Facebook Parse Acquisition (Part 1) with Charity Majors

Parse was a backend-as-a-service company that started in 2011 with the initial focus of making the cloud easier to use for mobile developers. Parse had several novel engineering challenges. In 2011, it was not easy to build on top of AWS, nor was it easy to build within the young mobile ecosystem.

Charity Majors was an early engineer at Parse, and stayed with the company through its acquisition by Facebook. Charity joins the show to discuss her experience at Parse and her reflections on being part of Facebook after the acquisition. Parse was shut down in 2017, which was a disappointing outcome for Charity.

Charity currently works as the CTO of Honeycomb. In a previous episode, Charity gave some background on her career in software, as well as her perspective on modern problems in observability and DevOps. In this episode, Charity tells the story of joining Parse, working through novel engineering problems, and the feeling of being acquired by a company where she did not feel like a great cultural fit.

It is a useful conversation for anyone interested in engineering culture, company philosophy, and the realities of acquisitions–which can be both painful and profitable for the acquired employees.

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Transcript

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