My last day at Instagram / Meta (Badge Post)

Date: 2022-11-20 | create | career |

I recently left my job as a Software Engineer at Instagram / Meta. It's tradition to write a "badge post" when you leave - a short reflection on your time and what you're off to next.

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During my 3+ years at Facebook, I’ve had the opportunity to work on IG’s media delivery and metrics systems which blew open my expectations for the scale, problem complexity, and autonomy of responsibilities that would be handed to a “junior” engineer. I’ve grown a lot and the experience has far exceeded anything I hoped to get out of it.

I had 3 primary goals for my new job when I joined mid 2019:

  • Gain “Experience with larger scale” - In my first 6 months I was awestruck at the scale my work code ran at vs my side projects (1 trillion vs 150 hits per day) - of course today, code I’ve written gets executed many orders of magnitude more than that but that’s just normal at IG scale
  • Understand “new platforms / organizations” - Meta / IG is a unique beast. I have never seen an organization that quite runs like this one. There are many tools and tactics I will take with me and at least a few that I don’t think would work in a different culture at a different scale.
  • “Lead bigger projects with more responsibilities” - Meta has an entrepreneurial culture and really incentivizes diving into the unknown and creating impact. It took me awhile to fully understand this but I really appreciate the plethora of opportunities and support / incentive structures that quietly work behind the scenes at scale. These structures have helped me learn about, experiment with, and solidify systems of impact creation that I believe are generalizable to any domain / business. And it’s helped me realize that this autonomy / entrepreneurial perspective is something I want more of in my life (more on that in a sec).

While all the problems / opportunities I’ve worked on have been great what’s really kept me here for 3+ years has been the people. When people joke about FAANG’s “golden handcuffs” they’re usually referring to the pay (and maybe WLB ;)) but those are all quantifiable and the hardest part for me has been harder to quantify - the culture and the people.

Thanks to everyone I had the pleasure to work with over the years. Thank you for your positivity, expertise, and good spirit - especially when we (probably) disagreed on more than a few things.

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A post shared by Hamilton Greene (@sir.hamy)

What's next

I will be taking several weeks to try out some things / think about where I want my journey to go. I’ve never taken off (read: not worked) more than two weeks before and am excited to see what doing nothing feels like / experiment with some potential future lifestyles.

Note: After writing this, I was reminded that I did have more than 2 weeks off around my 2019 job search but I'll keep the original wording for posterity.

I expect I'll be spending a lot of time:

  • Doing nothing / enjoying myself / friends / the city
  • Building tiny businesses (IG: hamy.labs)
  • Building Creative Technoology (IG:
  • Running / exercising

But who knows?! The whole point is to figure this out so will be doing a lot of figuring.

Where to find me

If you want to connect / follow along:

Live long and prosper.


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