Are Facebook engineers really smart?

Hotwire LuaghOn
Apr 15 56 Comments

I have seen many people whom I would not consider very smart, making it to Facebook. Yet, Facebook is the F of FAANG. Are they really smart to be working at Facebook or is the special thing about working at Facebook is the great compensation? Just today saw the news of fb having 3 world wide outages this year, already. And the positive Glassdoor reviews seemed to be fabricated. What's so special about working at Facebook? Is it really a certificate of tech. prowess or accomplishment?

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TOP 56 Comments
  • Okta doll$h
    Smart enough to store passwords in plain text.
    Apr 1511
    • Amazon dighit
      Yeah. They reverse the password before storing in DB for additional security.
      Apr 15
    • Amazon weddshsjm
      @Facebook...it’s funny how you call exposing passwords for half of your users just a “mistake”...no wonder you guys never learn from these “mistakes”
      Apr 15
    • Facebook lkj630
      By expose, you mean, some passwords, for some people using fblite, were logged to one of millions of data tables, that has likely never been looked at? I.e
      Some eng didn't realise he was sending pwds over the wire so they got logged with the rest of the request params. Yes, how could I think that was a mistake. I guess I sure am flippant about stuff.
      The problem with statements like that, is that by focusing on things like that you ignore the actual issues going on with fb.
      So leadership inside fb can just go, oh, these people just don't understand the technical problem (which clearly you don't) so we can just ignore it. When really, the problems with FB are not mainly about poor engineering. At least be aware of how you direct your outrage.
      Apr 15
    • Amazon Fprs52
      I don't think it was just some engineer. M sure the code must have been through reviews and team would have approved it
      Apr 15
    • Facebook lkj630
      One engineer and one code reviewer. How does code get released where you work?
      Apr 15
    • Okta doll$h
      Just one code reviewer? Lol Fb
      Apr 15
    • Amazon Fprs52
      Everywhere I have worked atleast two reviewers are required and yes unit tests too.
      Apr 15
    • Facebook lkj630
      I've worked at aws, I promise you that was not the case.
      Apr 16
    • Amazon Fprs52
      Exam at aws you can't push code to prod that stores pw in plain text. U may have no reviews but sheer fear of coe is enough
      Apr 16
    • Facebook lkj630
      Fprs, there was no intentional storing of passwords. Someone logged request parameters and didn't realise that in some cases they could include a password. What about this is difficult to understand. Yes. The person was dumb to not have thought this through. But you're purposefully misunderstanding the situation.
      Apr 16
  • Facebook lkj630
    It's like any company. Hire a ton of new grads to churn out code. Have really smart people directing that stuff. The smartest people I know are all on the infra side anyway.
    Apr 151
    • VMware moomoney
      Because the smart guys dont want to be writing react garbage
      Apr 15
  • IBM / EngTMqY11
    No, all the smart engineers are at IBM
    Apr 151
  • Google L7@AWS
    FB is pioneering the software engineering practice of "live testing". Bring the whole system down in production to measure time to recovery. Repeat once a month to see if iterative improvements to recovery time is working
    Apr 152
    • Uber zippedy
      I think Microsoft did that for years actually
      Apr 15
    • Facebook lkj630
      There is no way to test infra at scale, apart from 'live testing'. The point is to add as much safety as possible to allow errors to be found fast and before they effect everything.
      Honestly, it's super popular to rag on fb right now, but Gmail went down the same day as fb.
      There are many issues at FB, but by getting angry at silly ones, you waste the opportunity to actually apply pressure in the places that matter.
      Also, lol L7 at AWS. How do you think AWS does rollouts? Is there a giant test region where everything gets rolled out first? 🙄
      Apr 15
  • Facebook / Enginfima
    It's not that hard to get into FANG with sufficient amount of Leetcoding. So it's possible to get in with a sheer amount of hard work.

    I know of very strong engineers who couldn't and weren't keen on getting into Google because they didn't believe in spending time on grinding LC.

    I also know of average engineers who grinded enough, got asked the questions they practiced before, and hence "aced" the interview.

    Interview success is a function of luck, skill and preparation. Some people are born with talent and don't have to prepare much for it. Those with less talent and have work harder to make up for it.
    Apr 150
  • Kaspersky Lab / Other
    aye daisy

    Kaspersky LabOther

    BIO
    Hwe
    aye daisymore
    Considering their security issues I seriously doubt that. But I think that Facebook definitely hires people with high IQ. And then it’s really an individual choice of how to use that high IQ of yours.
    Apr 153
    • Oracle pzd
      Security incident are often process issue, not failure at an individual level. The same goes for outages. That's why we do post-mortems - it's not about pointing fingers but a way to learn how we can improve internal processes.
      Apr 15
    • Kaspersky Lab / Other
      aye daisy

      Kaspersky LabOther

      BIO
      Hwe
      aye daisymore
      Well bad process beats good person all the time, but those processes are built by people. And I’m just saying that the huge crowd of really intelligent people were bluntly ignoring security issues for years.
      Apr 15
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Process built by smart people who get most things right, before they grow too big, is what help companies succeed and survive long term. Getting it right in the short-term is an above-average performance, but not a huge deal.
      Apr 15
  • Amazon / EngDynamoDB
    FAANG has nothing to do with 'smart' people...

