Facebook Engineering Process with Kent Beck (Repeat)

Originally published August 28, 2019

Kent Beck is a legendary figure in the world of software engineering. 

Kent was an early advocate of Test-Driven Development (TDD), and popularized the idea of writing unit tests before writing code that would satisfy those unit tests. A unit test isolates and tests a small piece of functionality within a large piece of software. Practitioners of Test-Driven Development write tens or hundreds of tests in order to cover a large variety of cases that could potentially occur within their software.

When Kent Beck joined Facebook in 2011, he was 50 years old and thought he had seen everything in the software industry. During Facebook Boot Camp, Kent started to realize that Facebook was very different than any other company he had seen. Facebook Boot Camp is the six-week onboarding process that every new hire learns about the software practices of the company.

After graduating Facebook Boot Camp, Kent began to explore Facebook’s codebase and culture. He found himself rethinking many of the tenets of software engineering that he had previously thought were immutable.

Kent joins the show to discuss his time at Facebook, and how the company’s approach to building and scaling products thoroughly reshaped his beliefs about software engineering.

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