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Facebook Reviews in Seattle, WA

Updated September 26, 2014
Updated September 26, 2014
857 Reviews
4.4
857 Reviews
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg
738 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You have occasion to work with super smart people from the industry (in 85 reviews)

  • Amazing office culture and community and the free food doesn't hurt (in 69 reviews)


Cons
  • Another thing that no one will agree with me on is the work-life balance (in 54 reviews)

  • Long hours away from home, due to my own commute situation and long working hours (in 26 reviews)

More Highlights

20 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 132 people found this helpful  

    Open, fast, no bs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Facebook full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It might be easy to roll your eyes when people from Facebook say how open their culture is, but it's true; it's more open than any other place I've worked at. At a company wide-level, secret projects, public incidents, important non-public business metrics and the like are all openly discussed. You can ask questions about them directly to Zuckerburg at the weekly Q&A. I think the idea is that if everyone is on the same page or at least, differing views are heard, the company will be stronger, and solutions may be offered from a place you didn't expect. This is much different from previous companies I worked at, where discussions on internal email lists would be shut down by some lawyer saying that there's certain things that can't be discussed, and important data is divided up to groups and individuals on a "need to know" basis, etc.

    This culture applies at a lower level too. You feel comfortable giving feedback to each other about each other, about product decisions, about management, etc. The flipside of this openness is that you of course, have to be willing to receive the feedback, you have to recognize that while openness and feedback is highly encouraged, decisions have to get made, and actions and data are more valuable than words. At the higher level, since the company trusts employees with access to so much information, keeping such info confidential from the outside world is taken seriously.

    It's a great place to work as an engineer. You're given a lot of freedom, but it's also a responsibility to make sure you're doing things that are valuable. You don't get much credit for working hard or being smart if you don't produce valuable output.

    One cool thing about Facebook, in contrast to other comparable companies (Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, though in truth, FB is much smaller), is how they have a pretty singular focus. Even with the differing areas (including advertising and such), they do a good job of keeping their eye on their mission of connecting as many people as possible. I also think they are way more empathetic to their users than most people give them credit for. It seems like popular opinion has it that FB is arrogant and only cares about its users insomuch as they represent $-signs. From within the company, it didn't feel this way at all. I saw a lot of empathy towards users, and a lot effort spent to improve or things or fix broken things with no direct financial benefit. The strategy is not complex. The thinking is that if they can make FB easier and more fun to use, then more people will use it for more time each day (which will also have a network effect of attracting even more people to use it), then the advertising dollars will follow. Of course, it is true that FB wants to make the audience more accessible to advertisers as well, but there are a lot of people at FB who care about privacy and security.

    They have really good infrastructure and really great ways to share the infrastructure and code. They have a lot of cool internal tools, and what they've built is really impressive, and more importantly, it helps your team build products faster without having to solve problems that someone else already solved. Every software company tries to do this, but FB seems to have been more successful with it. Perhaps it's because they're still relatively small, but if anything, I can at least say it is very cool while it lasts.

    The perks and work environment are great, unless you're one of those types that can't stand open office spaces. I've worked in both a private office and open offices in multiple companies. While I do think a private office has some benefits, I mostly think it's a personal luxury for the employee and a huge waste of money for the company. I'd much rather have the money go into other areas like salary, benefits, and other workplace improvements rather than the added real estate necessary to have offices.

    Of course, you've heard about the food and snacks. They have an amazing selection of great stuff, and what I like about it is that it sort of goes above and beyond expectations. Sure, some days, lunch is better than others, but I really can't complain, and the selection of drinks and snacks is amazing. It's not like you should work at FB just because of that, but it demonstrates FB's desire to make work as fun and convenient as possible.

    You'll be surrounded by people who like being there. I can't think of a better environment to work in. If you have a giant ego, you may not like it as much. Respect is definitely given to those that have deep experience in the industry, and they are expected to lead others and mentor more junior employees. However, if for whatever reason, you can't perform at the level expected, no one is going to care if you did this and that at Google or shipped ten things at MS, etc.

    FB also has a lot of fun events, and I made a lot of friends working there, so going to the events was fun. Also, if you're older and worried that FB is just a bunch of 22-year-olds, and that you won't fit in, I wouldn't worry about that. FB does have a lot of young employees (who are really smart btw), and it does hire a lot of people straight out of college, but it also attracts a lot of experienced engineers from other top companies like Google, MS, Amazon, etc.

    Work-life-balance seemed totally normal to me. It may be different depending on your team, but I felt you could do 40-50 hours of work a week for the most part and you would be totally fine. It's about what you produce, not how hard you're working. Other team members who had children would work normal hours and go home at normal times. I didn't see any of these folks have a problem when they left early to take care of their child or things like that. Of course, there could be times that people are expected to work extra if something critical happens, but for the most part everyone wants to avoid this and this happens sparingly, from what I observed. Now, there were many times where I chose to work late myself, but I never felt any pressure to do so. The caveat is that there are on-call rotations, and in addition, even if you are not on-call, you are expected to be reasonably available if the on-call person needs your help. However, again, no one wants this, and your team will work on ways to avoid these situations.

