It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Facebook Engineering Ringleader Says Zuck Is ‘Definitely Not a Dick’

He also admits to preferring New York, because it's "crazy."
2321359871 7c66ed6cf1 Facebook Engineering Ringleader Says Zuck Is Definitely Not a Dick

“Ask me anything, but I won’t promise an answer.” (Photo: flickr.com/andrewfeinberg)

In a fitting move for a company that’s all about the openness (whether you want that picture visible or not), today one of the key figures in Facebook’s nascent New York office took to Reddit for an Ask Me Anything Q&A utterly free of capital letters. So what did engineering manager Serkan Piantino have to say for himself?

Well, he defended his boss, though as a rousing endorsement of Mr. Zuckerberg’s many wonderful personality traits, it fell a little flat. Asked whether Zuck is, as The Social Network suggested, “kind of a dick,” Mr. Piantino responded, “he’s definitely not a dick,” then painted a picture of almost tragic workoholism:

 he has the same desk setup as everyone else and spends more time at the office than anyone. he lives a block away so he can do that, and he’s really disciplined in that way. it’s impressive. he’s also super smart.

Then he kinda trailed off: “i dunno how to answer these questions as I’m not good at explaining how a person is to other people, but i assure you he’s a smart guy who likes building things for facebook and is awesome to work with.”

We’re just going to translate that as: “Nice guy, kinda boring, probably never going to start building rockets or buy a Hawaiian island.”

Asked why Facebook felt it necessary to open an office in New York, Mr. Piantino gave pretty standard boilerplate about the city’s blossoming tech scene and recruiting. But he did cop to preferring New York over San Francisco, partly because “new york is crazy. like, every day something crazy happens and it can be good or bad, but it will certainly be crazy. I kind of missed that in california.”

That’s one way of settling the Alley-versus-Valley debate.

All in all, Mr. Piantino was freer with the details than that petrified Googler back in May, but he stayed pretty firmly on message. That didn’t keep him from delivering a paean to Facebook’s renegade culture, though:

it’s a bunch of people who want to build things and have people use them. so they hate red tape, they hate working around the edges of things, and they’re very protective of a culture where people can still join and do just that.

Come on, Mr. Piantino, surely a hacker would have a few more dirty details to dish.
Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com