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Thoughts on where to go after Meta?

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Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta7 months ago

I've been at Meta for a while and have thought about outside opportunities. I feel like it can be frustrating getting things done at Meta a lot of the time - Too many processes and people to align to ship projects. I want to work somewhere where I can just write code and ship cool products. Any thoughts on next steps for someone who's been at Big Tech for a while?

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  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    7 months ago
    • Pre-IPO (think Series D and beyond) seems like a good fit. It has a lot of stability and potential for WLB while having more more scope than a company at Meta. This was my thinking going from Meta to Robinhood, and I feel like the move worked out well (let's just ignore the stock crash, haha).
    • In general, the vast majority of good engineers I've seen at Meta go smaller. You come to Meta to pick up some good fundamentals, and then you go to a smaller company to flex those fundamentals and help grow it towards becoming the next Meta.
    • Another option to consider is finding a team/org within Meta that feels like a startup. You can find some success there, but I believe it's hard to really find something true to that spirit within Meta. There's always some baggage that comes seeping in from the fact that Meta is giant. I felt like that happened at Portal to me. Even though it was this brand new product, there were a lot of dependencies linking us to Facebook/Messenger, and it didn't feel like we were truly a startup in terms of vibe/culture/execution.

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  • Cat Chen
    Meta, Robinhood, Baidu
    6 months ago

    I want to work somewhere where I can just write code and ship cool products. Stability and WLB are also on my mind to an extent as I do have a family to take care of.

    Given the constraints you listed here, I think pre-IPO unicorns are your best bet.

    As a company grows bigger and bigger the need for internal communication and alignment becomes stronger. The value of being a so-called "Coding Machine" diminishes. The collective mindset shifts from "let's build something and it's likely to create value" to "let's talk first and make sure we are not damaging value for anyone internally". If you want to focus on writing code and shipping cool products you have to move to an earlier stage company.

    If you also want stability and WLB you probably shouldn't join a company at a very early stage. That's why a pre-IPO unicorn is a sweet spot. There should be a lot of opportunities to create value by coding and building as the company grows.

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