[originally published 9/11/2017]
There’s an old adage that says that a company will never love you more than when it is trying to recruit you. That’s important to remember and in my experience, totally true. The best you can hope for is equal love :)
For all times Tr during recruiting, and all times Tx not during recruiting, Love(Tx) <= Love(Tr)
This phenomenon is especially true under special situations like internships. The intern experience is rarely anything like the normal one. In some industries interns are treated like crap. In software engineering interns are highly valued future prospects and they get all kinds of special treatment. You must not be fooled by this.
How do you understand what it’s really like to work somewhere?
- Talk to people that have been there a while, this is something you can easily do. Talk to people who are likely to be frank, not people who are selling you on a job.
- Disregard the show-off gamesmanship of “BBQ Hosting Executives” or whatever, that isn’t real, except see #3
- Don’t pay attention to the events you are invited to, that’s propaganda, pay attention to the events the rank and file are invited to, that’s real.
It’s really important to understand the happiness of the people around you, the ones you will be working with. It’s important to understand how much choice they get in their duties. How much they like their duties. How their work is valued. How much access they get.
These things will really matter… much more so than (e.g.) some CEO handing you a hot dog.
And that is why I work at Facebook :)