Ask any newly-graduated engineer looking to enter the tech world where he or she wants to work, and you’ll likely hear Facebook among their top 3 choices. With 1.6 billion active users, Facebook has grown into a giant social network with over 12 thousand full-time employees. Recent surveys show Facebook is a great place to work, with 96% of employees reporting high job satisfaction and low levels of stress.
With perks and benefits like free food, free shuttles and a paid parental leave program, Facebook’s “bootcamp” is a target for many job seekers. So what does it take to land a job there and get friended by Facebook? We got the inside scoop from Deb Liu, VP of Platform and Marketplace at Facebook. She says for starters, you need to be technically savvy and able to work as part of a team.
I know it changes constantly, but what are some of the in-demand skills right now that a potential engineer needs to work at Facebook?
The technical skills are very, very important. Obviously, we need people who are technically savvy. The things that are not kind of obvious are being able to work in teams and collaborate and creating an environment for other people where they feel safe and are able to have innovative ideas. Those things are not the things that normally people talk about. The hard skills are obviously very, very important. But beyond that, we build everything in teams.
Can you describe the team structure?
We have cross-functional teams that make all the product decisions on what we ship. It’s very important that people are able to collaborate effectively. Nothing is done alone here and it’s really important that you are able to work together to actually achieve something greater than what you can do alone.
Tell me what the interview process is like at Facebook.
We find people from all different places. Sometimes we reach out to them and sometimes they reach out to us. We also meet a lot of people at events like F8. Usually, they go through the full interview process where we assess their skills and see how they will fit into the organization. The process is really tight. It’s really important that people get an answer. We kind of assess really quickly and find a good match for them in the company or else, if it doesn’t work out, tell them pretty quickly.
What do you mean by a good match in the company? Do you interview someone for a specific job or do you just interview that person?
Most of our engineers come in through a generalist pipeline. So what you do is start looking for a role once you have landed in bootcamp. Typically, everyone who is hired goes through this bootcamp. You start out actually learning how to work at Facebook, all the ins and outs of Facebook in bootcamp, which is about a 6-week process where you learn everything about Facebook, and how to check on code and how we do things. It gives you an opportunity to get real world experience very quickly. And then during that time you start meeting with teams and you start figuring out where your passion lies and what teams, projects, and people you want to work with.
What would make somebody’s application stand out?
One thing we love to see is what people are doing in their spare time. What is their passion? We see people who have developed apps and share those with us. Because then they can learn what our platform is about and they can share with us some feedback about what works and what doesn’t work. We love seeing people who have really tried to understand what Facebook is about, whether it’s may be leading a Facebook group, building apps or those types of things. We see that they are passionate about the mission we have, which is connecting people. We also like to see that their passion aligns with their work passion too, which is something that will manifest itself in the things that they do here.
Talk to me a little bit about getting women to apply for engineering jobs, or any other kinds of jobs, and about how they're going to have a sort of work life balance and enjoy what they are going to do.
The great thing about Facebook that most people don’t realize is that there is complete flexibility here and that’s why I have been here for almost seven years. It is really all about the flexibility and actually being able to shape the job so you can get the things done that you want to do. We focus on impact and that is really what’s great. We care most about impact and that is such an important part of our culture, we are looking for people who are willing to have impact and you can shape your life around however you want to have impact.
What do you do to promote diversity and inclusion and to make everyone feel that they are an important part of your culture?
Diversity is not some committee or some executive sponsored thing here. It is really part of the DNA because of the products we are building. We are not building products for one city or one country; we are building products for 1.6 billion people in the world. It’s really, really important to us that we build products that are empathetic and open and really touch the lives of so many people we will never meet and live in such different circumstances. Diversity is really pushed as part of everyone’s responsibility in the company. We are constantly talking about how we can be more inclusive.
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