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It seems like the real issue was that Dropbox lost all of their senior C++ engineers. That’s a real mistake on their part, losing the only people who truly understand your product can be a death sentence for a company. I know my employer is very conscious of who knows what part of our products, and does their best to ensure that we never have any knowledge gaps.

You’re definitely warm. I worked at Dropbox around this time and there was very little C++ or systems experience in the building. I think it’s expertise they tried to build but for whatever reason didn’t. I work at Facebook now and the difference is night and day. FB does share a ton of code across platforms, and it doesn’t even feel controversial.

I don’t think Dropbox made a mistake in cutting out their shared C++ code, but I would caution against generalizing code sharing as a bad idea.

It was partly organizational imho. Oftentimes non mobile teams would write C++ modules. After writing the module, that team would refocus on server but the module would have remaining hard to find bugs (sometimes due to lack of mobile expertise) or could just use additional love and care. Sometimes these modules needing care and attention were even written by mobile specific teams. These were also due to insufficient organizational attention.

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