Elon Musk’s firing has had the worst impact on Twitter engineering, Doc Shows

Twitter headquarters

Image: Samantha Laurey (Getty Images)

Twitter’s mass job loss headlines focus on big numbers—Half of a team of 7,500 out of a job, he is trying to find a job until his contract expires on January 3rd, and in the meantime it is felt Unwanted at headquarters in San Francisco. (Unless, of course, you’re one of those people Elon Musk decided he accidentally fired, sorry, please come back sorry for firing you.)

However, little detail has emerged as to where these cuts came from. We know that Twitter’s communications team, which is responsible for explaining the strange antics of its new billionaire owner to the world, has been cut. out of about 100 simply two. Gizmodo realizes that’s at most now: one of the two remaining employees has since left the company, and it’s unclear whether the other will stay.

But beyond that, it was difficult to determine exactly which teams were most affected, howeverAnalysis of spreadsheet created by Twitter staff engineer Chandan Maloo as of May 2021 and populated by fired Twitter employees introducing your skills and roles to potential employers sheds some light. The #oneteam Tweeps Talent Directory In Musk’s 3,750-person bloodbath, about 830 people are named: that means about a fifth of those who were cut from Twitter are on the list.

The table gives some idea of ​​where the ax is most likely to fall. Of the 830 employees registered in the table, 360 have the word “engineer” in their job title. (A sample of job titles was cross-checked with related LinkedIn data to ensure the table’s contents were legitimate.) They include 26 machine learning engineers who may have been poached by AI companies looking to fill their desks with former senior tech workers. . Most of the laid-off workers live in the United States

They are engineers those most affected by layoffs transparent numbers per spreadsheet – with the obvious caveat that those who fill in the required details are self-selected and likely reflect the communities in which the spreadsheet is shared on LinkedIn. Engineers, for example marketing staff (28 who lost their jobs and filled in their details on the document) follow their fellow engineers more than 14 ex-employees. dozens of recruiters who had “communications” in their job titles or who are now out of a job. After engineers, product managers appeared to be the next most affected position; 24 members of Twitter’s curation team also added their names to the list.

A Twitter employee who avoided layoffs and still works at the company on the engineering team says the proportion of engineering staff included in the layoff schedule “sounds about right” based on his experience of how staffing has changed.n team.

In addition to the financial impact on the platform, halving the workforce also has a human impact. According to the schedule, about 200 employees had visa support from Twitter and now it was taken away from them.

The range of experience among those who were laid off varied significantly, from those in their first year in the technology industry to a senior software engineer with 40 years of experience. Software Engineer LinkedIn Profile – Who Gizmodo – who is not identified to protect his identity – says he was on Twitter for less than nine months before he was fired. He did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.

This has obvious disadvantages It affects the stability of Twitter, website and app, as users discover: phantom tweets disappear, follower counts fluctuate, and GIFs begin to age. “I would be surprised if these workers were sitting there all day doing nothing,” says Ian Brown, an information security and privacy researcher and visiting professor at FGV University in Buenos Aires, Brazil. “I thought they were there for a good reason, and maintaining a global service with high availability like Twitter requires a lot of global resources.”

The layoffs also massively disrupted the engineering department and its normal workflow. “Our previous software model was very incremental,” said a current Twitter engineer. Engineers will push a service and monitor how it performs. Then they’ll find a way to improve it, make those improvements, then push again. Then they would look again and find something else to improve. Now it’s free for everyone, where major new features are pushed into Twitter’s codebase without prior vetting, with apparent chaotic effects.

It’s an assessment that former Google programmer Foone Turing agrees with. “Many known situations can be automated—rebooting machines, cleaning temporary files and logs, and crashes,” he says, “but the problems are the ones you don’t expect.”

Turing says that the engineering staff layoff was because “no one knew that system A depended on system B to boot, and system B on system A until they simultaneously started.” Turing notes that this is an example of what happened in one of their past jobs.

The scale, brutality and execution of the layoffs make Twitter’s position even more difficult. The way they come into force may conflict with what’s at Stripe, where CEO Patrick Collison is. email staff telling them why the 14% reduction in staffing is happening. Unlike Twitter, Stripe’s CEO’s HR department appears to have been briefed on the impending layoffs. Employees were also notified of the layoffs in an email signed by Collison, rather than an unsigned message from Twitter. Musk’s method of downsizing also compares poorly to Meta’s 11,000 layoffs, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced apologetically while also guaranteeing large severance payments to the workers who lost their jobs.

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