    The best thing I can say is that working at FB is about productivity. I didn't experience and political bs and it was a pleasure working with a group of people who were all concerned with producing a good product and making the best of the time spent while doing it.

    Cons

    FB expects a lot out of engineers, and you can't slack off. Of course, you shouldn't slack off at any job, but since FB is pretty fast-paced, there is a risk that you'll have trouble adjusting at first.

    FB has a lot of custom infrastructure and tools, and prehaps more impressively, it works great. It makes doing your job really great, but on the other hand, you'll end up learning a lot of stuff that won't be applicable elsewhere.

    FB's code-base is very good in some ways, but in other ways, it's not as great as some of the existing engineers think it is. I don't think this is that big of a deal, but the important part is that as an engineer, you need to quickly learn FB's values and practices and "get with the program" so to speak. If you don't like some things, then you just have to deal with it, as it's not likely you're going to change people's minds at this point. The nice thing is that things are at least very consistent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to focus on how you are going to maintain the existing culture and protocols as you grow. I think this could be really tough.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Best place to work in the mid-to-big-sized companies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    A lot of work to be done -> means you have flexibility on what to work and there's ample opportunities to do something awesome.
    Perks are amazing, but they're made so you don't stress with the little details of life -> I work less hours in average than my previous top-company-job but achieve a lot more in that time.
    No micro management overall (obviously there are black sheep everywhere) -> you do need to know how to prioritize and work by yourself without being pushed though
    Mission and vision that matter to the world -> "Don't be evil", eh? Right. Here we're truly connecting the world. Very few teams focus on revenue, which is awesome.
    Excellent compensation -> do I need to say more?
    Travel to HQ if you're a remote team -> it's not so often so I enjoy it (personal thing though)

    Cons

    The other "G" giant has a few more extra perks that are nicer, but you can live without them.
    Growing very fast. Hoping quality does not deteriorate but things can get messy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't overgrow without having the right managers, projects, trainings involved. Don't sacrifice the flexibility and openess due to this.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great company to work for

    Current Employee - Software Engineering in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineering in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Get lots of responsibility, freedom to pursue what you want to and have high impact. Great place to work.. free food and swag

    Cons

    Getting bigger. Remote offices not as much as fun as headquarters in menlo park.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    blah

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  5.  

    Awesome company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Awesome tech company! Hacker culture, fun to work at.

    Cons

    Already IPO, not gonna make you a lot of money

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    High energy, very smart people, really does 'move fast', lots of opportunity to advance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Making a difference in and out of Facebook. Mission of connecting people is beneficial to millions of people. Compensation and perks very good. Lacks bureaucracy. Good equipment. Self-starters can go far. Free, fresh food and drinks. Paid parking.

    Cons

    Open plan offices can get noisy/crowded. Everyone has headphones.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow more time for individual/team projects started from the 'ground up'.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Good company, too many failures, mostly boring work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Facebook full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Facebook is used by everyone, and this is incredible. The Menlo Park campus is really cool and has a great vibe.
    - Great benefits
    - Smart people
    - Impact on millions of people

    Cons

    I joined Facebook a few years ago because of the agility of the engineering team. Back then, it was true. Today, not as much.
    - Most projects fail due to over-complication and over-engineering
    - Smart people are hampered by large inflexible codebase
    - Very hype-based culture (thing x is the new hotness, everyone on board!)
    - Most of the code is old and not owned by anyone, yet still in production
    - Most work is very mundane and not very exciting

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so impatient for "impact" - some projects take time and nurture them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Amazing experience; open culture, huge personal growth in technical and soft skills.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Intern in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Intern in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Facebook as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The company culture embraces independence, quick problem solving, strong communication skills. There is a strong work hard, play hard mentality. Making mistakes is okay as long as we take ownership and fix up our own messes.

    Cons

    While it's doable to maintain a good work life balance, it's also easy to get sucked into working long hours. This is a combination of: employee interest in resolving an issue/implementing a feature, poor documentation, and unspoken pressure to take part in endless hackathons.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Summer internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Intern in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Intern in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Facebook as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Challenging work, flexible timings, awesome food

    Cons

    might feel the pressure sometimes in such a competitive environment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    nothing, Its great as it is now

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Awesome perks, awesome challenges

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    _Everyone is world-class in everything they do, from PMs to Legal to Engineers who are some of the best around.
    _The challenges are huge, the impact is vast
    _Anyone can propose ideas and try them out as an experiment, the best experiments will make it out to 1 billion people!
    _Free food
    _Tons of awesome perks

    Cons

    _Can be hard to manage work/life balance sometimes, but that's mostly because there isn't enough time in the workday to work on everything I want to work on...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management can sometimes steer the company in another direction too fast which can cause organisational whiplash. Try to plan out a bit farther ahead and have less knee-jerk reactions to change everything all at once.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    love to build things

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    make a difference in the world
    no nonsense hacker culture
    generous vacations and parental leave

    Cons

    no 20% time
    legacy code can be a little patchy in places

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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