What I learned from getting fired at Facebook (with Q&A).

What I learned from getting fired at Facebook (with Q&A).


Hey, TechLead here, and welcome back to another episode of the ex-Google, ex-Facebook TechLead. We are in New York today. And I wanted to talk today about some of my learnings in getting fired from Facebook, kind of follow up on my last video and first of all, also, I want to thank everybody for all of your kind words, you know, I have never been fired in my life before and I’ve seen people get fired, throughout my career, I’ve seen people just disappear. And I never quite thought that that would happen to me. So I wanted to kind of explain that if this does ever happen to you, and it may, what some of my learnings were and my takeaways from that. You know, first of all, I think that getting fired is more of a mental state. It is a disgrace, it is shameful. In reality, it may not actually be that bad, right? It’s kind of like in the military, the difference between just leaving it and a dishonorable discharge. It’s all the same in the end, really, like the result’s about the same. I could have easily just as well left the company of my own voluntary accord, and the result would pretty much be the same. It’s just that when you get fired, there’s a lot of mental shame and guilt, the way your former coworkers may treat you, the way you leave – you don’t get to say goodbye to anybody, you just vanish. That part may kind of be disturbing. So why am I talking about this? Because I want to bring some light to this topic, something we don’t talk about much in the tech industry, but it happens all the time. You constantly see people disappearing around you. And, you know, it could be for a variety of reasons – it could just be low performance, it could be for the stupidest smallest reasons like running a YouTube show, in my case. And also, I’m just trying to monetize my getting fired. Hey, guys, I know that you guys are enjoying this video, but I just wanted to mention quickly here that this video is brought to you by our friendly sponsor, SkillShare. SkillShare is an online learning community with thousands of classes on creative and entrepreneurial skills. Explore everything from web development, to entrepreneurship, marketing, productivity, and more. Because SkillShare is sponsoring this video, I’m getting you all a free two month trial to SkillShare. Check them out, link in the description below. You know, it’s funny that I always had this fantasy. And maybe many of you do, too, that if you were to ever get fired, all of your coworkers, your friends would just rally around you and support you and say that if you’re being terminated, then they’re going to quit too voluntarily. It just doesn’t happen like that. And you like to think that you’ve got their backs and they’ve got your back and you’re all in this together – it just doesn’t quite work like that. Everybody is, in reality, just scrambling to save their own jobs. And the truth is that people value their own jobs over their humanity. And that’s why firing works. That’s why people can just rip relationships and friendships apart at workplaces. And nobody says a thing about it. Nobody questions that. It’s sad, really, right. You know, your coworkers who maybe you saw everyday, you had morning conversations with your manager, who always said that they were supporting you, that they seemed to care about you, was all fake, was just a pretend show for these people to keep their jobs and maintain their appearances. And you know, who knows, but my general recommendation has always been to disengage from your coworkers. It’s a place of exchange of your time for money, it can be as simple as that and if you were to look for anything deeper than that, then just be aware that it could be built on a pretty weak foundation there. Nothing wrong with having some light conversations, but to believe that these people would be your family and that they’ve got your back? I remember I was once working in a company with my brother, and we didn’t like the environment. So when I quit, he quit at the same time. That’s family, that’s people who have your back. Now another tip is data management. If you feel that you may be losing your job soon, maybe you’re getting picked on that performance improvement plan, then you want to be careful about your data. Make sure that you’ve downloaded your personal data, that you have backups of that, and that if you do happen to get called into HR, before you go to that meeting, just make a quick backup of all of your data and information. Because they can take away your laptop at any moment, like they did for me and to this day, I still have not gotten back any of the photos that I have left on my work laptop. You know all of that property is company property so having a clear separation of your personal stuff and your work stuff would be great advice. Health insurance is actually another good one to start thinking about. When I got terminated, I had a few days left to use up my health insurance. So I went ahead and did all of my medical exams and got glasses made, I actually decided to continue my health insurance on Cobra, which is $700 to $800 per month. Pretty expensive. I wasn’t originally going to do that but you know, I just thought Fine, I’ll do it. And I think what this overall does is it helps bring some perspective into your life. Don’t depend on your paycheck, the social status, or the workplace friendships you may have had there. Because depending on these things will just make your getting fired all the more terrible for you. You know, for me, it’s not like I was living some upscale life spending 90% of my paycheck every single month, having a bunch of friends and parties with my coworkers because if I were doing that, it would be pretty bad if I were to suddenly lose all of that. My entire lifestyle would change in that scenario. For me, losing a job has almost no impact on my