Building the products and services that bring the world closer together is no easy feat. Every day, teams at Facebook work together to tackle complex challenges and give billions of people around the world the power to build community.
Leaders of Facebook’s technical teams make it possible for us to deliver on the promise of our mission. At the heart of our leadership culture lies a focus on people. Whether we're creating new products, scaling our infrastructure, or protecting the people who use our products, leaders here clear the path for their teams to build the technology that brings the world closer together.
Fostering a Culture of Ownership
People who work at Facebook often say their managers give them a level of autonomy they haven’t experienced at other companies. Our leaders focus on removing blockers and empowering people on their teams to take on open-ended problems and pursue creative approaches to solving them. “The biggest mistake you can make as a manager,” explains Luisa H., Software Engineering Manager, “is not giving people on your team the opportunity to work on something just because you can do it faster. Trust is so important, and I’ve learned that sometimes you need to let go.”
Bob H., VP of Infrastructure, says he’s learned to make sure people have the skillsets and resources they need to be successful and to empower them with ownership. “To grow together as a team and successfully meet the challenges of tomorrow,” he shares, “you need to get the right people in place, lay the challenges out ahead of time, and set clear expectations.”
VP of Infrastructure, Bob H.
Art by Nicholas Bohac through the Facebook Artist in Residence Program
“While we expect engineers to have autonomy, there’s a strong culture of teamwork,” adds Omar B., Director of Engineering in Network Infrastructure. “We come together to figure out how to fix problems.” Omar also believes innovation in technology is expanding opportunities for impact—for himself and his team. “Over the past few years,” he explains, “the types of applications on Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and more have expanded to include virtual reality, augmented reality, real-time video calling, and 360 video, among others. Our platforms share the same infrastructure, and networking is a critical component of their performance.”
Omar B., Director of Engineering in Network Infrastructure
Art by Adee Roberson through the Facebook Artist in Residence Program
Leaders at Facebook believe good ideas can come from anyone and work hard to build welcoming environments that help everyone here do the best work possible. That starts with encouraging people to be their authentic selves at work.
“I believe that innovation happens more quickly when people can bring their authentic selves to work,” says Director of Infrastructure Mark R. “We work hard, but I encourage our team to make sure they take care of their whole selves. That might mean getting your work done and leaving to go to your kid’s soccer match or to volunteer with an organization you’re passionate about.”
Mark R., Director of Infrastructure
VP of Infrastructure Bob H. says this type of encouragement has influenced both his work and his leadership perspective. Before joining Facebook, Bob served as a US Navy submarine officer for more than 34 years. “I didn’t have a traditional data center background,” he explains. “But Facebook took a chance on me. Now, I’m passionate about taking chances on others and giving them opportunities for growth.”
He also says it’s important for leaders to be their authentic selves. “I’ve experienced firsthand the value of being open with your team about what’s most important to you,” he shares. “Once we feel the support of our colleagues, we can bring our best selves to work.”
Embracing Diverse Perspectives and Individual Strengths
Helping people from all over the world build community takes a team that reflects the diversity of the people who use our products. Leaders at Facebook play a crucial role in fostering inclusive working environments so we can all benefit from diverse perspectives.
Luisa H., Engineering Manager
Luisa says, “I’ve also learned to recognize that when someone does something differently than you would, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
Kim H., Engineering Manager
Engineering Manager Kim H. shares that she’s learned how important it is for managers to see each person on their team as an individual, and how she helps her team work on projects that align with their strengths. “Understanding their unique strengths, needs, and interests will allow you to create an inclusive environment where everyone thrives,” she recommends. “I try to match people to what they’re passionate about, point them toward the problems that need to be solved, and let them take it from there.”
Director of Production Engineering Syamla B. helps Facebook scale the technology, teams, and processes behind mission-critical applications. She has held leadership roles at several tech and financial companies, and understands firsthand the value of having diverse perspectives on a team. “I was the only woman in the room for much of my career,” she explains, “so diversity and inclusion values are close to my heart.”
Syamla B., Director of Production Engineering
Growing Our Careers as We Help Our Teams Grow
Unlike some other companies, where a person’s career growth may be limited unless they become a people manager, managing people at Facebook is a choice. People become managers here because they want to and it’s a strength—not simply because it’s the only way they can grow in their careers. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have opportunities to learn and grow.
“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a leader is how much you can achieve at scale when you help other people learn and grow,” shares Jenny Y., an engineering manager who started started as an intern over eight years ago, worked as an engineer for two years, then became a manager on the Newsfeed team working on Android. Jenny was excited to work on a product her friends and family used every day, but she also experienced feelings of imposter syndrome. Facebook’s open culture and strong sense of community helped her overcome these feelings to lead her team. “I was introduced to other new managers,” she explains. “And we learned from each other.”
Jenny Y., Engineering Manager
Managers at Facebook focus on impact, but they never lose sight of the people who make that impact possible—or the people our work affects. “I’m continually reminded of how important it is to take care of your people. It is job one,” Bob says.
Syamla believes in the power of building personal relationships with your team so they know you are there to support them. “It’s so important to know people at a personal level,” she shares. “When you’re working on complex issues, it creates a more collaborative and positive environment. My team knows I’ll be there for them not just when things are rosy, but when they’re going south, too.”
Building Your Future as a Leader at Facebook
For teams at Facebook, our work is never finished. “Before Facebook,” Omar shares, “I didn’t realize how much I’d value this type of environment. It’s rich for innovation, development, and personal growth.” We’re always learning. And we’re always looking for leaders with a passion for solving interesting problems and a dedication to empowering team members as they build projects that help billions of people stay connected with friends and family, discover what’s going on in the world, and share what matters to them.
“We’ve created an environment where people ask questions, take responsibility, and accept feedback,” explains Bob. When you do that, anything is possible.”
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to find out how you could use your unique leadership experience and strengths to empower Facebook teams and help bring the world closer together.