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How To Get Noticed as a Developer at Twitter (it seems)

Since Elon Musk announced he wanted to take over Twitter, there has been a "flutter" of interesting information revealed about how the company works, how it is managed, how the system is built and its inherent flaws etc.

Elon took over the platform in October 2022 and promptly sacked a large amount of the staff resulting in even more revelations but one ex-developer on Twitter made a post today which caught my eye for the wrong (but very interesting) reason

The ex-developer in question is Steve Krenzel, a very successful developer who has worked for Microsoft. Salesforce and Twitter as well as others. His time at Twitter took place around 2016

The premise of the post he tweeted this morning is how he was asked to do wild unethical things, namely to log everywhere a user goes so that this data could be amalgamated and sold with personally identifiable tokens to a large telecommunications company. He and his team refused and providing nobody created this subsequently, all is well 😊

However, reading his post, I couldn't get over the first few parts of the thread where he describes how Twitter had a problem with the amount of log data being transferred from the Twitter app to the servers. He worked on this problem and "fixed" it by implementing Gzip on the log transfer to reduce bandwidth consumption

This got him "Noticed" as a developer to the point that he became the "mobile logs guy" at Twitter...

screenshot of a tweet from Steve Krenzel about his time as a developer at twitter

To most developers this would be a no-brainer, Gzip was created back in the 90s and has been a standard method of compressing data (especially text) on systems since then. In 2016 Twitter had 3500+ employees and you can imagine that there must have been hundreds of developers, yet nobody had thought about this prior? Implementing pretty standard technology got you noticed within the development team to the point you became the go-to person. Really? 

We know that these unicorn companies threw money at developers in their heyday so you would expect that they have the very best in their team, but judging by this post, implementing something so simple made you the cream of their crop and that surprises me, especially when I think back to the work I've implemented over the years, Like the time I once spent "tweaking" a local council website to take them from near the bottom of accessibility charts to the top (literally)... All in a day's work though, and I have never been able to command even the smallest percentage of a silicon valley salary... I'd say I was in the wrong job, but I'm in the same job... Just not at a company that throws money at just everyday developers it seems?

If you're interested in following Steve on Twitter then you can do so at: https://twitter.com/stevekrenzel

If you find this article interesting, could you please do me a favour by sharing it or commenting below, I would love to hear your and other peoples' thoughts on this subject. Thank you

Date: 09 Nov 2022
Author: Craig Pickles (YorkshireTechy)