Internally, Things Are Pretty Tumultuous, Says Former Twitter Engineer

By Sudarshana Banerjee

We stumbled upon a blog post by Adrien Gaarf. Mr. Gaarf is the latest in a long line of people to leave Twitter. He tells us why exactly he quit. It seems even though he joined with a lot of hope and enthusiasm, things did not exactly work out for him, and it was not exactly pretty. However, Mr. Gaarf still recommends signing on the dotted line, if you happen to have a job offer from Twitter.

We wish Mr. Gaarf all the best. And here are some excerpts from his post:

>>> Two years ago, a Twitter recruiter contacted me. I went on to interview rounds with amazing, crazy, smart people. The energy was palpable, and I was psyched by the opportunity. Twitter was the hot startup that everyone wanted to join. I was offered a job, and I accepted.

>>> Over the past 20 months, I witnessed the company grow from 150 dedicated, passionate employees to more than 750. That’s a 500% increase in headcount.  Most tweeps are young, talented, and ambitious engineers. The number of users also exploded, and the mindshare of the Twitter brand creeped all over. The value of the stock skyrocketed. Why would anyone voluntarily leave such fantastical growth?

>>> One major reason is that the commute had become unsustainable. It took me 3 hours each day to get to the office in downtown San Francisco.

>>> Another reason is that, internally, things are pretty tumultuous. Technical debt is shrinking but still sizable. Projects tend to be judged based on how clever their name is (I’ve learned lots of exotic bird names), and that tends to correlate with how popular the stakeholder is, not with objective value nor usefulness. Many folks have left in past few months, triggering waves of FUD within the ranks. There are plenty of turf wars, and a lot of strong personalities with conflicting views as to what the product is, how it works, and what it means. Eventually, the kool-aid turned a bit sour for me.

>>> This is my greatly self-censored story. Don’t read too much into it. If you have an opportunity to interview or work at Twitter, I would highly recommended giving it a shot. It’s a great place filled with friendly, talented, and passionate people. It has a vibe like no other. But make sure you live nearby, are naturally caffeinated, and able to deal with the chaos that naturally permeates from a company that generates LOLcats by day, and triggers revolutions by night.


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