This is in the context of job search.
There are fancy words such as "Enterprise software" (as opposed to a school project). Then there is the experience of developing/architecting large software products - something that some employers desire.
While large companies may pride themselves in being able to create the "nuclear power plant equivalent", I personally see little glory in that. Surely, individual things like the Google search engine, or MS Office, or .Net framework are impressive.
But then there are things less glamorous. I have worked for a couple of giants, and do not see what the big deal is. Surely, 50 programmers (+ 10 analysts and 5 managers etc.) can build something big over 4 years, but 2 programmers in 1 year can build a lot more than 1% of the comparable thing.
In fact, before I had my BS degree and worked for a lab in college, I put together some code that impressed me at the time ;), but I have not seen too many examples of great code since.
Long-term I think I want to gravitate to a small company. So, I wonder if I have an excuse to be opinionated about large companies, or do I truly have something to learn from working on a large project (other than: business folks do not understand software, politics sucks, we are moving too slowly, we are stuck with bad karma, we are supporting too many branches and customizations which should be dead by now, it ought to take less than 2 days to get a dev machine set up, it ought to take less than 4 hours to complete a build, unit tests would be nice)?
Have you worked on a large project and learned something invaluable, something that you would not learn in a smaller place?
Please share good and bad stories.