    But that being said, there are smart and dumb people at every company. I had a friend in college who didn't know how to write loops until his junior year since he cheated his way up. As a new grad, he got into Facebook as a DE because he cheated on his interviews. So YMMV
    Apr 155
    • Hotwire LuaghOn
      OP
      Just because someone can get in by cheating, is an indication of not so smart people.
      Apr 15
    • Amazon / Engneighbormo
      DE interviews are super easy though (if you’re good at SQL).
      Apr 15
    • Hotwire LuaghOn
      OP
      And the pay is good too?
      Apr 15
    • Amazon / EngDynamoDB
      It's less than SWE but it's still good.
      Apr 15
    • Hotwire LuaghOn
      OP
      Do Fb SWE and DE go on call on the weekends?
      Apr 15
  • Oracle alwzangry
    When any sample grows bigger, you get the bell curve, no matter what other shape anyone claims it to be. Over time, mean and standard deviation start resembling those of the population. Those who fix systems and processes very early to account for this survive longer. That's where you have to hand it to MS, Cisco, IBM.
    Apr 152
    • Oracle pzd
      But not Oracle? 😂
      Apr 15
    • Oracle alwzangry
      It's not the system or processes that have taken it this far for 40 years. They're 'lucky' they haven't had frequent leadership changes near the top. That consistency masks everything else. There's no good plan not involving LE.
      Apr 15
  • CenturyLink OsOpOrAaT
    Leets baby, leets.
    Apr 151
  • New
    4 More Yrs

    New

    PRE
    Google
    4 More Yrsmore
    Forget about leetcoding, I thought they were experts in "system design" after acing those interviews. Obviously they couldn't design jack shit.
    Apr 154
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Designed for speed and efficiency. No? /s
      Apr 15
    • Oracle pzd
      Lol right 😂 now go and learn a thing or two about system design so that you can help them out
      Apr 15
    • Oracle pzd
      It's funny that people who never designed a system for more than a thousand people criticizing people who design and maintain system for a billion people
      Apr 15
    • Oracle alwzangry
      At the same time, you don't get a walkover win because you get a tougher opponent of a larger problem. Scale is just one parameter. It isn't a prerogative to ignore the other parameters.
      Apr 15
  • Snapchat
    <bitmoji>

    Snapchat

    PRE
    Facebook
    <bitmoji>more
    I worked in Facebook till recently. On an average they are smart. The controversies surrounding Facebook suck and affects the morale. But its still one of the best companies to work for engineers given the tools, infra, people, learning, comp, benefits, Visas for immigrants, culture and the value acheived by having it on ur resume.
    Apr 150
  • eBay dsntmtr
    Team/role specific, not all have to be smart
    Apr 151
    • eBay eday
      Same as eBay I guess, lot of dumb fucks but then lot of smart people as well.
      Apr 15
  • eBay
    🍕 Pizza

    eBay

    PRE
    eBay
    🍕 Pizzamore
    Facebook is rubbish. Hotwire is the new hot thing. Stay. Never switch
    Apr 151
    • Hotwire LuaghOn
      OP
      Lol. Although, we have had a recruit from Facebook, I'm not that fond of Hotwire.
      Apr 15
  • Google 💩pay
    No. FANG is like an egg and candidates are like sperms. It’s just a matter of time before someone mediocre gets in, which is almost always. Interviewing is just a game they play to feel good. Most SWEs are same really. There just top 1% that are 100 times smarter than the rest though.
    Apr 150
  • Seagate toti420
    Pioneers at FAANG are/were unequivocally smart (generally and in their specific areas). Your average hire is average. They prepared well for the interview. That’s all.
    Apr 150
  • Amazon fKhc35
    Who stores millions of passwords in a plain text? Oh yeah, folks at Facebook. And then no one tries to fix it until its in media. Thats as smart as it sounds.
    Apr 150
  • Amazon / EngDeepObsess
    It's called Leet-smart
    Apr 150
  • Hotwire LuaghOn
    OP
    Facebook had a hack whereby anyone could take over any fb account through their forgot password feature. It's so similar to Yahoo and surprising that such companies are still around or growing / making money. I see the big scale of Facebook as a very big challenge but is there anything more to it? It's content sharing at scale. Is scale the biggest problem?
    Apr 150
  • Intel Act2016
    Are thieves smart Or just take advantage?
    Apr 150
  • Oracle pzd
    How do you even define and measure smartness? "I wouldn't consider smart" is not a good metric. Don't base your opinion on hyped up news cycle. Everything gets blown out of proportion when Facebook is involved.
    Apr 150
  • Microsoft
    〰️➰〰️

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Google, Apptio, Enzymax
    〰️➰〰️more
    Luckily there are no dummies at MSFT.
    Apr 150
  • SAP $AP
    not at all.
    Apr 150
  • Daimler
    noDoubt

    Daimler

    BIO
    It's not personal. It's just business and I am a businessman man.
    noDoubtmore
    No. They bound by the law is statistics and Peter Principles.
    Apr 150

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