What Is It Like Working At Facebook?

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With over 350 million monthly active users and 2009 revenues surpassing $550 million, Facebook-the-product and Facebook-the-business are killing it.

But what about Facebook-the-workplace?

This is a crucial question for Facebook’s long-term viability, since the startup needs many more engineers to sustain user growth and more many ad sales people to capitalise on it. In August, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook plans to double headcount next year.

The trouble is that for a long time, Facebook had a reputation in Silicon Valley for being a place that, despite its white hot user growth, still somehow had a hard time recruiting top talent to join the company. The gossip was, Facebookers had to deal with an overly-political workplace and amateurish management.

Thanks to a professionalized recruiting team, and a fancy new headquarters, there are some signs this reputation has changed. Headcount is now well over 800 employees and impressives hires are finally a regular occurence.

To measure whether these signs reflect a permanent change, we did two things:

  • Consult employee-reviews site Glassdoor.com for a list of the 20 best and worst things about working at Facebook
  • Visit Facebook for a tour of the company’s new headquarters.

The best aspects of working at Facebook:

  • “Stock options.”
  • “Flexible work hours, work from home, 21 days of PTO.”
  • “The food is awesome.”
  • “Work is very social – no cubicles, you can walk over and talk”
  • “More work than there are people to do.”
  • “Great opportunity to grab what you can and shine.”
  • “Everyone seems to genuinely be invested in making the product better.”
  • “The world sees the impact of what you’re working on. All my friends and family use the product and it’s rewarding to work on something that keeps us all connected.”
  • “The culture is very open internally were projects are discussed and ideas flow.”
  • “The most valued benefit to working at facebook is the ability to basically set your own hours, freedom to work from home when you want and as much as you want/can, and all this with little to no interference from management.”
  • “You really learn a lot, since you get thrown into the mix quite quickly.”

The worst:

  • “No potential of any amount of ‘potential’ earnings once they go IPO is worth being treated like second class citizens or just a fancier sweat shop.”
  • “Politics are heating up as the pressure to succeed increases.”
  • “Ripsticks hurt a lot when they hit you”
  • “The open-desk style doesn’t work for everyone (like me), I find it hard to concentrate and end up working at home more than I would like to, just to catch up.”
  • “Palo Alto kinda sucks; [it’s] a bit suburban for city dwellers.”
  • “Sometimes there needs to be a clearer product vision earlier in the process”
  • “Some of the younger folks here (and there are many) have never worked anywhere else and they have no idea how good the place is. This often leads to a sense of entitlement which would never fly at another Company.”
  • “The company is getting too big to let it grow freely. We need a bit more organisation now.”
  • “Management is inexperienced – typical for a company growing from a startup mode towards a more mature company”

Now, tour Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters →

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title=”This summer Facebook took over one of Hewlett-Packard’s old buildings in Palo Alto”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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title=”The company then redesigned the space to house 300 or so employees.”
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permalink=”there-are-no-cubicles-employees-share-desk-space-sometimes-even-with-management-and-executives-3″
title=”There are no cubicles. Employees share desk space, sometimes even with management and executives.”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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permalink=”even-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-shares-desk-space-on-the-lower-engineering-floor-occasionally-retreating-to-his-own-conference-room-to-take-meetings-4″
title=”Even CEO Mark Zuckerberg shares desk space on the lower engineering floor, occasionally retreating to his own conference room to take meetings.”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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[slide
permalink=”pieces-of-graffiti-art-by-david-choe-were-framed-and-taken-along-to-the-new-building-5″
title=”Pieces of graffiti art by David Choe were framed and taken along to the new building”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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[slide
permalink=”the-brightly-lit-two-floor-building-is-adorned-with-art-and-make-shift-conference-rooms-and-creative-spaces-6″
title=”The brightly-lit two-floor building is adorned with art and make-shift conference rooms and creative spaces”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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permalink=”heres-one-of-the-two-mini-cafes-that-dishes-out-snacks-and-drinks-all-day-7″
title=”Here’s one of the two mini-cafes that dishes out snacks and drinks all day”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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[slide
permalink=”facebook-labels-all-its-goodies-just-in-case-you-forget-whose-tea-and-coffee-youre-imbibing-8″
title=”Facebook labels all its goodies, just in case you forget whose tea and coffee you’re imbibing”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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[slide
permalink=”we-spotted-plenty-of-make-shift-conference-spaces-that-give-facebook-a-dorm-like-feeling-9″
title=”We spotted plenty of make-shift conference spaces that give Facebook a dorm-like feeling”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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[slide
permalink=”conferences-rooms-are-set-up-to-get-people-to-gather-theres-even-a-conference-room-inside-a-vault-10″
title=”Conferences rooms are set up to get people to gather, there’s even a conference room inside a vault”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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title=”Here we find some ping pong champions duking it”
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[slide
permalink=”facebooks-new-campus-finally-gives-them-plenty-of-outdoor-space-to-roam-12″
title=”Facebook’s new campus finally gives them plenty of outdoor space to roam”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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permalink=”the-cafeteria-serves-three-meals-a-day-dished-out-by-googles-former-executive-chef-13″
title=”The cafeteria serves three meals a day, dished out by Google’s former executive chef”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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[slide
permalink=”spotted-startup-clichs-facebooks-game-room-has-everything-from-rock-band-to-wii-14″
title=”Spotted: startup clichés! Facebook’s game room has everything from Rock Band to Wii”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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permalink=”on-site-dry-cleaning-and-launder-service-simplify-facebookers-lives-were-jealous-15″
title=”On-site dry cleaning and launder service simplify Facebookers’ lives. We’re jealous”
content=”Photo: Alaska Miller
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[slide
permalink=”so-what-does-facebook-pay-part-one-of-two-16″
title=”So, what does Facebook pay? (Part one of two)”
content=”Source: employee-reviews site Glassdoor.com”
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permalink=”so-what-does-facebook-pay-part-two-of-two-17″
title=”So, what does Facebook pay? (Part two of two)”
content=”Source: employee-reviews site Glassdoor.com”
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[slide
permalink=”find-out-what-its-like-at-these-startups-too-18″
title=”Find out what it’s like at these startups, too:”
content=”Meebo: Can You Play Four Square, Ping Pong And Foosball In Your Office?
Cuil: Keep Laughing; Cuil Isn’t Quitting Yet
Gawker Media: 394 Million Pageviews, 1 Steampunk Office
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b1d878600000000008c8d87/image.jpg”
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