Facebook Tech Talk: How to Effectively Transform Your Engineering Effort into Impact

by Edmond Lau

Facebook recently hit 2 billion monthly active users. 1 It’s a completely mind-blowing milestone, and I credit a large part of their ability to grow so quickly – they had hit the 1 billion-user mark less than five years ago 2 – to the strong engineering culture they’ve built.

One part of their engineering culture that I really appreciate is their relentless focus on impact. Focusing on impact is so important there that it’s actually one of the company’s five core values. 3 And that value ties in closely to the framework of leverage used by effective engineers and that I discuss extensively on my blog and in my book, The Effective Engineer.

I was delighted to be invited recently by Facebook’s engineering team to give an internal tech talk at their Menlo Park headquarters, as part of their “Effective Engineering” talk series. They don’t usually share videos of these talks externally, so I’m even more delighted to be able to share a video of my talk with you.

In this talk, I frame leverage as a lens for thinking about how to focus on impact in the most effective way possible. You’ll hear stories from engineering leaders at top companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Square, Box, Airbnb, and Instagram — stories about insights they’ve learned and costly mistakes that they’ve made. And you’ll get a sense of how the unifying framework of leverage lets you identify the activities that produce disproportionately high impact.

I’m not able to share the Q&A portion of the talk because it touched on internal Facebook topics, but luckily we can just hold our own! Ask your questions in the comments below.

Enjoy the talk!

Level Up Your Engineering Impact

If you’d like to go more in-depth into the concepts discussed in the talk, get your own copy of The Effective Engineer today. It’s the one manual recommended by engineering VPs, managers, and senior engineers from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Dropbox, Box, and more.

Plus, now you can also get:

  • In-depth podcast interviews with engineering leaders at top tech companies;
  • A tactical toolkit of strategies, checklists, and questions to help you excel at the most common engineering activities;
  • Advanced mastery videos of powerful techniques that I’ve only taught at workshops at Google, Pinterest, and other companies;
  • And more.

What are you waiting for? Master the strategies and techniques that great engineers use to amplify their impact.

  1. Mike Nowak and Guillermo Spiller, “Two Billion People Coming Together on Facebook”, Facebook News Room, June 27, 2017.

  2. Mark Zuckerberg, personal note.

  3. Josh Constine, “Facebook’s S-1 Letter From Zuckerberg Urges Understanding Before Investment”, Techcrunch, February 1, 2012.

Posted:

“A comprehensive tour of our industry's collective wisdom written with clarity.”

— Jack Heart, Engineering Manager at Asana

“Edmond managed to distill his decade of engineering experience into crystal-clear best practices.”

— Daniel Peng, Senior Staff Engineer at Google

“A comprehensive tour of our industry's collective wisdom written with clarity.”

— Jack Heart, Engineering Manager at Asana

“Edmond managed to distill his decade of engineering experience into crystal-clear best practices.”

— Daniel Peng, Senior Staff Engineer at Google

Grow Your Skills Beyond the Book

Listen to podcast interviews with top software engineers and watch master-level videos of techniques previously taught only in workshops and seminars.

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