Feb 07 2022

What’s up next for the Meta Tech Podcast?

By Meta Careers
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When engineer Pascal Hartig first began recording the Inside Facebook Mobile podcast as a fun side project in 2018, he wanted to bring listeners behind the scenes at Meta to show them how Engineering teams were tackling complex challenges at scale.
“Before my former colleague Emil and I started the podcast, we saw a gap in the way we talked about the company,” Pascal explains. “Articles are a great way to share technical details, but they didn’t feel very human or capture the unique culture we have here at the company. From the beginning, the podcast has been about answering questions like, ‘What is it like to actually build this?’, ‘Why did the team take that approach?’, and ‘Who came up with that idea, and what were the dynamics around it?’ We’ve been so happy to find that our conversational approach really resonates with people.”
Now a couple of years and more than 100,000 downloads later, Pascal recently joined us on the other side of the interview table to talk about how the podcast—now called the Meta Tech Podcast—has evolved and to share an inside look at what’s next.

Expanding beyond engineering

Though the Meta Tech Podcast began with a series of conversations with engineers, it wasn’t long before Pascal started to hear from people who wanted to learn more about additional parts of the business. “Whether it’s design and product or Reality Labs and AR/VR, there are so many incredible insights we can share—and there’s a real appetite for learning about how teams at Meta are identifying and solving new problems.”
Listener feedback has since become a key source of inspiration for planning and content programming, leading Pascal to seek out a diverse roster of guests across Meta for future episodes. “Listeners can expect to hear from people from all backgrounds who work across organizations, teams and regions,” he says. “We’ll aim to showcase the innovation and culture here, whether it’s examples of how teams move fast to make quick impact or how we all help champion and embrace different perspectives across the company.”

Busting myths, breaking down misconceptions and sharing solutions

All previously recorded episodes of Inside Facebook Mobile are still available, and Pascal says there’s a lot to learn from previous conversations. “Technology changes quickly, but we want our content to be as timeless as possible,” he explains. “For example, I particularly love the conversation we had with Will Bailey, Engineering Director. He talks about the history of Facebook Home, all the way back to when people had Facebook at the center of their Android phone. He also talked about making the pivot to mobile and the first sort of failed attempt using HTML5. That story was so interesting to me, because it cleared up a lot of misconceptions I had. Talking about misconceptions, failures and how we learn from them to build for the future has become central to conversations we have on the podcast.”
Future guests will also shed light on specific challenges teams are navigating as Meta continues to grow around the world—along with the impact they can make by solving them. Pascal says, “I remember when we talked with Emma Savastian, an engineer, about bytecode optimization for Android. She shared a standout example of what it’s like to innovate for billions of people, where implementing a very small change can make the difference between whether or not people in developing countries can use an app at all. We’ll also have more conversations like that, where we’ll explain some of the internal challenges that pin technical decisions at our scale.”

How to tune in

The Meta Tech Podcast is currently available on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, and Overcast.
“There are very few places and teams in the world that operate at Meta’s scale, solving these types of new challenges at this time,” Pascal says. “If you’re interested in the stories behind how all of this works, we hope you’ll tune in and learn about it.”
Already a listener or have ideas to share? Send your topic suggestions and recommendations for future guests to @MetaTechPod on Twitter or in an email to TechPodcast@fb.com.

Episode Guide

Episode 58: Advancing GenAI at Meta

What’s the difference between AI and ML? Where do LLMs like Llama 2 fit? How will emerging technologies drive creativity? Devi P., AI research director, brings Meta Tech Podcast host Pascal H. behind the scenes.

Episode 57 - Writing and linting Python at scale

How and where do engineers use Python at Meta? Pascal H. and Amethyst R. dive deep into how the Python foundation team works to improve the developer experience at Meta

Episode 56 - The Making of Threads

Curious to go behind the scenes with the team that built Threads, the app that grew from 0 to 100M users in five days? Three engineers share how they helped build the app on top of existing Meta systems and why the Instagram codebase gave them a running start.

Episode 55 - What it's like to ship code

One big repository. Shared code ownership. Limitless collaboration. In this episode of the Meta Tech Podcast, two software engineers share how they ship code in a monorepo at a company the size of Meta.

Episode 54 - WhatsApp Key Transparency

Key transparency is the latest cryptographic security feature that further guarantees end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp. Meta Tech Podcast host Pascal H. is joined by Sean L., a purveyor of privacy, and Kevin L., a research scientist, to discuss how key transparency fuels the WhatsApp mission to connect the world privately. That includes automating verification, scaling the feature and navigating engineering challenges along the way – so no matter what, messages remain private.

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