Gergely Orosz Profile picture
Writing @Pragmatic_Eng & @EngGuidebook. Advisor @mobile__dev. Uber & Skype alumni. Career opportunities for software engineers & EMs:
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Dec 1 7 tweets 2 min read
Software engineers in Europe who Twitter tried to fire over email are similarly amused, as are they lawyers, and are suing.

Said it before and will say it again: thanks to Musk ignoring regulation on how to fire ppl in Europe: it will be much more expensive for Twitter to do so. I’ve observed US companies struggling to interpret European employment regulations but never before have I seen them attempt to completely ignore it like Twitter.

Employees in Europe who stick to their guns (and lawyers) will either be reinstated or get €€€ for severance.
Dec 1 4 tweets 2 min read
Hive Social is an app that grew in rapid popularity (about 1M users in weeks) following the Twitter takeover.

It has basic security issues - likely not using auth on some endpoints - that allow full access to everything by an attacker.

This comes at a bad time for them. Of course, we were interest... At least the company did the sensible thing and shut down the app until they fix it.

As I understand Hive Social was a side project by a few people, and the popularity was unexpected, and now those scrappy approaches that resemble a prototype w/o security really hurt them.
Nov 30 7 tweets 3 min read
Read it from beginning to end and: wow.

If you're wondering if SpaceX discriminates based on age - even if those older engineers work longer hours and have more experience: read this article.

Hard work doesn't pay off when you're older. Sad.

Full:… At SpaceX, work was taken away from me in case I “might re Closing: "Musk is now 51. As CTO of SpaceX, Technoking of Tesla, and Chief Twit of Twitter, he apparently assumes that his ideas and engineering leadership are exactly what his companies need. And yet, the very few older engineers hired by SpaceX are marginalized or “quiet fired”
Nov 30 5 tweets 3 min read
Although we have no concrete numbers on Twitter’s current operating costs, @benthompson took a crack at the math in the @stratechery daily update, and estimates that the cost of *employees* went down from ~$2.7B/yr to ~$1B/yr in just a week. Wow.… At the same time, @CaseyNewton at @platformer reports how Twitter’s advertising revenue - which was around ~$4.5B/yr - is currently in free-fall:…

However, on acquisition Twitter had $6B in cash. With costs reduced so much, there’s no risk of bankruptcy.
Nov 29 4 tweets 2 min read
Removed my previous thread with the premise of how thousands of microservices might signal a volatile underlying business.

The most we can say about a company with thousands of microservices is that at one point, they most likely had very fast HC growth or hypergrowth. Whether or not a company is a good business, and whether it did hypergrowth, are not connected directly.

Lots of companies did hypergrowth in order to become a viable business (win their market). Even more tried to do this and & to scale back after they grew slower vs expected.
Nov 29 9 tweets 3 min read
While I don't actively cover layoffs, making an exception for one that has implications worth talking about.

Just in: Today, MessageBird let go a lot more people, in total, 31% (including the previous, 31 Oct cut).

News went out just now to staff: The news is a surprise to people at the company, who assumed that layoffs were done a month ago. Back then, they received an emotional email from MessageBird's CEO, one that also offered 3 months' severance to anyone who wanted to leave the company. (via MessageBird CEO Robert Vis ...
Nov 29 11 tweets 3 min read
Just in: software engineers at Twitter got another late-night email. For the first time in weeks, this one reduces anxiety. Finally.

It writes how engineering managers met with Elon and "pit together some clear principles around (performance) expectations and processes": I'm going to assume this email was sent out as a response of the seemingly random firings, where no SWE could feel safe (like below).

I read the email and it details what "coding expectations" mean:

1. Ship code weekly
2. Write high-quality code

Nov 29 5 tweets 2 min read
On the operational challenges of running a marketplace.

Even though I left Uber ~2 years ago, I *still* get support messages. This one from a driver with ~4,000 trips who claims they got banned from Uber after Uber claimed their driver account was used by multiple people: I do not know this person, but they sent me a pages-long wall of text explaining why they used a second device, or could not do the biometric check while driving on a highway etc etc etc.

Their biggest grief is not being able to talk to someone who doesn't follow scripts.
Nov 29 4 tweets 2 min read
It was today I learned that Twitter built a full-on shopping experience, which is an obvious way to generate revenue + expand reach to in a way that’s not ads, and not subscriptions.

I also learned the team was fired, even as they worked on this till the very last minute. Why 🤯 Like, I would understand the “let’s let go teams that don’t ship fast, or are not motivated to work on New Twitter”

But this team shipped fast, was motivated and kept building and shipping in the middle of the noise.

Shopping integrated into Twitter feels like such a win-win.
Nov 28 6 tweets 2 min read
Twitter engineers just don't get a break from Elon.

Just in: at 3am Pacific Time (!!), a new email landed in their inbox. They're told another round of code reviews will happen tonight (Monday night). Engineers are told to prepare to show what they accomplished the last 10 days. A current Twitter sw engineer tells me that all of this feels like it is coming out of the "sick system" of having people work for a toxic boss, forever (below).

The last, similar "code review" was later cited in the reasonings behind firing of devs.

Nov 27 5 tweets 2 min read
I started angel investing in 2020. In 2021, a lot of people in tech were asking me about advice on how to do it.

