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Facebook Programming

Facebook's Hackathons Get a Rethink 49

itwbennett writes "They'll still be all-night coding sessions, but starting with this week's 'Project Mayhem' event, there are a few notable changes. First, they're longer — starting at 11 a.m. Thursday and continuing until 2 p.m. Friday. And coding through the night is optional. 'It's like, "let's take this day off to do this, and then if I need to get more done, we can hang out and finish at night,"' said Facebook engineering manager Pedram Keyani, who organizes the hackathons."
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Facebook's Hackathons Get a Rethink

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 05, 2013 @07:10PM (#43637177)

    I do it very occasionally when I am really in the groove and banging out a lot of code and I don't want to stop. Or once or twice when deadlines loomed and there was no other way (I'm a game developer). But all-nighters really wreck my productivity for 1-2 days afterward. I'll be tired and make more mistakes than usual, or just not have the mental energy to do a proper day's work. On the whole it is always A NET LOSS of productivity.

  • Re:hackathon? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @07:48PM (#43637351) Homepage Journal
    The really weird thing is that they bothered to call it Project Mayhem, when it's well-known that Facebook's codebase is a gigantic messy hairball of bewildering PHP.
  • Re:hackathon? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @08:00PM (#43637407) Journal
    Easy situation to deal with.....by going home earlier in the day, randomly. I agree with you, unfortunately, it is necessary to be vigilant to make sure your employers (and anyone else for that matter) don't rip you off.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @03:00AM (#43639525) Homepage

    Facebook has some big problems:

    Social just isn't that big a business. Facebook made only $53 million in profit last year, on $5 billion in revenue. (Way down due to some dumb acquisitions. They did better in 2011.) Despite all the noise it makes, Facebook is small compared to Dell or Google or Microsoft or HP or Oracle. VMware and Adobe have revenue roughly comparable to Facebook.

    Facebook hasn't had that revenue for long, either. Social networks have a short lifespan. AOL, Geocities, Orkut, Friendster, Myspace... the list of once-big social networks is long. It's hard to make money in "social". Blast out too many ads and users leave. That's what killed Myspace.

    Facebook is desperately trying to develop something that will make them cool again, or some way to get people to swallow more ads. All-night hacking sessions probably won't help. They've been acquiring other companies, but that may not help either. Buying Instagram is where their 2012 profits went. Instagram is cool, but not profitable. This year, they bought Hot Studio, a San Francisco design house whose mantra is "build brand loyalty first and ask for payment later". That's so late-1990s first dot-com boom.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"