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Facebook's move to mobile powered by intensive internal training

Michael Gorman, @Numeson
March 4, 2013
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Facebook's made no bones about the fact that its focus has shifted from a desktop web- to a mobile-focused company. Today, Director of Mobile Engineering, Mike Shaver informed us exactly how the company is making the change. It turns out, the company started an intensive training program last July in order to bring people up to speed on coding native apps for iOS and Android. How intensive? The program, run by Big Nerd Ranch, is five straight days of training for eight hours each day -- after which, those who make it through can "start writing code for apps the very next Monday." While roughly 80 percent of employees who take the training are engineers, it's important to note that any Facebook employee can take the course. Thus far, designers, product managers, engineering managers and even a recruiter are among the 450 who have completed the training.

It's all a part of the Social Network's plan to build "mobile empathy" among all of its employees, and getting everyone thinking mobile first. Facebook's able to go this route because it keeps the bar high when hiring new employees, seeks generalists to fill engineering slots, and folks are expected to get up to speed as needed once they've joined Zuckerberg's flock. So, if you thought building that slick new game for Android or iOS was going to give you a leg up on the coding competition when seeking work at Facebook HQ... think again.

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