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I strongly dislike Facebook the product, and to lesser extent Facebook the company, but I'm continually impressed with Facebook's approach to engineering in the open. I find this an interesting dichotomy. Would I want to work there? I still don't think so, but my opinion on that front is getting less strong over time.



Former Facebook intern here. Facebook the company is a lot more 'hack-y' in the right way of the word than what it looks like on the outside. The company and its products are extremely open, and the projects you do working there have extremely little management and corporate bs.

My experience was really similar to my Google internship, and probably even closer to a "cool startup". I know several people who worked on Google, Facebook, and X (with X another major Silicon Valley company) and say that the first two were a lot closer to each other than to X.


Where do you work now?


I'm currently finishing my degree while working in a smallish start-up in Buenos Aires.


Well, The Facebook company can feel rather juvenile to deal with. Some of their decisions in dealing with other businesses sometimes feel like they are being made by fifteen year old kids with no life or business experience.

In terms of the Facebook product one cannot deny the obvious: They touched THE nerve on the internet. World wide. Across languages and cultures.

I don't like the embodiment of the product at all. At the very least it has usability and privacy problems. Yet more people use it successfully than any other web app in the world. So, what do I know? What do experts know?

A similar thing could be said about CraigsList. It's 2014. Every time I use the site I cannot believe what I am looking at. Yet I and lots of other people keep using it. It works.

Facebook has a general lack of elegance (whatever that means). The kind that happens when a product is thrown together and evolved over time. Evolving anything over time means the output "naturally selects" (subverting the theory here) to the environment created by it's users.

They survive because they optimized for what is important to their users. Grandma couldn't care less about UI issues or searchability. She wants to see her grandchildren's pictures and videos. And for that it works very well for a huge percentage of the planet.

At some point it becomes almost impossible to break the mold and clean-up what might be less than ideal. Why would you? It works. Another "Innovator's Dilemma" [1] situation to a large extent.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/The-Innovators-Dilemma-Revolutionary-B...


Glad somebody said that. Facebook is clumsy and weird. It looks like a legacy system, which I suppose it is. I don't even understand the basic premise. You have a 'wall'? Is that a thing anymore? Maybe its a feed now, or a timeline or something. Whatever; its not obvious from the front page. Not obvious what to do, or where to go, or how to friend people, or what will happen if you do that.


I was interviewing with them some time ago and just gave up half way. Those guys are absolute assholes and are hugely arrogant. Not a place I would want to work.


Assuming you are referring to the hardware group and it was after 2010 (when the current team formed), then I have no idea why you would think that. I interviewed there back in 2013, and was quite impressed by how open and nice they were. While not working at Facebook, I have continued to work within the Open Compute Project, and the FB engineers have been great in my experience.


That I am sure is also what they said about the Manhattan project. Anyways the train has left the station.


The Manhattan Project was engineering in the open?

EricBurnett was talking about appreciating (some of) FB's values, not relishing the scale of their challenges (another reason people join FB). It's the latter reason that I imagine engineers joined The Manhattan Project (other than those who viewed it as a way to protect against nefarious forces in the world, valid or not).




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