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Cover image for Twitter is expected to lay off about half of its workforce
Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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Twitter is expected to lay off about half of its workforce

Per this story by The Verge

Musk is expected to cut roughly half of Twitter’s roughly 7,500-person workforce. His team of outside advisors has spent the last week determining which engineers and technical managers to keep based largely on their recent contributions to Twitter’s codebase, according to employees involved in the discussions.

Stripe also underwent significant layoffs yesterday, as have others in the tech industry, in a "second wave" of sorts.

What are your thoughts about the latest in this situation? How are you feeling about things in general. Would love to hear from you.

Latest comments (60)

ewaldvanrooyen profile image

Tech is going through a layoff spree. No big tech company is not laying off.

jinacker profile image

Why do they have to do that?

airbrake profile image

A little late to the discussion, but our hearts really do go out to those who were laid off.

In light of what's been going on, we did create a article with some job resources for developers. If you have any leads on jobs, want to contribute some of your own resources, or offer advice in the comments, we sure would welcome it!!!

maxart2501 profile image
Massimo Artizzu

I really don't know where this is going, but given Musk's completely distorted concept of "free speech" my impression is... not good. Suffices to say that he's accusing "activists" of "destroying" free speech (in America) because they're pushing advertisers to get out of Twitter, when activism is perhaps the most exemplary proof of free speech.

It's probable Twitter won't be the same in a year. And won't be for the better.

For the rest, I'm quite unhappy mainly for two reasons:

  1. One is personal, as Twitter is basically the only social network I use (many don't see DEV as something more than a blogging platform) and I fear it won't be usable/useful anymore in the future.
  2. The other is sadness for all those laid off, in a moment when it seems that a lot of IT companies are laying off too.
sir_wernich profile image
Wernich ️

aren't billionaires supposed to be creating jobs?

rolfstreefkerk profile image
Rolf Streefkerk

It's very simple. Twitter is a loss making operation and it has been for a while.
Now that activists have urged Advertisers to discontinue their business, these layoffs will be even more significant.
I'm sure though, a lot of people will find ways to blame Elon Musk because of an irrational fear.

polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

According to rumours, the firings were based upon LOC count for the engineers. In lack of a great tool at your disposal, and being completely blind, I'd say it's not as bad as it could have been.

I've said for a long time that; "Sure, there are exceptions, and obviously LOC count should not be the only tool you use, and there are important people having zero LOC counts - But it is an important metric when measuring productivity, contrary to popular beliefs" - Yesterday the richest guy in the universe just agreed with me I guess ...

If we could now just make him throw out NoSQL, OOP, and his message broker architecture, I guess we're all there ...

wadecodez profile image
Wade Zimmerman • Edited

Honestly I have no empathy for the developers. At the end of the day Twitter and every other business out there has to make profit.

So many devs get too comfortable. They think they're untouchable because they work on a specific piece of code. In reality, most of us could go on Khan academy to learn the math, and stack overflow to find answers to problems.

For Twitter specifically, I don't understand why the devs thought they were special. Most junior devs write Twitter clones as a learning exercise. Other than shier scale, there is nothing fancy about Twitter's architecture.

Since growing up with Twitter, it's sad to see the platform slowly die over the last few years. It could have been so much better if they hired innovative engineers rather than policy makers. Like these guys were pioneers when it started but they have lost all developer street cred in my opinion.

danwalsh profile image
Dan Walsh

We’ll likely never know the full details behind the (expected) restructure. There will be the version of the story the media tells us. And another version that Musk (or his team) tells us. And another again that an insider employee tells us. And so on, and so on. But that’s okay, because ultimately it’s none of my business. Restructures in companies happen all the time (and for multitudes of reasons), perhaps just not as publicly as this one. 🤷‍♂️

@ben, is the “printed code review” article understated, fabricated, or somewhere in-between? Are we missing some crucial context that would render that article moot? There’s an awful lot of detail missing. Let’s say it’s 100% true—could it not have been a good thing? Why or why not? 🤔 “May be”

My two hopes, given the circumstances and my limited understanding of them, are:

  1. That the company fulfils their contractually agreed obligations regarding redundancies and remuneration. If they do this, then everything is “above board”, if you will. If an employee and employer signed a contract that says, “you can be made redundant with X weeks notice”, and the company does exactly that, then there’s no foul play (this is a highly simplified example, I am aware) 🤝. Secondly,

  2. That the people impacted can shoulder any burdens directly or indirectly caused by the (expected) restructure, and have the support of family, friends and/or community to help them through. 🫶

I find it helpful to view things from the Taoist perspective of “The Chinese Farmer”. Linking it in case anyone else finds it useful in this uncertain time. 🙇‍♂️☯️

leob profile image

He's increasingly unhinged and out of touch with reality, but hey - when you're the richest person on the planet, with a gazillion dollars in the bank, then I totally understand when you wanna go off and be a proper tyrant, and that you feel justified and entitled to be a total jerk ...

I mean, what would otherwise be the point of having all those billions? :-D

polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

Losing your job is scary, and I feel for those having to go. When that's said, the last time I was laid off became the opportunity of my life, and I ended up starting my current company because of losing my job.

However, I've never asked more than 40 hours from anyone on my team. Still, again and again they're going beyond what I ask and doubling up. Over and over again. I suspect none of those now leaving Twitter have PMs like the following sent to their leader ...

Image description

h_sifat profile image
Muhammad Sifat Hossain

Looks scary 😨. I'm still learning and haven't applied for a job yet.

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard 🇫🇷🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸🇨🇴

Don't worry, everyone here is still learning and there are, in fact, many good companies looking for developers that are passionate and always trying to learn.

In fact one of the top if not the top issue for those companies is to try to find those developers.

Maybe read this as a starting point

h_sifat profile image
Muhammad Sifat Hossain

Thanks for the article link 💝

anthonyjdella profile image
Anthony Dellavecchia

Layoffs are some of the lowest moments of ones life. Really sorry to everyone who has experienced it. Stay positive, stick together, and hone in on your skills!

integerman profile image
Matt Eland

I've been through only one massive layoff. That day the entire company had to meet with HR one by one to find out if we kept our jobs. 25% of the organization didn't.

I was one of the survivors and I technically got a promotion out of it... but it was brutal. It was rough to go through, it was rough to survive, and you felt for those who you said goodbye to, while feeling anger that it was even necessary.

The experience changed me. For one thing, I'm now hyperactive on LinkedIn simply because I found myself in a situation where I suddenly had a bunch of friends who needed jobs and I found myself unable to connect them with people looking to hire. For another, it made me always assume that I might be fired at any time without even a compelling reason. This made me always have multiple things going on to give me added flexibility and visibility in case I needed to search.

I've also seen organizations get acquired and their products suddenly are viewed drastically differently by organizational leadership. What was previously "your baby" is suddenly someone's odd inherited contraption that they don't understand or even know if they want to keep.

I feel for everyone at Twitter and their friends and families. This had to have been brutal for all of them.

eljayadobe profile image

Lot of excellent, talented software engineers flooding the market.

Smart companies would snap them up as fast as they can.

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