Choosing the Right Career Path in IT - Software House, Startup, or Corporation?

Marcin Grajoszek - IT Recruitment Specialist at Sunscrapers

Marcin Grajoszek

28 September 2023, 7 min read

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What's inside

  1. Software Houses
  2. Corporations
  3. Startups
  4. Recruitment Processes
  5. Development Paths in the IT Industry
  6. Skills Development and Conclusion
  7. Ready to Take Your Project to the Next Level?

In today's world, the information technology industry is rapidly expanding, offering many opportunities for professional growth. Those interested in a developer's role have wide career paths, such as Software Houses, corporations, or startups. Each option has pros and cons, depending on individual preferences and professional goals.

Poland, a crucial IT hub in Europe, offers many attractive job opportunities for developers. Big cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw host many renowned IT firms. The Polish job market is competitive, and Polish developers gain increasing recognition on the international stage. They work for top foreign companies, including tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Software Houses

A Software House is a popular choice among developers. These are companies specializing in creating custom software for clients from various industries. In Software Houses, developers can work on diverse projects, allowing them to gain broad knowledge and experience. They often have greater freedom in work organization and more influence on decisions. Working in a Software House may be demanding, but it offers the chance to grow in different technological areas.


Corporations such as Google, Microsoft, or Amazon offer employment stability and the opportunity to work on large-scale, globally impacting projects. In corporations, developers often have access to the best tools and resources and the chance to collaborate with highly skilled teams. Working in a corporation may be more hierarchical and bureaucratic than in Software Houses or startups, but it provides job security and social benefits.


Startups are known for their dynamic and innovative work environment. Working in a startup can be challenging but also immensely satisfying. In startups, developers have more decision-making freedom, can influence product development, and often receive company shares. However, working in a startup carries higher risk, as startups often depend on investors and may undergo significant financial fluctuations.

AspectsSoftware HouseCorporationsStartups
SpecializationCustom software developmentEmployment stability, global projectsDynamic environment, innovation
ProjectsDiverse projectsLarge-scale global projects, access to top toolsInfluence on product development, decision-making
ExperienceBroad knowledge and experienceAccess to top resources, collaboration with highly skilled teamsHigh decision-making, potential company shares
Work OrganizationGreater freedom in work organizationHierarchical structure, bureaucracyHigh decision-making, but higher financial risk
Decision InfluenceGreater influence on decisionsInfluence dependent on hierarchy, corporate processesSignificant influence on product and company development
Job RequirementsCan be demanding, but offers growth opportunitiesEmployment stability, social benefitsChallenging, increased financial risk

Recruitment Processes

Recruitment processes vary depending on the chosen development path. In Software Houses, the recruitment process often involves a qualifying interview and assessing candidates' technical knowledge and programming skills. The recruitment process may be more complicated for corporations, including several stages, such as phone interviews, specialized tests, and presentations.

In contrast, startups often seek developers with strong motivation and readiness to work in a dynamic environment, so the recruitment process may focus more on evaluating a candidate's potential and passion.

Development Paths in the IT Industry

The development paths in the IT industry differ depending on the chosen career path: startups, Software Houses, and corporate companies. Here are clear development paths for each of these options:


Working in a startup is typically intense and dynamic, and developers can engage in all aspects of the company's development. Here are a few typical development paths in startups:

  • Developer:

At the beginning of a career in a startup, a developer often gets the chance to work on various technological areas and tasks, allowing them to gain broad knowledge and experience. These tasks can be related to the front end, back end, databases, or infrastructure. The developer can evolve into a Full Stack Developer, a specialist in a particular technology, a system architect, or a technical team lead.

  • Tech Lead/CTO:

The next step for an experienced developer in a startup might be a promotion to a Tech Lead or Chief Technology Officer (CTO) position. In this role, the individual manages the development team, makes technological decisions, and determines the product development direction.

  • Founder:

An experienced programmer with a unique idea and the desire to solve a specific problem can also become a startup founder. This role involves technical decisions and the management of the entire company, obtaining funding, and product marketing.

Software Houses

In Software Houses, developers can specialize in a specific technology or acquire broad knowledge by working on various industry projects. The typical career path here would involve growing from a Junior Developer to a Senior Developer and eventually a Tech Lead or a Project Manager. Developers can also specialize and become, for example, DevOps engineers or Data Scientists.

  • Specialist in a Specific Technology:

In Software Houses, you can choose a career path as a specialist in a specific technology, such as an expert in a programming language, framework, or tool. This can involve specialization in the front end, back end, databases, data analysis, or artificial intelligence.

  • Project Manager:

An experienced programmer can advance to the role of a project manager. The project manager is responsible for project management, coordinating the programming team, controlling the schedule and budget, and communicating with the client.

  • Systems Architect:

Another career development step in a Software House can be the role of a systems architect. The systems architect is responsible for designing and defining software architecture and selecting appropriate technologies, tools, and design patterns.


In large corporations, the development path is often well-defined and structured. Programmers typically start as Junior Developers, moving to Mid-level and Senior Developer roles. From there, they may pursue a management path, becoming a Team Leader, Manager, or even CTO, or continue along a specialist path, such as a System Architect or a Specialist in a specific technology.

  • Specialist in a Specific Field:

In a corporation, you can develop as a specialist in a specific IT field, such as networking, cybersecurity, big data, artificial intelligence, or cloud computing.

  • Project Manager:

An individual with experience in a corporation can advance to the position of a Project Manager. The Project Manager manages IT projects, coordinates teams, monitors project progress, and ensures alignment with established goals.

  • Industry Expert:

In some corporations, an opportunity exists to develop as an industry expert. Such an individual has specialized knowledge in IT and a specific industry, such as banking, healthcare, transportation, or retail.

Skills Development and Conclusion

In each of these career paths, gaining experience and technical skills and developing soft skills such as communication, project management, leadership, and teamwork is essential. It is also important to continue learning and staying updated with the latest trends and technologies in the IT industry to stay current and maintain competitiveness in the job market.

In the IT industry, there are three main career development paths: working in startups, Software Houses, and corporate firms. Each of these options has its unique characteristics and offers different development opportunities. Gaining experience, developing technical and soft skills, and continuing to learn is crucial. The choice of the right path depends on the programmer's individual preferences and career goals.

Ready to Take Your Project to the Next Level?

If you're looking for a trusted and experienced software development partner, Sunscrapers is here to help. Our team of dedicated professionals excels in delivering top-quality custom software solutions for clients worldwide.

Whether you're a startup looking to bring your innovative idea to life, a corporation needing scalable and efficient systems, or a business seeking expertise in a specific technology, we've got you covered. With our deep knowledge and expertise in frontend, backend, databases, data analysis, and more, we can tailor our services to meet your unique requirements.

Don't let your project's success be left to chance. Contact Sunscrapers today to discuss collaborating to make your vision a reality. Visit our website at and reach out to us.

Let's build something extraordinary together!

Marcin Grajoszek - IT Recruitment Specialist at Sunscrapers

Marcin Grajoszek

IT Recruitment Specialist

Marcin is an IT recruiter with a background in sales who finds real satisfaction in the intricacies of the recruitment process and developed strong relationship with IT experts. Outside of work, he devotes his free time to sports.


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