For Tech Pros, Facebook is More than Social Networking

It’s no surprise that Facebook ranked very highly in Dice’s inaugural Ideal Employer survey: not only does the social-networking giant offer all the high salaries, benefits, and amenities you’d expect from a Silicon Valley tech titan, but it dangles the chance for professionals to tackle some of the most interesting (and challenging) problems facing the technology industry today, including virtual reality (VR) and cybersecurity.

Despite its reputation as a company for young talent, Facebook proved attractive to respondents from across the age spectrum: Millennials, Generation X’ers, and Baby Boomers all ranked it among their top-ten places to work (with Millennials and Gen X’ers ranking it slightly higher than Boomers). Its popularity also extended across genders.

Survey respondents said they’d like to work for the company long-term, and a majority claimed it would be a good place to develop their careers, build their skill-sets, and position themselves for the next big step up the professional ladder.

The survey was conducted before Facebook found itself thoroughly mired in the latest election controversy, which has included Congressional hearings, but some tech pros don’t think that the latest issues will have much effect on the company’s appeal or recruiting efforts.

“This will likely affect its reputation with potential candidates that would have likely not fitted in with the Facebook culture,” Xavier Parkhouse-Parker, Co-founder and Director at Plato, told Dice. “The unofficial slogan of Facebook is ‘move fast and break things.’ This means that making mistakes of whatever scale and scope is part of the culture.”

As for users’ general love-hate relationship with the social network, Parkhouse-Parker believes that doesn’t matter as much as some might think. “The user side of Facebook is a far cry from the core aspects of Facebook which is mainly a computer science and engineering company.”

Indeed, Facebook’s work in data analytics and artificial intelligence could draw in highly specialized tech pros, especially those who want a crack at some of the largest datasets on the planet. “I think data scientists and big data techies would love to work on some projects at Facebook in which they might access, mine and extract conclusions of users data,” said Gabriel Cartuccia, Founder & CEO of software development firm Right Away. “The social platform is a huge data generator for Facebook, and other branches make use of that data, for instance for targeted marketing and advertising. Possibilities are endless in terms of learning from users behavior and habits.”

Parkhouse-Parker thinks the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) may prove the company’s next exciting venture: “Along with Google Brain and Google Deep Mind, the research from FAIR is the real cutting edge of A.I. technology. The future of Facebook is going to be centered around the research done here – potentially the future of all humanity.”

The company can clearly attract the talent it needs for the future, giving them the opportunity to work on social networks… and everything beyond.