Facebook keen to work with savvy developers

3 Mar 2009

The availability of high-end, savvy software developers was a key motivation in Facebook’s decision to locate in Dublin, and the social-networking giant will hold a Facebook Developer Garage in the city this Thursday.

In recent weeks, Facebook – which has 175 million users worldwide, 70pc of whom are outside the US – began recruiting 40 out of a total envisaged workforce of 70 for its EMEA headquarters.

The head of Facebook Dublin Colm Long (pictured) told siliconrepublic.com that the company was attracted to the city because of its popularity as a place to work among young Europeans, but also by the sheer high-end talent of software developers in Ireland.

He said that in collaboration with software entrepreneur Fergus Burns of Nooked, Facebook will be holding an Intel-sponsored Facebook Developer Garage this Thursday (5 March) at the Digital Exchange at 4.30pm.

“Facebook Developer Garages are just like they sound – a place to explore, get gritty, tinker, experiment and test out ideas for Facebook Platform.

“The Facebook Developer Garage Ireland is an opportunity for community involvement and learning,” he said.

Long said the decision to locate in Dublin was based on Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg’s positive experiences while she was Google’s VP of global sales, which has its European headquarters in the city.

Long, who was formerly sales and operations director at Google in Dublin, said that software talent was also a driving factor.

“Ireland beats the world because of its innovative and savvy developer community.

“We believe the development community in Dublin will become a huge part of the Facebook ecosystem. It’s important to make sure they are successful because, in turn, we will be successful,” Long said.

He said that while Facebook has no plans to install direct product development at its Dublin EMEA operations, where is currently recruiting for 40 positions across user operations, online operations, inside sales and advertising campaign delivery, local software developers will have a role to play.

“If we all do our jobs well, this could be an important part of Facebook’s global operations.”

He said that he has spoken to founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is very excited about the Irish operations and its role to play. “Some 70pc of Facebook users reside outside the US, and a large proportion of these reside in Europe. The power of the internet is shifting in Ireland’s direction, and Dublin will have a key role to play.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured: head of Facebook Dublin, Colm Long