One Year

July 20th 2016

Today marks one year since I started my work at Facebook. Some quick thoughts:

  1. It took me a lot longer than I expected to ramp up. This is my second day job, and first at a big tech company – the key challenges in the beginning were around not feeling ownership, not realizing that I didn't need permission for every little thing, and not knowing the right processes to ship ideas. I'm glad those days have passed.
  2. It takes a lot of effort to say "no" to projects and ideas in a thoughtful and articulate way – I'm still not great at this, but hoping to level up here in the next year. The result of learning this the hard way is often feeling stretched too thin or losing important cycles to context switching. Saying "no" more often will be top-of-mind going forward.
  3. Side projects continue to be a source of deep fulfillment. My work at Facebook is fun, and challenging, and I'm lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of a few projects that I hope will be valuable to people. That said, it's projects like Spec and Design Details and writing here every day that keep me energized and focused and happy. That's not to say I'm going anywhere, but rather that I feel fortunate to have found a way to scratch multiple itches, both at the office and at home.
  4. Process is still damn hard. I remember at my last job, a startup where I was the only designer for nearly two years, that process was a daily struggle: we were a remote team, there was more that needed to be done than our team could reasonably ship, and we were still finding our footing in terms of communication tools and workflows. While Facebook is more mature in some regards, I still find that it's still a messy (see: human) process to go from an idea to a strategy, from a tactical plan to a design, and from code to, most importantly, the people we serve around the world. It feels like I've leveled up in the past year, as far as process goes, but in the scope of the game I'm still a noob.

I could devolve further into more platitudes about balance and people and process – but I'll save it. It's been a fun year, I've fulfilled my original goal of "leveling up" by joining Facebook, and I'm excited because I know there is enough room for many more level-ups in the coming year. ✌️

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