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Discussion on: Job Hopping

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Ben Halpern

A job hopping developer will never have the opportunity to get the feedback on their long term decisions.

I'm not sure where I'd be without this kind of feedback. Making it valuable for both the developer and the company to create lasting relationships is key.

One more thing... what about the third option of leaving and coming back? I feel like that's a reasonable scenario that doesn't wind up happening enough due to resentment or old-timey ideas of loyalty. If I wanted to go to a different kind of company, learn a lot, but be welcome back with open arms if I were to return in the future, it would be a pretty great outcome for everybody. It's not unheard of, but it's rare.

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mistermocha

I've received feedback on projects done at former employers from former colleagues. It's not as formal or measurable, but it's something.

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Lars Richter

Hi Ben,

I totally agree with you about the third option. This is an absolutely valuable option.

It's great for developers to see other company structures, policies and tools. This will let developers value the things, they had in the previous job.

As you already said, it's also great for employera. A developer may come back with great possibilities to improve processes, which have been successfully established in other companies.

It should happen more often.

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Beekey Cheung Author

Yeah, I think there is definitely an advantage to sticking around for a little bit. I've met a lot of developers who know a wide variety of technologies, but don't actually have the skills to maintain a large production system because they've never stuck around long enough. Yet there's a balance there. Stay at some places for too long and the developer usually stagnates a little. At that point the option to leave becomes more advantageous than sticking around.

I don't have any scientific evidence of how well leaving and coming back would work, but anecdotally I have never seen it work out well. The people I know who've done it only did so because the place they went to was much worse. Going back was more a decision made out of desperation rather than positive intent.