Made in Seattle
It's amazing how quickly a new engineer at Facebook can begin making an impact. Within an engineer’s first week of bootcamp (Facebook's engineering on-boarding process), he or she is committing code and pushing small changes that affect more than 500 million people around the world. Within six weeks, a new Facebook engineer is making fast-paced decisions and changes on products and infrastructure, and can have as much impact as any veteran Facebook engineer. At the Facebook Seattle office, the impact an engineer can have is just as strong. This impact was proven through last week’s major re-creation of the Facebook mobile site.
Eight months ago, I moved to Seattle from Facebook's main office in Palo Alto to serve as part of the original Seattle office landing team. The project I'd been working on at the time was a large initiative to consolidate our two mobile sites (m.facebook.com, and touch.facebook.com) into one cleaner, more efficient and well-architected codebase. The new site would give us the main benefit of less code and functionality duplication, and thus, less code breakage. In addition, the site would adapt to the maximum capabilities of the user's phone, as well as push the envelope of the browser-based user experience on touch devices, like those powered by iOS and Android. To do this, we used various technologies, such as WURFL, XHP, and Javelin. You can actually read all about this project in this engineering blog post.
Even though the landing team had high hopes for the Facebook Seattle engineering office initially, it has truly surpassed all of our expectations of growth, high-caliber engineers, and impact made. I personally didn't expect that the Facebook mobile team's success could be so significantly affected and defined by new Seattle engineers, but the impact they are making is undeniable and growing every day, as is the impact of every engineer in Seattle.
Wayne Chang, an engineer on the mobile team, can't wait to see what another eight months in Seattle will bring.