The open office — An inspiring work environment
An employer visit to Facebook was arranged by my university (Binghamton University, NY). I was excited to see what Facebook actually do to keep the huge website running and upgrading. As I had heard and read that they have a cool and happening culture, I was curious to learn about what actually makes it cool. The title of the article may mislead you but, it will make sense after reading the whole article.
Since Binghamton University arranged the visit, we were 15 students from various majors along with Mr. Paul “The Career Development Center’s staff”. As we all went to the 8th floor and were warmly welcomed by a senior recruiter from Facebook who was an Alumni of our University. In India, our culture teaches us to first offer water to every guest who visits you, right from a postman to the father-in-law. There was a refrigerator at the entrance filled with water bottles and recruiter offered us water. And that was the first little act from Facebook which impressed me. Then, we were asked to Login into an app in a tablet in which our information was already filled. We were then taken to a big presentation room to have quick introduction session. The senior recruiter who was an alumnus of Binghamton University started the introduction saying,
“Guys, welcome to Facebook”
As you might have already understood, I don’t need to describe what feeling I had at that moment. Here, I met with Miss. Gabby. She was a recruiter for the Android team for Facebook. We were divided into two groups, to have a tour of the office. I was in Gabby’s team.
The first section we passed from was the Food area! In Facebook, all employees have free food with a variety of cuisine all the day. Gabby told me that there are over 1000 employees working in the NYC office. There are two major teams on each floor. Team one is for Facebook and second team is for Instagram.
We visited the Local team at Facebook. This team is responsible for the location services made available to us on Facebook. An amazing thing Gabby told us that the Check-in feature on Facebook was developed by a developer in a Hackathon and so was Save Post feature. We also visited the Facebook Live section.
Then, we proceeded towards the next floor and there was sitting the Instagram team.
Now I have a snap of happy me by Facebook at Facebook inside a real Instagram card frame! That was fun.
We passed through a real-world Facebook wall saying, “What’s on your mind?” This wall was full of thoughts and gave a real feel of the huge data and user traffic Facebook is serving.
While I was roaming, I noticed that there were several meeting rooms and video conferencing rooms with glass walls. This showed a sense of open culture. Nothing is hidden from the team. And one can really interpret the entire office working as a team. There were desks all over the place with several screens for each employee. I asked Gabby about the culture at Facebook and was surprised to know that there are no cabins in entire office! All employees with all designations and roles have a desk. She also mentioned that even Mr. Mark (CEO) has a desk, not a cabin! Isn’t that cool?
People at Facebook are not only smart but are cool too. I saw a guy working while walking on a treadmill! I could not resist myself shooting a video! We can observe that the treadmill has a stand and a monitor with all connections. Thus we can infer that it is customized for this act.
There were several refreshing areas like a music room with all the instruments right from guitar to a drum set! There was small gym set, an Oculus game station, Game room with pool, football, et cetera. People were working on the desk, some were sitting on sofas, some were in the meeting rooms, few were having a video conference with some remote employees!
At this point of time, I understood the importance and the reason for such a cool office environment and culture. This allows the employees to love the workplace and by providing all the facilities, employees don’t need to leave the office for any kind of work. They have food, refreshers, amazing and creative people around, and responsibility of working at Facebook. I remember a line the senior recruiter said which clears the thoughts of a Facebook employee. She said,
“Monday mornings are not boring here at Facebook office.”
While we were walking around, answering a question, Gabby told us that Facebook hires talent, not just the seniority or a student from top universities. She told us that she hired a guy from a startup who is now making cool stuff by pushing code developing amazing features for Facebook which is serving over a billion of people.
Towards the end
Finally, we again landed in the same presentation room. We were offered delicious food from the internal catering service of Facebook. Then we had a question-answer session with two Alumni and the graduate recruiter. They shared their experiences working at Facebook and provided us valuable information about software development in current industry. The important thing I noticed was they were really happy working at Facebook
As a software developer, I have a strong wish of working in such an amazing and professional environment with such cool and creative colleagues. Where I can make a positive impact and put my skills to good use in any organization I find myself.
It was my first day at Facebook Inc. and I wish the second, third and many more days would come soon!
Thank you for reading my experience!