I am off to the University of Waterloo to interview some hopefully promising young minds. So I’ll have to take a break from the blog for a few days. If you are bored until then, then this might help.
At Facebook we often test changes using our own Facebook accounts, because it’s convenient. But sometimes it’s necessary to use a separate account, either because we don’t want to spam our friends all of the time, or we need to set up specific combinations of relationships and privacy settings between users. For that we have special test user accounts, which are segregated from normal users, and look something like this:
In particular, their names follow a common naming scheme, no doubt created by a Facebook engineer who was feeling particularly clever. The first name is always something feminine, the last name is a real Facebook engineer’s name followed by a modified ending, such as “man”, “witz”, “sky”, or “berg”, and the middle name is the ASCII-encoded decimal of the test user’s user id number. So for April Fool’s this year some of us decided to become test users, hopefully much to the confusion of our coworkers, who might be confused and think that test users had become sentient and started posting coherent thoughts on their own. For example, this is me as a test user:Unfortunately we did not properly anticipate that on Sunday no one would really be paying attention. Alas. Perhaps next year will be more successful.