SWE @ Airbnb or Facebook

Twitch applesauz
Mar 1 14 Comments

Compensation aside, would you rather be a front end engineer at Facebook or Airbnb?

- FB probably has more interesting UI challenges
- A lot more teams/products to choose from at FB
- Airbnb has some of the best product design sense in the valley imo
- Airbnb doesn’t have to target increasing time on app as a metric unlike FB, and instead focus much more on business success metrics
- FB provides access to arguably the best React sources you could have
- But Airbnb is no slouch in terms of defining JavaScript standards

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TOP 14 Comments
  • Facebook / Eng grrrr8
    I'm a front end engineer at Facebook, and can tell you that at higher levels it's much harder to carve out impact by strictly staying front end. FB web usage is always declining, so emphasis continues to shift towards mobile. Any gains I might make on web are literally 7-8x more impactful on android. I now spend very little time writing JS, and much more time working on server or mobile clients.

    That's not to say there aren't exciting things happening on web at fb, but there's only so much to go around and a lot of it is already being done by some of the smartest folks in the industry. Sometimes opportunities to stand out here are lacking unless you branch out to different disciplines. Personally I'm okay with this and think it has helped me become a much more adaptive and well rounded engineer, but others might feel differently here.

    I'm guessing that Airbnb has much more need today for front end engineers than Facebook does, and that probably means more opportunities. I might actually consider applying there sometime in the next year.
    Mar 1 1
    • Twitch applesauz
      OP
      Thank you for the very candid and informative answer, if I choose Airbnb I hope I have an opportunity to repay your insight!
      Mar 1
  • Airbnb RealSlimS
    Airbnb has some of the best frontend engineers in the world and we attract lots of amazing frontend engineers, but this in itself is a bit of a curse. Airbnb has a great need for backend engineers right now; so much need that I joined as a frontend engineer year and a half ago, and I’ve mostly worked on the backend so far. They pay me enough to not care and I’m pretty productive at it, but I’ve asked people to hire more backend so I can go back to frontend, but we keep hiring more frontend than backend...

    That ok though, cause we still need more frontend engineers and there’s a lot of teams that’s starving for every function.
    Mar 2 4
    • PayPal / Eng v3nm0
      What stack does Airbnb use in the backend? Does it care about the stack that the candidates works on in their current jobs?

      How do I get a referral at Airbnb? (I don't know any employees)
      Mar 2
    • Airbnb RealSlimS
      Backend is about 75% java, 25% ruby.

      If you are an engineer, you’ll get an interview, referred or not.
      Mar 2
    • Facebook gd5wv9
      What are the technical challenges for Airbnb backend?
      Apr 25
    • Airbnb RealSlimS
      On infra teams, scale and latency. On product teams, it varies, as trying to automate fraud detection, anti-discrimination, image quality, and growth is really interesting, and pretty difficult. Since it’s a tech based on both online and offline experience, so many things can happen that you need to solve for
      Apr 25
  • Facebook The mang
    Why Airbnb?
    IMO the work is probably better at fb but I’ve heard Airbnb pay top (paper) dollar
    Mar 1 3
    • Twitch applesauz
      OP
      The money is comparable (liquidity aside). I listed the most relevant reasons for Airbnb I could think of above, but I think WLB and the impact of web on business metrics favor Airbnb atm. I suspect FB has more mature career development plans though. A lot of competing factors imo.
      Mar 1
    • Airbnb / Eng |>
      Wouldn’t make difference to OP, their first vest wouldn’t be until May 2020 if they joined now and Airbnb has to be liquid by fall 2020... some employee options expire then. You might have to wait a 6 month lock up period (if we don’t do a direct listing) but pretty much by the time you vest, you’ll have liquid stock, worst case scenario you have to wait until fall 2020
      Mar 1
    • Facebook The mang
      Hmm yeah web isn’t big at fb like mobile so I can see why some might prefer Airbnb. Heard Airbnb is super chill as well.
      Mar 1
  • Samsung creator12
    If it’s not an issue, can you please share what questions did they ask you about culture fit and company’s core values?
    Mar 1 1
    • Samsung creator12
      Should have mentioned. I was talking specifically about Airbnb
      Mar 1
  • Dropbox IGCk17
    TC pls
    Mar 1 0