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Facebook: Moving Fast at Scale



Robert Johnson discusses Facebook’s approach to scalability issues resulting from a large growth of the user base. He talks about: why one needs to prepare for horizontal and not vertical scalability, very short release cycles which are better because they introduce fewer bugs, the need to streamline to deploying process for short release cycles, and making the entire process faster every day.


Robert Johnson is Director of Engineering at Facebook, where he leads the software development efforts. He was previously at ActiveVideo Networks, leading the distributed systems and set-top software development teams. He received a B.S. In Engineering and Applied Science from Caltech.

About the conference

Starting in 1986, OOPSLA Conference has proven to be the cradle of many techniques and methodologies that have become mainstream over the years: OOP, Patterns, AOP, XP, Unit Testing, UML, Wiki, and Refactoring. Gaining its prestige with 3 academic tracks, OOPSLA Conference has managed to attract researchers, educators and developers every year. The event is sponsored by ACM.

Recorded at:

May 24, 2010

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Community comments

  • Organizational Challenges

    by Bernie Barbour,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Excellent presentation, thank you.

    I was wondering if you could speak or touch on your challenges of scaling organizationally so at 1.1M users per 1 engineer where are all your engineers located?

    Are you experiences challenges in ownership of code?
    Are you able to scale development across timezones and geographies?

  • Who owns the product?

    by Joseph Taylor,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Thanks for giving us insights into your software engineering processes. It very similar to small agencies where a developer is also a designer and an operations engineer.

    Can you give us a little insight on who owns the product or product features? What's the percentage split of engineers vs product owners/managers vs architects?

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