Serkan Piantino is keeping busy these days. The Facebook engineer who astonishingly took timeline from concept to rollout in half a year and gave news feed, the idea, legs to walk on is now charged with staffing the social network’s New York engineering wing, which opened in January with scads of new talent, Wired reports.
He’s attacking the challenge with fervor. On his wish list? Infrastructure, or systems software engineers, who transcend prototypes into dependable technology deployed to the masses, or in this case, some 900 million and counting monthly average users.
This staffing endeavor may explain the social network’s recent perusal of office space at the former New York Times building, indicating that its Madison Avenue digs are not spacious enough to house the bulk of engineers it is seeking to hire.
Once this new incubation team and space plug into the Big Apple, the city will even more fully live up to its recent status upgrade as the nation’s fastest-growing tech hub, and Facebook’s New York engineers are sure to find good company.
It turns out that New York has a plethora of the so-called graybeards on offer, many of whom puzzle away writing code and monitoring and storing data at the back-end of Wall Street firms developing proprietary products. At Facebook, these engineers would be enveloped in a hacker-friendly culture (recall the overnight hackathon challenge leading up to Facebook Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg ringing the Nasdaq bell), where their product and code would be put to use widely and speedily.
Piantino worked in the social network’s Silicon Valley headquarters for three years before heading to New York to man operations there. He knows the geek-chic celebrity status engineers at the “move fast and break things” company can attain. And this kind of star-treatment may be just the enticement to lure talented banker-builders to join the team.
Speaking of the big man, Piantino told Wired about Zuckerberg:
He’s a dude that’s totally motivated by being able to build products. And so we’ve tried to build an organization where engineers can come and they can build things.
That is music to every good geek’s ears.
The real challenge, though, beyond the current push to staff up, will be maintaining this builders’ paradise while rapidly expanding. If this company loses its remarkable ability to respond swiftly, all bets on the social network could be off. Can a hefty team of engineers be agile? That remains to be seen.