Facebook’s News Feed Engineer

Meet the girl behind Facebook’s news feed – engineer Ruchi Sanghvi

Can you combine work and fun? Ruchi Sanghvi certainly thought so when she joined Facebook way back in 2005. But as much as she loved engineering and making a living, she had no idea that millions of people would be using Facebook by 2012, or that she would help it hit the big time.
Ruchi was 23 when she joined Facebook, at a time when the company was working out of a tiny office above a Chinese restaurant in California. Now, Ruchi has left Facebook to start her own company – Cove – having helped bring Facebook to 900 million people around the world.

What? Engineering?

“People asked me whether I was going to roll up my sleeves, wear overalls and work on the factory floor.” she said in a recent BBC interview.
It’s a reaction that loads of girls face when they tell their friends and family they want to go into engineering, perhaps because the word ‘engineering’ doesn’t quite match up with ‘working for Facebook’.
But as Ruchi found out, engineering has changed a lot, and offers all kinds of jobs to girls as well as boys: “The perception of engineering has changed and the profession has become more versatile over the past few years.”

“My philosophy is that you should go full force ahead until you are ready for the next step.”

Move fast and break things

Facebook’s guiding ethos is ‘move fast and breaks things’. It’s an ethos that famous engineers have followed for years – from Isambard Kingdom Brunel with Clifton Suspension Bridge to Zaha Hadid with stunning buildings like the London Olympic Aquatic Centre – and of course Ruchi herself. By trying new things again and again, without the fear of failure, you tend to learn a lot more. And it makes working a lot more fun.

We all take the Facebook news feed for granted now, but Ruchi and two other Facebook colleagues put many months of creating and testing into it – just so we know what our mates are up to in an instant!

Of course, not all companies are quite as cool to work for as Facebook, but as more and more engineers are needed in the UK and around the world, more and more fun engineering jobs are going to appear. Whether you want to work in one of Essex’s up-and-coming engineering firms, or you have your sights set on Silicon Valley in California like Ruchi – learning about engineering can help get you there.

Find out why loads of girls are thinking about an engineering apprenticeship in Essex!

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