down to, are the potential skill gains worth taking the loss of income?