This page outlines startups for a person with a technical background (software engineer/developer/programmer) in Silicon Valley. There are primarily 3 ways to be involved with startups:

  • Working at a startup

  • Starting a startup

  • Investing in a startup

Many people have a career that follow this path. This page outlines the various aspects of a startup.

Working at a startup

Finding a startup

There are several job sites for finding startups to work for:


Many startups use a similar model to Google interviews. We recommend you use the following resources:

Salary and Equity provides the most accurate estimate for total compensation (e.g., base salary, bonus, and stock grants). Other sites, like Glassdoor, are less inaccurate because they don't correctly capture the stock grant portion, which may end up being the larger portion of compensation.

There are various calculators, like, that can help you estimate the value of your equity compensation

The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn't expect the equity to pay off at a startup.


Starting a startup

Finding a cofounder

Most investors recommend entrepreneurs to have a cofounder. There are several avenues for finding cofounder:

  • Networking events - see

  • Networking sites - CoFoundersLab

If you are a technical cofounder, be vary cautious about partnering with business cofounders. For startups, you will be doing most of the hard work.

Getting funding

If you want to get funding, you must network. Although Silicon Valley likes to brand itself as a meritocracy, the investment climate is still dependent on networks.



In general, you need to find your network.

Ventural Capital (VC)

Many VC's will only invest in specific sectors or types of businesses. There are several sites that allow you to do research:


Investing in startups

Angel Investing

AngelList Syndicates

Becoming a VC

How to become a venture capitalist