Not sure if I am writing this article for the broader public or only myself. I guess at least this could be a fun read for myself in about a year or so.

During the last few months I got a few suggestive comments from a few people that they are actively hiring. Due to the company having salaries defined in a collective agreement, I was quite aware of what kind of money we were talking back then. Between the years I now got an actual offer from an old colleague of mine which I ran into just before Christmas. That offer was in the same ballpark – but this time it was not just a suggestive comment but a real offer ready to be signed. Since this decision kept me busy between the years, I guess it is good material for an article. This article is about my reasoning why I didn’t place my signature on that piece of paper.

A little bit about myself

I graduated at the end of 2016 with a Master of Science in Software Engineering from the University of Stuttgart (yay). Before my academic training, I finished a 3-year apprenticeship as a Java Developer. During that time I was on jobs by different university institutes which included a lot of teaching and public speaking in front of groups of around 25 people. One of the off-campus jobs was at a big corporation where I worked in a smallish local IT department. My job there was redesigning an internal set of online tools and evaluating the Oculus Rift.

My master thesis was about a practical evaluation of Modeling and Generating REST Interfaces instead of implementing and documenting them. This was a cooperation between the university and my current employer. Meanwhile, I started working there now full-time directly after handing in my thesis. So, as you can see: This is my first ‘real’ job after graduation.

During my first two years here I REALLY learned a lot. Came in contact with a lot of technologies and patterns like Caching (+Cache Invalidation), Asynchronous Messaging, and the Spring Framework including all the Netflix OSS and Spring Cloud magic. Even got a certification for Spring.

But my whole experience is not solely about technology. I also learned a lot about Software Engineering Best Practices e.g. Clean Code and Agile Development. About the ways I can integrate TDD in my daily programming life and also about Software Architecture especially Microservices. I was even on the Spring One Conference in Washington DC.

On top of that I grew my soft skills. Nowadays I am told that I am leading our Backend Guild consisting of around 12 developers while working tightly together with other people across the project to make a better product. I grew from being the rookie to a respected senior developer.

The reasoning

Hey Marcus, so you got this 55% increased salary offer. Why did you not take it? Are you insane?

Some part of my brain, recently

Late in 2018, I had some arranged talk about my next year with my boss. This is something which is mandatory due to company rules. Our current project is getting on the backburner in favor of other, yet unknown, projects.

In the beginning the laydown of the project really made me sad. I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it. But I want to see the positive side of this and hopefully, this will open up new possibilities for myself.

We also talked about my role as one of the people which could be involved in the early phases of these new projects, what I really loved hearing. We figured out that it could make sense for me to add the knowledge of a mobile platform on top of my backend knowledge. Seems that I am getting into Android Development.

After this talk I felt pretty much pumped about the next year since I always wanted to some kind of Full Stack Developer and everything sounded great so far.

The dark side of the decision

And how does that sound better than a pile of cash?

Again the other part of my brain

Yeah, I wouldn’t be honest if I did not mention that I also thought about the things that this money could buy us. Us, a family of three. It was not easy as the breadwinner of the family and with my income being the biggest contribution for covering our expenses.

My wife and myself had multiple long talks about this topic which finally ended up in her being ok with me staying on my current job and hearing on my gut feeling. I hope that the pay gap between the jobs will be closing over the next years while I learn a lot new things which I would not learn at the other position.

What really made me stay

People Don’t Quit Jobs – They Quit Bosses

origin unknown

Well, I guess for me it works even the other way around. I am more than satisfied with the working relationship between me and my boss. My feeling is that he is looking after my personal development and this means a lot to me. I hope it stays that way and the fear of missing out on the pile of cash does not come back in an ugly form.

Let’s see how this one turns out.

Were you ever in such a situation? How did you decide? How did it turn out?

Would really love to hear your story. Hit me up on any of my social accounts to start a discussion.