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I just made a move to a small (~1000 people company) from Google and I feel you. The code quality is terrible, they do not write maintainable/modular code and worse, they do not do design. They suffer from this(there is always another corner case that they did not take into account because they did not communicate well with the customer) but they still do not take any steps towards the right direction.

What made you think that Google does design? In my experience, what they do at Google, is talk about the overall idea of what they are going to do, but they never did design, they never analyzed tradeoffs, and they never estimated project costs or long-term implications of the crap they threw at walls, at Google. They just pretended to do design, at Google.

What sector is the small company? Why did you decide to move there from google?

It's in finance/trading. I only worked for 2 of the FANG where I focused on tiny optimizations of an infrastructure software (where a couple percent improvement would directly result in a promo). I wanted to build something from scratch but did not want to move to a startup (because of the issued mentioned in the post). Now I am designing a new system for this company and I will lead the implementation of the project as well. This is like working for a startup (with all the good and bad sides) except I still make FANG level (even higher) income.

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