Why did Facebook just “open” up its smart new datacenter formula? Not just because it can, or because it’s going to help them build better datacenters in the future.
They also did it for recruiting purposes.
Because, as Instapaper creator (and former Tumblr CTO) Marco Arment points out in a blog post, it’s projects like this that make Facebook look like just as serious of a technology company to work for as Google.
And that is great for recruiting top engineers.
“We can reasonably conclude from the Open Compute Project that Facebook isn’t trying to maintain a top-secret competitive advantage in hardware and datacenter design, and they’re not expecting anyone else to gain a meaningful, exclusive advantage by copying ideas from theirs and keeping the results secret.” …
“My best guess is that this is primarily for recruiting engineering talent. There’s no shortage of engineers, but there’s always a shortage of great ones, especially in Silicon Valley. Google has been a talent vacuum for a long time since it’s so appealing for most engineers to work there.”
“With this move, I think Facebook is telling the geek world that they’re just as big and serious of a tech company as Google, and if you want to work on large-scale, interesting engineering challenges that affect hundreds of millions of people, you should work at Facebook.”
Meanwhile, we’ve seen plenty of other Facebook recruiting techniques in the past. Remember this video that Facebook made to impress engineers in 2009?