Whether you’re using WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family across oceans and time zones, or finding all types of entertainment and inspiration on Reels, chances are Meta touches your life on a daily basis. Many of us have had a front row seat to the evolution of this brand, from the days when your Facebook page had to be linked to a college email address, to the futuristic capabilities of the new Meta Quest 3 VR headset.

Behind the tech giant that has come to permeate our lives are diverse tech creatives who have built an amazing ecosystem that equally pulls from their similarities and their differences. We recently caught up with Cyriel Dikoume, an Engineering Manager at the company, to find out more about what it’s like to be part of the team responsible for the wide range of innovation that has happened at Meta in even just the last two years.

“It’s kind of like our apps: connecting people is what we do best,” Dikoume told AfroTech. “The essence of connection and belongingness reverberates internally as well. Whether it’s affinity groups like Black@ Meta, the camaraderie of the runners club, brainstorming sessions in the GenAI hackathon, or even niche interests like watch collecting, there’s a space for everyone. This mosaic of clubs and communities ensures that finding kindred spirits, regardless of one’s passion, is not just possible but effortless. So, whatever your vibe, you’re sure to find your tribe.”

While the idea of building community as a Meta employee is something the company puts a premium on, engineers are also encouraged to carve their own path. Meta pairs new hires with an onboarding buddy, but these new members of the team are quickly encouraged to ascribe to the department-wide ethos: independent problem-solving and ensuring one leverages available resources before seeking assistance. 

When it comes to growth and advancement, Meta engineers are pushed to identify and pursue their own unique career trajectory. “At Meta, there’s a symbiotic relationship between individual growth and community development,” Dikoume explains. “On an individual level, a vast reservoir of resources empowers our engineers to forge unique career paths. Managers are not just team leaders but also growth catalysts, ensuring their team members evolve, as this directly translates to heightened team productivity and outsized impact.”

He adds, “For those seeking nuanced guidance, there’s an option to be mentored by seasoned professionals, even from diverse departments. Such mentorships are invaluable as they offer insights from those who’ve traversed similar growth trajectories, providing a fresh, external perspective.”

Despite the push toward individual thinking and problem solving, the engineers behind the company’s many internal and external products have similarities in the way in which they approach their work: “an unwavering commitment to launch readiness,” as Dikoume puts it.

“Before any product sees the light of day, it undergoes a rigorous review process that covers everything from privacy and security to performance and more. That often means collaborative reviews from members of the wider Meta team who might not have been directly involved with the product in question, to make sure that multiple perspectives are taken into consideration. “This not only validates our products but also hones our articulation skills around product nuances, launch strategies, risk mitigation and optimal user experiences,” Dikoume says.

We asked Dikoume which of his teams’ 2023 achievements he was most proud of. And even though he couldn’t share too many details, he could barely contain his excitement about the ways in which his team’s work will unite and support the broader community around them through VR technology.

Just know that Meta Quest 3 is about to revolutionize not only the way you approach entertainment, but the way you think about productivity too.