What It’s Like Working at a Large Company

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Ask HN: Startup acquired by a large company and it sucks. What to do? | Hacker News

At this point I am in absolute shock. This should take no more than a few days to implement. So I reach out to the manager and ask what is going on. This is a simple task, I said. Why does it take an entire quarter for your team to deliver? He doesn't have an answer. I tell him I'm happy to fix the issue myself, if they link me to the relevant codebase. "It shouldn't be too hard to dig in and submit a patch," I think to myself. He says he cannot give me access to the codebase for compliance reasons, and that only members of his team have R/W on that repo. What???

As one of the top comments says, this is just what it’s like to work at a larger company. At my work we have literally thousands of requests for things that would take like 1-2 weeks to do, and each person who submits a request would love it if we could just do their thing in 1-2 weeks.

We’d love to do it all, but when you have 2,000 1 week tasks, that’s 2,000 weeks worth of work. When you account for code review and other work time, that’s probably 3,000+ weeks of dev man-hours. Even with an army of 100 devs, that’s still 30 weeks to do everything in our backlog.

Of course, 30 weeks is a long time and hundreds more 1-2 week tasks will come in over that time…

Oh, and these are just customer requests and don’t account for maintenance work needed or strategic projects that push your company forward and gain you customers to pay for that army of devs you have on staff.

This is the point of product management: of the million things you could be doing at any one time, what do you do first? It’s super hard to figure out, but this is why a good product team is so important.