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Thu 20 August 2020 by Jim Purbrick

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8 years ago London was hosting the Olympics and I met Philip Su for the first time at Browns in Covent Garden to talk about the engineering office Facebook was planning to open in London. By the end of this year Facebook London will have thousands of people working in technical roles. It was an amazing ride.

Along the way I was lucky enough to work with some incredible engineers to help build numerous things that I would have considered impossible 8 years ago: a static analyser which defies the halting problem to finds bugs in massive code bases in minutes; immersive multi-user VR experiences that support hundreds of mutually aware people running on a mobile phone strapped to your face and a working siege engine built overnight on the roof of a castle.

8 years on it feels like mission accomplished. Despite the incredible recent events, I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone question the future of Facebook London engineering: I can move on and it will continue to succeed without me, so that’s what I’m doing.

Recent events have also made me think more about where I want to spend my time. In the near future I’m going to spend more time with my family and friends in Brighton, more time supporting XR, more time making music and software and then, eventually, some time thinking about what comes next. If you’d like to make some music or software with me, let me know.


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