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Why employees say Facebook is the No. 1 place to work in tech

JP Mangalindan
Chief Tech Correspondent

Facebook (FB) has been the subject of a slew of negative headlines recently — from revelations that Russia used the social network to meddle with the U.S. election to a recent survey from Quartz claiming some users don’t trust the social network with their private data.

But that doesn’t seem to have hurt Facebook in the short term. Facebook’s stock is up nearly 50% year-to-date, and the social network was voted earlier this year by Glassdoor as the No. 2 best place to work in the entire U.S., and the No. 1 in tech.

A culture that embraces ‘authentic selves’ and transparency

Yahoo Finance recently spoke to several Facebook employees, who chalked up their high level of job satisfaction in part to a work culture that encourages them to bring their “authentic” selves to work.

“I’m Southern, I’m black, I’m Jehovah’s Witness, I love video games — I’m a lot of things — and I’m expected to bring all those things to my job every day,” explains Tory Hargro, a Facebook product design manager who leads the social network’s Live video efforts and creative design team. “I don’t have to slice myself up and only bring the parts that are acceptable, and that makes Facebook a super unique place to work — because not many workplaces ask you to bring the wholeness of your best self.”

Facebook employees from left to right: former Training Specialist intern Vivian Rivas, Product Design Manager Tory Hargro, University Recruiter Oscar Perez, Product Marketing Communications Manager Karri Wells Wane, and Engineering Manager Sophia Chung.

Sophia Chung, an engineering manager at Facebook, appreciates the level of flexibility and transparency it offers employees from day one. When engineering employees first join Facebook, they join a process called “boot camp” where they spend up to two months exploring the social network’s vast code base.

Indeed, where other tech companies may only offer engineers a partial look under the hood, Chung says all Facebook engineers have access to the entire code base on day one — a culture that lets people from different departments and teams come up with ideas from the bottom up.

“You explore projects, you meet people and you learn about the company, and at the end of that process, you choose what team to work on,” Chung recalls of her own experiences joining Facebook nearly six years ago. “It’s pretty interesting that you as a newcomer get to choose what team you’re on, versus the company telling you what you’re working on.”

Free food and nice benefits don’t hurt, either

Facebook’s offers employees a ton of free food every day, including desserts served up at a dedicated sweets shop.

According to Glassdoor, many employees also appreciate the multitude of free food offered on-campus — Mexican, burgers, a dedicated sweets shop, among others. Facebook also offers extremely competitive salaries — the average software engineer earns roughly $126,000 a year — and comprehensive benefits. Those benefits include four months of paid parental leave for new mothers and fathers, as well as $4,000 doled out to parents for each child birth, and subsidies for pre-school tuition.

Ultimately, though, it’s not just the excellent pay and benefits that appeal to Facebook employees. It’s the open, transparent culture that Facebook has fostered for all employees — a culture that many other companies in Silicon Valley could probably stand to have a little more of themselves.

JP Mangalindan is a senior correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Email story tips and musings to jpm@oath.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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