It had been a really memorable time when the Internet was set ablaze by speculations about the then mystery Facebook feature. Now that Graph Search has been officially launched, Facebook Product Manager Loren Cheng shares his experiences regarding the preparations the Facebook team underwent prior to Graph Search’s release.
Cheng and his team works on the natural language program of Graph Search. That means that they’re the people to thank when Graph Search understands your queries such as “friends of friends who like Frank Sinatra” or “photos of single friends in San Antonio”.
As a person so integral to the features of Graph Search, Cheng is the perfect person to give the low down on Facebook traditions and work practices. In an interview with FastCompany, he recounts how Facebook went on a 34-day lockdown preceded by a meeting lasting for a whopping 5 hours, all in preparation for the then upcoming Graph Search launch.
In the said meeting, everyone pitched in on ideas that they would fall over their sword on. The “sword list” as it was called featured the features and ideas that needed to be done before Graph Search went live. Every irrelevant meeting and every unrelated project were either postponed or cancelled. The whiteboard in which the “sword list” was written on was placed in the open so that everyone can see what goals need to be met and what decisions were already made and done and over with.
The lockdown came naturally with longer hours for everyone. As Cheng described,
“The end’s in sight, you’re tightening the focus, you’re spending a little more time: Those are the hallmarks of lockdown. There’s some craziness. We had a guy who worked for like two or three days straight and didn’t sleep. He didn’t come into work the next day and we were a little worried. He was just sleeping at home.”
At the end of the lockdown period, Cheng and company must be pretty proud of their accomplishments. The Menlo Park announcement proved to be a hit and though Graph Search is under some intense scrutiny over privacy issues and concerns, it’s a pretty good day to be a Facebook developer.
What do you think of the 34-day Facebook lockdown? Have you ever experienced something like it in your workplace? Leave a comment below and tell us more about it.