As I write this, I’m one week away from leaving my role at Grab and embarking on a career break of (most likely) 6-12 months. Although I’m not looking for employment again yet, I thought it’d be good idea to note down my criteria for a future job now, for future reference.
Type of Company
My ideal company would be an already-successful startup or medium-sized company. I’ve worked for very large companies before and find earlier-stage companies to be more enjoyable and rewarding, although I have had negative experiences with startups that didn’t do so well.
I will definitely never work for ‘Big Tech’ like Facebook, Google etc, because I don’t think they have a positive impact on the world.
It is important to me that the company’s product is ethical and I can identify with their mission. I would love to work for a company that provides positive social impact or is closely aligned with my interests such as online privacy or humane technology, but it’s not essential.
I’m very unlikely to be interested in any company related to cryptocurrency, social networking or any Uber-like companies.
Type of Role
I’d like a senior IC (Individual Contributor) role at Lead Engineer level or above (Staff/Principal etc). I’d want to be fairly hands-on with coding, code reviews or DevOps/infra-related work, so I’d be prepared to take a less senior role (than my most recent job) if I thought the work would be more enjoyable.
It’s very important to me that I can align with the company culture and get on well with my colleagues. As mentioned before, I’ve found this easier in the past at smaller companies. Some specific things I’d be looking for in the company culture include:
- Transparency and sharing: Everyone shares knowledge freely and enjoys learning together.
- Collaboration: Emphasis on teamwork and working together.
- Flexibility: As a father of two, it’s essential that the company welcomes this and provides flexibility in working hours etc.
- Ethical: I’d like to work with mostly like-minded people with regards to ethical technology and social responsibility.
Language and Technology
I’d love to work with either Go or Ruby again, in either backend product-facing or internal-facing (eg. infrastructure) roles. I’m not interested in frontend development or Java but besides that, I’d consider learning any programming language for the right role; it’s not critically important to me.
The tech stack has to be Linux (not Windows), ideally self-hosted but any cloud is also fine.
I’d give bonus points to any company that doesn’t use the typical Big Tech software stack like Slack, GSuite, Zoom etc. internally.
Singapore only, preferably in the central business district.
I’d prefer hybrid work, but 100% office-based is fine too. I’m not keen on being fully remote as I find it easier to achieve work-life balance when the environments are physically distinct.
My criteria for an ideal role:
- Small (successful startup) or medium-sized companies, no Big Tech.
- Lead/Staff/Principal IC (individual contributor) role with fair amount of coding
- Product must be meaningful and ethical
- Go or Ruby preferred, no Java or frontend
- Good company culture with flexible working hours
- Singapore only, hybrid or fully based in central business district