actual day to day life. Even the social stigma that you may normally feel is not quite there. It’s not like I suddenly need to downgrade my lifestyle. It’s not like I have to justify what happened to a bunch of people who may be looking down on me. And you know, it’s funny, right? Maybe you thought that you were all on the same team. One team, one company, one dream. Maybe you actually believed in the company mission, shared that dream, put in those all nighters, gave up some of your personal life, your family life… Maybe you sacrificed your own health, didn’t go to the gym, let yourself get fat. So at times like this, it’s good to just remind yourself – a job is that exchange of your time for money. Nothing more. Don’t give anything more than that. I know a lot of people actually who have been laid off. Maybe they get fired, maybe they voluntarily quit. And you want to make sure that whatever you have left at the end of the day is still something worthwhile that was a fair trade. I think getting fired was sort of a social stigma that came up from the old days when people used to hold on to their jobs for 10, 20, 30 years. But these days in the tech industry, people are moving jobs like every two to three years anyway. And that’s largely because you still have your skills, that experience. And so thanks to everybody from the last video who reminded me that it’s true, I have not hit rock bottom. I still have all of my skills. Right, right. Yeah. I mean, that’s great and all but for an affordable premium membership at less than $10 per month, SkillShare gets you unlimited access to high quality classes from experts working in their fields, to teach you their knowledge and help you live your best life. You can explore classes in freelancing and entrepreneurship, web development, graphic design, UI, creative writing, and productivity. I would particularly recommend the JavaScript toolkit training by senior Microsoft developer Christian Hellman, in which he will teach you how to become a JavaScript expert with an in-depth guide. So check them out – SkillShare, link in the description below, get two months free. Okay, so it seems like I didn’t make it to 10 minutes so let’s do some quick Q&A just to fill up the time, and I will show you some scenes of New York City while I’m here. So someone asks if I was actually fired because of the prior video about women in the workplace? No, I was not. I knew actually, that video was probably a little bit risky and even though I had that concept in mind, I did not release it until after I was terminated. So I felt safe to just go ahead and push that one out. Some people actually wonder if this is related to the tech interview pro course that I run, which by the way, check it out if you’re interested in landing a job at Facebook, Google, any of these top tier tech companies. I will help fast track your career, level that playing field for you such that you have as much information as anybody else trying to get a job in these tech companies. And I think that if you know the skills, if you know your data structures and algorithms, if you can answer those questions, and you know the behavior tips, then you should be good. But that aside, HR actually asked me for a list of names of all the other tech YouTubers that I knew. I did not give that up. And that’s a very scary thing. But thereafter, anybody who is currently running a YouTube show, blog, podcast. You know, it’s just a classic case of HR being HR. And let me mention a little something here – I don’t believe that being a YouTuber is anything special. I believe it’s the future, I believe that, you know, I’m just a normal person. I’m just a normal software engineer. I don’t consider myself a YouTuber. I believe that in the future, in a few years, everybody will have a YouTube presence. Right? It’s just the direction of the digital space. Video is becoming more prevalent, just like how everybody may have a LinkedIn profile. It wouldn’t be weird, if everybody were to have a YouTube profile as well, where they just upload their thoughts and ideas on whatever they’re interested in. Having a company like Facebook fault you on that, I believe, is just backwards and outdated thinking. Some people wonder if my salary was actually 500K? And yeah, it was – it was even higher than that, actually. You know, you take a look at the base salary 220K, and then you add on all the other equity and bonuses, and you get to that level or even higher. And I know that it sounds very high. But this is why I recommend that everybody try to get into famous companies, because they can get your bills paid. The compensation in these top tier tech companies is just higher than what, say, like a startup may pay you. Primarily I think, because they have that equity portion, and also because they’re Silicon Valley based where talent is very competitive, right, you’re not going to get this sort of income if you’re in like the Midwest or something like that, which is why I recommend software engineers migrate to one of these tech hubs – Silicon Valley, New York, Seattle, any of these large cities, and then make it a long term goal to get into one of these top tier tech companies. It may not happen overnight, but you know, you can check out my program techinterviewpro.com Some people wonder if I was fired, actually, because my performance was no good. And I don’t think so, at least. My last half, I had the meets all for my level E6, which is pretty hard to do actually. The expectations are pretty high there. And you know, there’s been a lot of churn, at least in my organization. I moved teams at least like four times during the time I was there. So it hasn’t been the smoothest sailing. And, you know, if I was really like, a stellar performer, then I would have named myself the senior tech lead or the director, which I’m not. I’m just TechLead. Did we reach 10 minutes? I think we did. Alright, see you next time then. Bye.

