Facebook's VP Of Engineering Discusses Operations

To some developers, at least, Facebook has quite a draw – the pull a championship sports team might have to an athlete, perhaps.  So some developers may be interested to learn what Mike Schroepfer, the vice president of engineering, had to say about the company in a recent interview.

One interesting remark related to the way Facebook tries to balance profit and popularity.  Schroepfer told Charles Arthur, “It’s about 80-20 – the 80% on user-focussed growth, 20% on cost-saving, revenue-growing projects.  So for example we’ve now added high-resolution photos to the site, which adds to the cost of the infrastructure, because we have to store those photos.”

Another comment touched on how fast people get their feet wet.  Schroepfer said, “We have an introduction to the team culture, where we’ve set up a boot camp, which lasts the first six weeks.  No matter what role someone comes in as, they go on it, so they understand the code stack, and we encourage people to try their hand, to push changes up to the site; so that if you haven’t made a change to the live site in first week, well, we’d think actually that’s wrong.”

These are interesting ideas, which are sure to prove controversial (or at least discussion-worthy).  It’s a rare company that acts in so cavalier a manner.

At the same time, these are the sorts of ideas that organizations of any size can implement, and considering how far Facebook’s gotten by implementing them, they’re definitely worth some thought.

By Doug Caverly

Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

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