by Leon Rosenshein


Today’s rant. How do you stay in the same job for more than 2 years?. According to the article, the answer is, you shouldn’t. That’s definitely an answer. And depending on your goal, it might work for you. But the cynicism and self-centered nature of it rubs me the wrong way.

I mean, objectively the statements are mostly true, but it’s the intent behind them I don’t like. Especially #4. 

You need to leave before the decisions you made bite you in the ass.

If you’re not around to experience the impact of your decisions then you don’t have to deal with the consequences. You also don’t get to learn from them.

Version 1 of something is easy. A green field, no expectations, and a clear problem to solve. So you solve some of it and release. People are thrilled to have something.

Version 2 is almost as easy. You add the things you wanted to add, but ran out of time for. You might fix some bugs along the way, really, it’s about finishing what you started. No significant changes, so no issues with earlier decisions.

Version 3 on the other hand, is a whole different kettle of fish. Your users have had time to get used to what you built, and find the ways it doesn’t work for them. And give you feedback about it. Of course, you have multiple users, so the feedback is conflicting. Some of the new requests say do more X, and others say do less X. A group of users think Y would be wonderful, and you agree, but you’ve never thought about that.

This is where the decisions you made before you knew better really stand out. How do you maintain compatibility with what you did, while doing the new thing? That’s where the learnings are. That’s where the personal growth is. That’s where the impact is. And you can’t get that if you change companies every 2 years.

If you were to ask me, I’d say if you’re a developer doing the exact same thing, trying to solve the exact same problem the same way, for 2 years it’s time to rethink things. Are you growing? Learning? Having an impact? Probably not. It might be time for a move.

On the other hand, if you’re learning, growing, and having an impact and want to keep doing that then what you probably want is a scope or role change. That will let you grow even more. And learn from your decisions, not run away from them.