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Thinking about a career in business engineering? Meta tells us everything you need to know

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Adina Barham and Bei Yi from Meta look at what skills and experience are needed to get into Business Engineering, unique challenges they’ve faced, and why other companies will be pivoting towards Business Engineering roles.

WHAT IS BUSINESS ENGINEERING?

Adina Barham, Meta

Adina: It’s a team/role where the focus is on delivering scalable & sustainable technology solutions together with our partners globally. These solutions are what enables innovative experiences on our family of apps like virtual reality experiences, commerce, payments and more.

Bei: Business Engineering is building the engineering bridge between our business partners’ needs with our internal product team’s capacity to scale our product with a big range of partners. Not only does it benefit Meta but it also creates value for our partners through a virtuoso win-win relationship. 

WHAT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES ARE REQUIRED?

A: Being a great engineer and communicator are a must, but also being able to find out-of-the-box solutions is what will enable your success in the long run. 

B: As the title says, it requires great engineering skills. But much more than that, it requires the understanding of the business partner’s requirements – Meta’s product team’s vision and the end-to-end product understanding. In order to close the technical gap between the partner and the product team, communication skills are a must.  By showing empathy from both sides, BE are able to build the bridge and close the gap. In particular, I think in general, women engineers tend to have a better balance between technical skills and people skills that would most suit the specific requirements of a BE role.

HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM SOFTWARE ENGINEERING?

A: In software engineering the focus is on product development, while in business engineering the focus is on how we can leverage our products together with partners to create amazing experiences.

Bei Yi, Meta

B: Software engineers are mostly focused on internal product development, communicating with designers, product managers and other internal stakeholders. Business Engineering are usually external business partners facing roles, which not only require you to work with internal stakeholders, but much more on the external side. Business engineers do not own the product, but own the relationship with external business partners. A business engineer’s goal is to meet and delight our business partners’ requirements and collaborate with Software engineers of the product. 

WHAT WAS THE RATIONALE BEHIND MERGING SOLUTIONS ENGINEERING AND PARTNER ENGINEERING?

A: I think for both teams the goals and vision align with the difference that solution engineering would focus on ads, while partner engineering would focus on other products. It only makes sense to merge and work more closely together under one team. 

B: Solution engineering and partner engineering are both engineers that implement technical requirements with our external business partners. Both collaborate with internal product teams in order to achieve this goal. The difference between the two are the focus on which aspect of the business that each one supports: SE supports and scales to reach as much advertisement partners as possible to increase the advertisement value; while PE supports and scales to make sure that our FoA reaches out as many possible devices and users offering them a highly valued user experience.

ARE THERE ANY UNIQUE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH BUILDING PRODUCTS FOR PARTNERS?

A: The more stakeholders you are trying to coordinate with the more challenges can occur. Sometimes the goals or needs can be different and this is why our role is to bring our expertise in and find solutions that will work for all. 

B: Yes, there are several challenges but the main one is how to reconcile the needs with priorities between the external business partners and our internal product team. Each of the internal product team has their priority to address with their limited resources and a lot of times, they do not match with our external partner’s priorities. That’s where BE comes into rescue – we fill the resource gap and build this channel of communication, which is crucial to the success of collaboration. Those unique challenges have unique rewards as well, when a cross company collaboration happens, it scales in an imaginable magnitude and can positively impact the whole industry. 

WHICH CODING LANGUAGES AND TECH STACK ARE MOST VALUABLE FOR THIS SORT OF ROLE?

A: I think it varies a lot for this role depending on your team or even your project. Being open to experiment with new technologies and frameworks is key. 

B: As Adina said, it depends on what kind of project for the role: if it is a server based solution or a client based solution or a full stack solution. It can be web related technologies such as php, js, html or mobile related technologies such as: iOS and Android (native mobile platform) or cross platform solutions such as react native or flutter). The general rule of thumb is the more you know, even in a higher level or system level, the better it is, because a lot of times it requires creative solutions to meet the objective by weighing on one side or another. 

 DO YOU THINK THAT OTHER COMPANIES WILL START TO PIVOT TOWARDS BUSINESS ENGINEERING ROLES?

A: I think companies with a healthy Partner Ecosystem have roles similar to Business Engineering and with the importance of collaborations and building ecosystems and platforms the role will only be more prevalent. 

B: I think other big tech companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft already or will start to pivot towards Business Engineering roles. I believe that the role mostly makes sense in big companies, as a Software Engineers’ goal is to focus on the base product development itself, while Business Engineering’s goal is to focus on scaling business partner’s needs.

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