The life of a Java engineer happens in the enterprise. Heavily funded project ideas come from the executive suites and teams of engineers fan out to flesh out the requirements and get architecture on paper. These engineers tap their brains to give their employers the greatest value for their development dollars. These same engineers are not permitted to suggest new lines of business. That task and the creativity that goes with it are the qualities that the modern enterprise engineer pines for.
In the back of their minds, as these same talented engineers sit in meetings hashing over the minutae of the current product’s requirements, they are daydreaming about the features and design of the idea they had wanted to build, but can’t. They are told their ideas are not in line with the company’s strategic plan. Their idea is not related closely enough to the company’s current domain and heaven forbid a company open new lines of business. These frustrated engineers wish they could be working on their own ideas, the place where their passion lays–but invariably they can’t.
According to Marissa Meyer–now president of Yahoo–even Google’s famous 20% time to work on something the developer chooses is a fiction. Developers never get to pick what they work on–somebody else does that. That sucks, right? New developers in a large enterprise are denied any say in what they work on–and they hate it.
Enter the startup with its all-hands-on-deck mentality. Every engineer is taxed to their breaking point, achieving their vision–and loving every second of it. The realities of the modern enterprise–coupled with the dream of starting something fresh and new–equal an environment where everybody feels the itch to build a startup.