After a successful 30-year engineering career, Allan M. was still eager to learn and grow and in 2017; he joined Meta in London to lead engineering for Ads. Established more than ten years ago, Meta in London spans three offices across the West End and is the largest engineering hub outside of the United States.
“I was drawn to Meta in London by the engineering-led culture and the opportunity to tackle new and different challenges. I stay here because of the talented and passionate people I work with every day, as well as the interesting and exciting projects that stretch my critical thinking,” he says.
Allan is now an engineering director on Workplace, Meta’s collaboration suite for businesses, which is designed and built in London. In his words: “It’s a product that brings the power of community to people at work. Workplace transforms how teams of almost any size work together. It’s just amazing to work on.”
Allan ensures the engineering team has what they need to succeed. Part of this includes connecting with different teams and making sure everyone is aligned on strategy and direction for the product. The entire Workplace engineering team is based in London. It’s a tight-knit community with a unique culture that inspires both innovation and growth.
“A big part of the culture at Meta is the autonomy team members have to determine what they should do to make a difference, instead of being told what to do.”
This is a requirement for anyone wanting to succeed and make an impact. “It creates an incredible energy in the environment and allows everyone to feel empowered in a way I haven’t experienced anywhere else,“ says Allan.
The London team is also one of the most diverse across all of Meta, with around 95 different nationalities represented. Allan says it’s the most diverse team he’s ever worked with in his decades-long career. Beyond being around many different cultures, languages, and cuisines, there’s a much larger and more impactful benefit. The diversity in London allows different ideas and views to be shared, which positively influences how problems are solved and ultimately, how products are built.
Along with autonomy and diversity, there’s another aspect of the culture Allan credits with the innovation that happens in the London office. “One of my favorite things about the culture is the lack of office politics. No one has hidden agendas. Everyone is very open about what they want to achieve and nothing is someone else’s problem. We always collaborate on the best way forward that works for everyone and allows us to continue innovating and creating, and handling the tough questions around priorities.”
It’s this environment that made London the ideal birthplace for Workplace, along with other new technologies and products. Currently, teams in the London offices are working on AR and VR tools that will change the way people interact, play and work, while other teams are working on ways businesses can better sell and advertise their goods to customers.
London also has the largest integrity team at Meta, which is focused on keeping people safe on the platform with products like Safety Check and two-factor authentication, an important security feature that helps protect Facebook accounts in addition to passwords.
The culture, coupled with its innovative products and technology, is what Allan finds energizing. “There are more than a hundred teams in London, big and small, who are doing impactful work that truly inspire me every day. It’s an exciting time as we continue to grow, innovate, and help bring the world closer together.”
For anyone looking to join Meta, Allan offers this: “Be honest about what you bring to the table and what you want to do. If you want to learn, grow, and tackle hard problems, this is a great place for you. If you’re not sure you want to work here because of public perception, join us and help drive change from the inside. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that, if at any point in your career you’re too comfortable, you won’t grow. Even after working for nearly 30 years in engineering, that’s ultimately what led me to Meta—the opportunity to learn and grow.”
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