Facebook is consistently regarded as one of the best places to work in the tech industry.
Even Facebook’s interns get paid well more than the average US worker.
But there is one really tough part of the job, even for star engineers.
Two or three times a year, Facebook engineers have to completely re-arrange their lives for two weeks while they serve something called “oncall duty.”
Basically, during that time, they are responsible for keeping the service up-and-running. Oncall duty lasts for two weeks and it rotates between Facebook’s engineering teams.
Over on Quora, a Facebook engineer named Keith Adams says it is “the worst thing about working at Facebook.”
Adams says during those two weeks, he can’t leave town, can’t have “one too many,” and that he has to keep a phone by his bed with the ringer on.
The worst part is “debugging under time pressure through a 3am haze.” He says it’s “stressful.”
Adams says that while oncall duty is tough, he likes that it exists because “I can’t imagine any better way to preserve some of Facebook’s most positive attributes.”
Those attributes:”a willingness to change core pieces of foundation; short feedback loops between development and production; and freedom to experiment and take risks. “
He also says that he likes that Facebook makes even its top engineers jump in fix code when the site is broken. This, he says, “alleviates a major cause of moral hazard at most other companies, where some other people are responsible for picking up after the ostensible A-team who is just responsible for writing their ‘brilliant’ code.”