Facebook Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Facebook Engineer Reviews

Updated October 19, 2017
639 reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work-life balance can be an issue (in 205 reviews)

  • Work-life balance: pressure to move fast (in 55 reviews)

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  1. Helpful (432)

    "Open, fast, no bs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Facebook full-time (More than a 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 Management

    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.

    Facebook Response

    Jul 10, 2015 – Your Friends at Facebook

    Thanks for your great feedback. We really appreciate the transparency from Mark, Sheryl, and the entire leadership team. This open culture does permeate throughout the company, and we are focused on... More


  2. "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Facebook (More than a year)

    Pros

    reasonable work life balance, free meals, free gym membership

    Cons

    Monoculture. Most employees are young fresh out of college grads. A lot of people move on to different tech companies within 2 -3 years. I'm not sure why there's so much turnover when compensation and perks are good.

  3. "Best place to work for on Earth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours. High impact projects. Highly talented co-workers. Great perks. Challenging problems that touch billions of lives. Great for getting mentorship.

    Cons

    There are so many smart people here and you should be willing to self improve yourself constantly. Otherwise, you'll be burned out really fast. You should also be comfortable with taking constructive feedbacks even though they may be delivered to you in a rather aggressive manner.


  4. "Impact like nowhere else"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Opportunity to build a product that billions of people use around the world
    - Great perks (health benefits, food, environment, transport, bonuses)
    - Great culture focused on connecting the world.
    - Good tools

    Cons

    Using Facebook (the app) will never be the same


  5. "Wonderful people, fun work, great culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Production Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Comp, benefits, and perks are incredible.

    Company culture is so, so good. I've had two great managers who both have done an excellent job supporting my growth and guiding my career.

    It also feels like senior and C-level management really cares about employees. It feels like Facebook the company really tries to support me as a whole person (but be sure to ask for what you need! nobody's a mind reader).

    For eng, bootcamp and team selection are such a good idea. I freaking love my team, and I get to own my decision to join that team (rather than some hiring/allocation manager deciding where I get to go).

    Very few operational rules/bureaucracy. I can ssh into any machine I need to. If someone's fighting a fire anywhere in the company and I am able to help, I feel like I can always jump in to help. I really like Infra, so being at a big company like FB is super fun.

    Cons

    Oncalls can kill your sleep during your oncall shift if things are noisy overnight

    There's a little bit of an "always on-the-grid" culture which contributes towards the 4/5 work/life balance, but it's generally not too hard to fight it. Most people who work a lot end up doing it because they're passionate about their work, anyway.


  6. "Good opportunities for mentorship, very comfortable with lots of resources for learning"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineer(Internship) in Seattle, WA
    Former Intern - Software Engineer(Internship) in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Facebook as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good internal training
    Went from never-written-a-line to interview-ready for C++
    Great mentors to learn from
    Emphasis on proactively getting help and advice from other engineers

    Cons

    Intern projects broadly fit stated interests but are somewhat narrow in scope
    At times it was difficult to get help for my specific project


  7. "Amazing company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern in Seattle, WA
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Facebook as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Raises and promotions are determined based on a structured performance review system, so you don't have to proactively negotiate with your manager. Engineers regularly meet with their manager's manager, and provide upward feedback to their manager during the performance review cycle. There are also anonymous feedback surveys, which say that the vast majority of employees at Facebook are happy with their managers.
    - Work-life balance: My manager specifically told me not to work on weekends.
    - Overall culture of people being helpful towards each other. Lots of places to ask questions and get support. People will help you even if you're on a completely different team.
    - There's really good infrastructure and a lot of things at Facebook "just work."
    - You really get the sense that Facebook as a company takes care of its employees and cares about your happiness.
    - Overall it is the best company I've worked at.

    Cons

    The food is too delicious, especially the dessert, I gained a lot of weight

  8. "Job Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Facebook as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent work culture, great projects, free food and a very good pay

    Cons

    Might be a bit tough to grow through the positions so most people switch to other company's


  9. "Fast-paced, but absolutely caring company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineer(Internship) in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Intern - Software Engineer(Internship) in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Facebook as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I worked at Facebook as a PhD intern in summer quarter.
    Great compensation + extra benefits for the interns. Facebook provides nice corporate housing and shuttles for transportation.
    Friendly and smart colleagues.
    Lots of foods (and good foods).
    Interesting projects to work on.

    Cons

    Initial weeks for an intern can be very challenging, as there is almost no guidance provided.

    Advice to Management

    Have a more meaty and meaningful bootcamp (for the whole 1st week at least) for the interns. The first day of the internship is mainly non-technical, and the second day engineering training is not adequate. There are lots of tools and services in Facebook, and it can be pretty overwhelming for an intern initially.


  10. "Fantastic company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Facebook full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Open culture, friendly co-workers, people genuinely trying to do good.

    Cons

    Company is starting to become more and more bureaucratic as it grows.

    Advice to Management

    PSC can do great damage on the hands of toxic people.