Why Startups Hiring Senior Developers Can Be a Huge Mistake

Experience is valuable. But for startups? I don’t think so

Mohammad Faisal


Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

Running a startup is exciting. You are part of a journey where the destination moves constantly.

Hiring and managing people is even more challenging. A well-organized team is the most important asset for a startup.

In my experience as a founding member of a startup — and after working for multiple startups in the last 3-4 years — I have noticed that the outcome of a team depends more on chemistry than technical strength.

Today, I will share my experience with older programmers and why I think startups should avoid hiring them.

They Have More To Lose

Younger programmers are eager to take risks. They have nothing to lose. They can bet on a promising technology or change to a different tech stack.

But the case is different for older programmers. They have spent their career working on a specific technology. Maybe they are very good at it, but it’s not guaranteed that technology will solve every problem.

In these scenarios, they oppose adopting a new technology because they suddenly go from experts to newbies!

In one job, I had a hard time convincing my boss that React was a good choice instead of JSP for a frontend application because he was a Java developer and wasn’t willing to learn React!

They Are Too Technical

Being technically perfect is not bad — especially when you have a lot of time. But getting things done out of the gate is the #1 priority for most startups.

As a startup, you have to try out many things. You don’t even know if the feature you are building right now will be in the final product at all.

But older programmers often care so much about the technical nitty-gritty that it becomes impossible to get things done.

Obviously, the scenario is different when a team is working on an established product. Achieving high quality is mandatory there.

They Are Sometimes Political