Facebook, Kent Beck, Software Engineer discussed on Software Engineering Daily
Kent beck welcome software engineer daily. Thank you very much jeff. It's a pleasure to be here. You joined facebook in twenty eleven. What did you initially do at the company. So oh a toward the end of twenty ten. I got a call from a recruiter at this company facebook which was like it was known to be very successful but it wasn't like a thing especially in the engineering world and i went and interviewed and i saw an engineering culture. That was very very different than anything that i had seen before and so i know my last interview of the day was with mike trump for and i said you know this. This culturally is unique but maintaining it and evolving is going to be hard work and i would like to come and do that so my initial pitch to the company was as kind of a culture carrier amplifier observer commenter tweaker. What makes you say that the facebook culture as of twenty eleven would be hard to scale bill so what was clearly going to be hard to scale was avoiding mean reversion so it was two thousand employees total seven hundred engineers. I was obviously going to grow very quickly as these things do in the valley and a bunch of the people they were going to hire in then would be coming in from the googles and microsofts of the world and would bring a very different set of values and a very different set of practices and and would be the natural tendency would be for facebook engineering culture to just revert to the kind of the least least common denominator which everybody seems like that's that's the attractor everybody falls back into lots of planning and in long cycles and more handoffs and bigger batches and all the stuff that makes short-term small-scale sense in that in kills long-term effectiveness talk about that in more detail. It sounds like you have a perspective that there's some kind of overly process s. laden engineering structure that is endemic to companies get big and not even as they get big so so sometimes they start out that way which really astonishes me. Why would you put the shackles on before you dove into the pool the first time that doesn't make any sense but every software process has to be shaped by context and facebook's context was in some ways absolutely unique because you had the scaling component opponent that was just insane trying to make computers do things that they had never done before in terms of the number of people and the.