Working at Facebook has been much tougher than I expected.
Orientation and bootcamp are very well-organized. I don’t think another company has anything as well oiled as that.
During bootcamp, you are doing random tasks. Each task is quite different, and nothing like you’ve done before. I have iOS experience, so my tasks were in an order similar to this: Android, iOS, iOS, Android, backend, web, C++, etc.
After 4 weeks of bootcamp, you go into team selection. I only sat with 3 teams before selecting my team. Some people take up to 5 additional weeks during selection. I took one week.
My First Task
My first task was from Andyy Hope, someone I’ve known online for a few years but never met. It was converting Instagram to use
fb_xcassets, a tool for making image references type-safe.
I missed a line, and it removed almost every single icon from Instagram. I blurred out the bug reporter’s info. Everything else is how Instagram was for Facebook employees.
I received 49 bug reports. 49 people took the time out of their day to write a report about it!
It felt like I had an ulcer in my stomach. It was knife-level pain.
Move Fast and Break Things
Facebook does not fuck around when they say “Move Fast and Break Things”. Removing all those icons didn’t really matter to anyone - it was par for the course.
I’ve been at FB for 2.5 month now, and it took until about two weeks ago to understand that I need to focus on moving fast. Once I switched to that, everything became much easier. It’s the main advice I have for someone joining now.
You’re expected to perform well with languages and tools you’ve never used before. It’s impossible to get anything done if you try to learn each tool well. It’s completely the opposite of the way I was working 4 months ago.
I sat with 3 teams during team selection. They were:
Ultimately, I chose Portal because I wanted to optimize for the people I’m working with. I really enjoy my team, and I enjoy the organization as a whole. It has its own mini-culture.
Will have another post about my experience soon.