Comments

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    Elvis babah

    does seem hypocritical, you're supposed to be a point master at stackoverflow (which is really hard to do now, I have 11 points, oooo), have a strong github presence, a spectacular linkedin, a blog, a portfolio of websites, but no, no youtube channel, you can't do that.

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    politicalcanadian

    Why work for 220k in california where cost of living and taxes are high?
    Why not go to Texas etc where CoL is half or less and get paid 150k?

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    eric green

    Please tech lead tell us what you learn I'm so happy for you finally got your on spot good for you much love too you I ain't mad at you

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    Jorge Baez

    This the exact reason I will never ever work a corporate job. In my last corporate job 16 yrs ago I called my Boss and told him him to go fuck him self and he needs to show up because I am leaving this fucking place. Corporate jobs are for Monkeys!

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    Barry Koostachin

    Things are usually rocky. Life is filled with hiccups. You're smart fellow, you'll adjust and hopefully you would better paying job.

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    Bob and the Drone

    There's a reason why Patriots follow. Nations matter but this is how people express their will. So I gave up on anything globalist. When you do your own digging you stick a middle finger to those that wish to control you.

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    Ahad Cove

    In the beginning of my career my dream was to make it into FANG or a big company like that, but I did not want to move to SF, Seattle, or NY.

    It may have accelerated my career but from all the stories that I hear it sounds like a nightmare over there.

    I’m extremely happy where I am in my career and my location. There’s a world out there outside of SF

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    Frak

    As someone in HR, stupid things like this is not usually something HR wants to do or comes up with as an employment rule that would get you fired. Someone above HR usually pushes this down and HR is the one who has to enforce it since HR deals with this type of odd employment issue. At a company of that size, there is some chance someone at the top of HR came up with it, but it sounds more like something legal or a high level exec decided. I don't in any obvious way see how your channel is actually acting as a conflict of interest. Either way, pretty stupid if you're doing a good job and not actually causing any conflict of interest.

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    cracklick

    i used to think this guy was very self absorbed cause he would always lead with "yeah im a tech lead" not sure if these were jokes lol but i see him from a different perspective from jomas videos. and joma would mention theyre always messing around. but i cant deny his content is legit. i appreciate these videos as someone that is seeking some advise getting out of QA and into a dev position. these videos are greatly valued.

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    Nina Vodeni

    …you constantly see people disappearing around you….This could be interpreted in so many different ways and scenarios , lol

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    Ted Bendixson

    Was it really a firing though? You worked with them for a time, new information about the terms of your employment came to light, the two parties revisited the agreement, and both came to a decision that the relationship could not continue given what the two parties want moving forward. If you were willing to agree to the updated terms, the agreement would have remained in place. You didn't. They didn't want your terms. You both walked away from the agreement. Simple capitalism. It's all good.

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    strange beautiful music

    1. Were you doing the YouTube channel before you started at FB, or after?
    2. If before, did you tell them about the YT channel? Any discussion about your channel?

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    Caleb Cousins

    The result of being fired is nothing like being dishonorably discharged in the military… good luck getting a job after that.

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    Spread The Word

    Sounds like you need a change of mindset, TechLead. Your reasoning about co-workers not being loyal to you because they don't quit when you get fired does not follow. You should choose your career/workplace wisely with the hopes of curating comradery among your co-workers but don't expect that, even in the closest work relationships, others will want to quit to "support" you if you get fired. That is not support. It sounds like this is just your way of coping and that's fine but you should know that it's not sound reasoning to expect others to quit when you get fired.

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    Todd Zmijewski

    Disconnecting yourself with work is a great idea. That said I never disconnect myself with my career. I'm constantly learning and trying to become better at what I do. I've jumped ship a few times and it is always because I want to actually start using new things I'm learning. Leaving a job in this industry is nothing. There is so much opportunity out there. Not to mention when you work in different environments you gain different perspectives. I think it is more valuable to have experience in a variety of contexts than it is to have the same amount of experience at a single company. If you only work at one place you only learn their way of doing things.

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    Simon Inglis

    When you said you did 80 hour weeks; you had my sympathy and empathy.
    now you let on that you were on 500K USD a year. …..For that, 80 hours is not bad at all. It leaves 88 for yourself (168)

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    Adam

    I'm pretty good with people not all having youtubes, vlogs fine, but not youtubes… Also, FANG companies are destroying society and the cities they inhabit

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    Michael Vilain

    And yet when asked by a company "Why do you want to work here?" saying "Because you'll pay me money" isn't the answer they want to hear. They want to know if you'll drink the Koolaid.

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    powergirl901

    Interesting that the homeless can have a You Tube channel, but somebody pulling in 500K can't. Whoa dude, so sorry for you!
    Now yer life is so much better because you get permitted to have a You Tube channel!!!

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    Real Rhythm and Poetry

    You should take a look at Library, the new youtube brother 🙂 another place to upload videos for you.. good luck in future

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    David Wu

    Hey you didnt get fired becuase your code is a shithole. It is all politics. So dont worry and you will have a good time now.