My #1 advice was to not do it for the money plus expect you can lose your whole investment.

I just fully lost an investment I made ~10 months ago, company bankrupt. The idea of both VC investing & angel investing is you bet on risky companies, many of which will not make it. As an angel you have a lot of disadvantages vs larger investors as well.

If you make a few investments, you likely will lose money. Why I say don’t do it for the money.
Nov 25 4 tweets 2 min read
In what should not be surprising, across Europe, Twitter employees who are turning to employment lawyers will be ruled as not fired, even though Twitter - from the US - wanted to fire them. But it's not how it works here. You cannot let people go via one email.

From Ireland: Senior Dublin-based Twitter executive secures injunction pre Source:…

Expect every Twitter employee in Europe who was sensible enough to lawyer up to get the same ruling.

If Twitter's US HR would have invested in understanding regulations in Europe, they would have saved themselves money they'll now have to pay.
Nov 25 4 tweets 2 min read
So, it sounds like we're seeing the predictable signs of smaller signs of Twitter breaking, as people with institutional knowledge are not around.

From a former Twitter engineer: "The person who understands how ad reviews work was fired."

Twitter ad review now acting all weird. See also:

Again, all of this is to be expected, and it's not like it's some major outage. It's the small type of outages or regressions we'll definitely keep seeing for a good while, while Twitter re-hires and re-onboards software engineers.
Nov 25 5 tweets 2 min read
Two years ago, I ran my first and only Twitter ad, where I promoted a tweet with ~8,000 impressions.

Today, Twitter locked my account & informed that my account is in violation of policies and I'm not eligible to run ads, going forward.

Who is running what scripts at Twitter? Screenshot from the Twitter ads panel, reading;  This accoun The same time as my account was locked, I got this email delivered twice.

It feels like someone is running scripts related to verified accounts having to be re-verified, which is what Elon Musk said will happen soon?

My one and only promoted tweet: Screenshot of an email writing:   	@GergelyOrosz, your accou
Nov 24 12 tweets 4 min read
Just in: the night before Thanksgiving, Twitter fired more software engineers effective immediately because their "code is not satisfactory" following the recent code review.

Dozens of other devs got performance warnings in their inboxes.

How much do Twitter devs have to take? I confirmed the above details with current Twitter software engineers and managers. Line managers were unaware of the performance warnings sent out.

This "performance warning" is a PIP that can result in firing.

As a reminder, devs went through all this before in 3 weeks:
Nov 21 6 tweets 2 min read
When it comes to Staff Engineer or Principal Engineer roles, expectations can - and do! - wary wildly between companies.

While this should not be surprising for any leadership role, those changing positions for the first time as a Staff+ engineer can be caught off-guard. Specifically, those who change roles from e.g. a Principal Engineer at their current company to keeping the same title in another one, are often surprised how completely different this role can be.

Managers usually expect the variation far more, and prep+interview for it.
Nov 21 5 tweets 2 min read
Treat your career choices like you would invest your money.

A friend had offers from companies A & B. My friend could not, for the life of him, understand how Company A made money. Company B he understood.

Company A had a better offer. My friend still chose B (cont'd). Company A was some kind of financing commerce through {financial magic}.

Six months later, Company A laid off a large chunk of staff.

My friend dodged that bullet. Other people I know took the offer from Company A, because they paid well. They also don't know how A makes money.
Nov 20 4 tweets 1 min read
Quatar banning alcohol sales the last minute for everyone except for hospitality boxes is a typical shady business strategy:

1. Agree to a condition you cannot keep

2. Cancel when it’s too late to do anything

3. Keep decision makers (VIPs) happy… “Clean business” would have been being clear that this rule will be enforced. But then Quatar would have not gotten the right to host (sponsors).

Rules applying to everyone would have meant no alcohol policy to decision makers as well (VIPs). But that would have meant trouble.
Nov 20 9 tweets 2 min read
A software engineer asked if I’ll cover “visa handcuffs” for many tech workers, where their right to remain in the country is tied to employment.

I won’t b/c this is about government immigration policy. Some countries are more immigrant friendly than others. Often deliberately. Almost all countries are protective on who has the right to come and work - and especially who has the right to settle.

In tech, the US is often the #1 destination for techies and - unsurprisingly - one with some of the strictest policies. This is by design from the government.
Nov 19 4 tweets 2 min read
There’s a time when I did - and loved doing - late night coding sessions, and had no problem working overtime.

I was young, cared little for sleep and had no family.

Create a culture that expects long and late hours and you’ll attract this demographic. It is often deliberate. This is to say that there are plenty of situations where it can be worth it to put in crazy hours. I did it b/c I felt I had a lot to prove, and I had the time. I invested some of my time into myself: into my own side projects.

Know *why* you do it. Career, equity, visa, other?
Nov 18 5 tweets 2 min read
Meanwhile a Twitter employee in Europe:

"Elon's email is as legally binding as me sending him an email saying 'FYI I'll work 3hrs per day from now on, k thx.'

So I just keep working as before, as per my contract, until I get some official notice of what really is happening." Believe it or not, in UK + EU, this is prob the correct interpretation of it all. Nothing really changed, regardless of a few emails.

It's Friday, and anyone who has not been told otherwise by HR and not resigned: they are working today at Twitter (employed by a local entity).