Sixth week: Engineering summit & Anneleen's visit

published on November 26, 2011

This week at Facebook

Facebook, or well, my manager, graciously allowed me to take two days off — I believe in large part because I had been working so hard in the first 5 weeks of my internship. It was especially welcome because we had already lost a full day. So I took the day off on Tuesday (the last day of good weather that week!) and on Friday.

On Wednesday, there was Facebook’s Engineering Summit, where the major new tools, systems, APIs and whatnot where presented. They do this because Facebook has grown so large and there are so many teams, that it is impossible to know on a company-wide scale what is being worked on. So an event like this enables software engineers to leverage as many of these novelties as much as possible, for maximum impact.
Clearly, this is a major cost for Facebook, to put hundreds of engineers together in one room and pay them to not work. They’re simply confident that this will pay off.

On the remaining two days, I presented my initial deep analysis (based on the patterns found by my project) on Facebook Groups’ performance to somebody of the Groups team, dived deeper into this and worked on several non-project related tasks, including instrumentation for Facebook’s photo tagging functionality.

On Monday — Halloween! — there was also some Halloween-themed food at Facebook:

Halloween food at Facebook

Saying goodbye again

Sunday approached far too quickly, as always happens when you’re with your better half.

I went to work on Monday. On Monday evening — on Halloween — we went to see some nicely decorated front yards, one even had an amazing “space tunnel”! It was basically a rolling barrel with a lot of LED lights as stars and a flying platform through it, so you could walk through it while the “stars” were rotating around you. All self-built in a week or so. Very impressive :)

Puking Pumpkin!

On Tuesday, we visited San Francisco, where we found “Alpaca Fashion”, where they indeed sold clothes sewn from llama wool! Wow! (I love llamas!) After a lot of walking, we took a bike taxi, which was a very relaxing and awesome experience :)

Alpaca Fashion! OMG

Wednesday was the Facebook Engineering summit and on Thursday, I also worked.
On Friday, we visited Stanford and Palo Alto and on Saturday we just relaxed and walked around nearby.

On Sunday, which felt like doomsday, an airport shuttle van picked us up at 5:30 in the morning. Since we only went to sleep around 2, we’d barely slept. I’d feel groggy for the next few days!

As much as I’m looking forward to going an airport right now, I don’t think I’ll ever look forward to it again!