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    rico042002

    @TechLead I was just let go from my job as an electrician for requesting Monday and Wednesday off to finish my Computer Science degree. It will go down as my dumbest reason for ever getting fired. Who gets fired over requesting to be part time and taking less money from the company?

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    jmr 870

    I got laid off in a court consolidation. The other guy got the top job. He was a chauvinist. He said "women could not manage." They offered me the "Assistant" job, which meant because the "guy" knew nothing about court work, I would be running around doing all the work, while he was acting like Mr. Big Wig. I said, "No.". They gave me a two week notice (because they were eliminating my job title). I did my own lay off paperwork. I didn't want them to screw up my unemployment or how I left.

    Mr. Big Wig lasted 6 weeks and took a stress leave. He couldn't handle it. I knew the job was open but I would not apply. I had already moved away. There had been a bunch of other stuff going on, lies, misleading information and I had had enough. They kept the job open a year but by that time I had mentally moved on.

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    KG.codes

    Can’t expect coworkers to quit when you get fired. They may have responsibilities to their families that are much more important than the relationship with you. Doesn’t automatically mean that they don’t care about you.

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    atrac87

    I wish I saw this earlier. I got fired two years ago working in management consulting for no other reason other than working my heart out on a stretch assignment that didn't go through. The leader that put me on it leveraged his reputation internally to have me on the project and wanted to get rid of me. This brings it all to perspective.

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    Nick Anna

    I got fired from a publicly traded tech company, and had a job offer the next day at twice my previous salary. Now that my six-month non-compete clause is over, Ive hired about half my prior teammates to my new employer.

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    Nicholas Orr

    seems you're near the peak of your role type and given the history of the channel, seems like FB are being dicks. it makes sense from a FB point of view, from the real world though, dumb. sure not ideal to be fired, best if you tell the world about it after half a million people have been following you already though 😉

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    vitalis

    Don't worry, this is just giving you the chance to be an ex-Microsoft and ex-Amazon employee, or right and ex-Apple.. but with Apple you would be fired before you step in since they are so secretive and protectionist 😉

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    Johnnell Liftee

    You didn't hit rock bottom. You have many options to start a new fresh with all the smarts you have. Thank you very much for sharing.

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    New Balance 2019 USA

    Hire a hooker to fight the frustration. Should be a good looking one and facefuck her! Preferably from the porn industry. AMWF. Anyway didn't use Facebook since a while.

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    New Balance 2019 USA

    Thought You had lost those Facebook job long ago…sorry for Your loss! I am with You. Create a indigogo page , i am sure many from the YOUTUBE COMMUNITY would love to help You with a financial injection to find a new home!

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    slevinlindsay

    i think if someone is making them self susceptible to being fired, they don't give a rat's arse about losing that job anyway. therefore, they're probably relieved they lost the job and don't feel disgraced or ashamed.

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    BODO Serge Wilfried

    Damn, you are so true TechLead. Thumbs up, will continue to follow you. I am sure you will get another opportunity.

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    Frank Han

    HR acting like a dick, as usual. The corporate Gestapo. Haha. See Coach Red Pill video on HR if you think HR is on your side.

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    W7

    Did´nt thought FB could fire anybody on the spot like that. But I live in Sweden where there is law for three months quit time and that
    goes both ways.

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    Tanya

    @TechLead Were you a contractor or full time employee? At my company (also in Bay Area) it was nearly impossible to fire anyone out of fear of lawsuits. Instead they would transfer to you a different department, not give you a bonus, remove your direct reports etc. in an effort to get you to leave voluntarily. However, it was drilled into everyone what a fire-able offense consisted of (i.e. sending work documents to a personal email address, downloads of any kind, no photography etc.). I suppose YouTube could have been considered a "conflict of interest."

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    Divyesh Parmar

    This is hitting me hard right now, I'm in Bangalore and I'm in my career 2 years as a FrontEnd Developer engineer whatever the designation you put in. I've been fired from the company from the same kind of thing happening to me a girly manager who always over reacted and been passive aggressive and later when I got fired after just being a month in there they didn't have any clients to set me up with.
    I'm so upset since then and have no mood to join anything just because I have given like 70+ interviews (86 to be precise) in past 14-15 months and the HRs are like oh we have to complete a target of interviewing this quantity in this month which is really bad experience.
    Moreover they don't even know what they want, like 1+ year experience guy and 4-5+ year experience gets asked same task and same question and then both get rejected.
    Also I met guys who interviewed me in some other copmany and then I met him in some other company's interview, and upon going up to him to talk he just moved me like how you would hustle away a wild animal LoL

    So yeah it has been a sad story and now the festival of Diwali is next month so I have this ultimatum from my parents to again get back on track lets see what happens. I hope if any single person reads this here

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