Facebook Seattle: Past 30 Hires and Growing, Adding Heft to Chat Overhaul, Running Out of Mob-Lunch Restaurant Space

An obvious sign your small office is growing fast: It’s getting harder to find a table for an all-hands meal. As workplace annoyances go, that’s a good one to have—especially if you’re leading Facebook’s first engineering hub outside the mothership in Palo Alto, CA.

Xconomy chatted with Seattle’s office lead, Ari Steinberg, Wednesday evening as the group welcomed visitors for a “Tech Talk” about its recent work on improving its analytics interface. (No joke: This was on the magazine table by the front desk.)

Steinberg’s overview was similar to what you hear from a lot of Silicon Valley companies that have expanded to Seattle—he says Facebook’s beachhead here is humming right along, continuing to add staff, and “really pleasantly surprised by the quality of people that we’re getting.”

But he adds that Seattle’s new engineers have already made a mark within the company and may eventually take the lead on some projects.

“Even in just our first small batch of people, there’s a number of them that have clearly had a pretty big impact and developed positive reputations among people in Palo Alto,” Steinberg says. “They’re very quickly getting some recognition.”

When Facebook Seattle was announced, officials said they planned to have space for around 30 people. Steinberg says they’ve probably topped that number already (after opening in August) and don’t see any reason to slow down yet.

“We’re actually now hitting some scaling problems,” he says. “The restaurant was going crazy [Wednesday] when we went for lunch because they didn’t have a table big enough for the whole group.”

Seattle’s engineers aren’t limited to a certain group of projects, but the office near Pike Place Market has developed clusters of people focusing on mobile, chat infrastructure, spam-fighting and the development platform, Steinberg says.

“There may also, down the road, be teams that are entirely based in Seattle. This isn’t like a hard-and-fast rule that it has to be this way,” Steinberg says. “It’s kind of an evolutionary thing. So I think as more people show up, we figure out what’s the best fit for them, and we can change things.”

From a user’s viewpoint, a lot of the work being done in Seattle is still … Next Page »

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One response to “Facebook Seattle: Past 30 Hires and Growing, Adding Heft to Chat Overhaul, Running Out of Mob-Lunch Restaurant Space”

  1. Darrin Larkins says:

    Why is it that no one is listening to the poor here in America? I am not a beggar nor am I a bum. I work hard for what little I have, but all of that is slowly slipping away. I got laid off from my job and have been actively seeking employment every since. I am either over qualified, or I’m under qualified. I just want to work and support my family, but that seems to be just the opposite of what the wealthy want for me and all of the other POOR Americans in this country. You and all of the other wealthy people of this world have the power to change the lives of so many of us, but it just seems like you don’t care. Do you? That’s all I’m asking. If you took $20 from every $100 that you made for one month, that would be enough for a poor person like myself to establish my dream. Yes I do have some, but no I have never been able to ever come close to them. Look , you still have 80% of that $100, and you have nothing to lose but everything to gain. There are problems going on right here in America, so why are they going all around the world to fix a problem, when there is one right here at your front door, right now? I have asked others in your position the same thing and I have yet to hear from any of you, which draws me back to my question. Do you really care? I hope you do because there are more and more middle class Americans that are heading for the very same position that I am in right now. Please sir, take a chance on me and see that all is NOT lost in the poor community, and I will prove to you that with a mentor, we can turn this cycle around and start a new trend in America. Thank you for your time.