Facebook’s CEO still loves to code. Here’s an exclusive peek at his new project, which plays music, makes toast, and occasionally annoys his wife.
Last January, Zuckerberg announced that he planned to build an AI system to run his home using Facebook tools, in the latest of the personal-growth challenges he gives himself each year. An exciting exploration of the state of the art of AI—a technology field essential to Facebook’s future—the project also forced him to refresh his command of the company’s programming tools and processes.
That in turn has reconnected him to the daily experience of the thousands of engineers he manages and the engineering culture that’s at the heart of one of the world’s most important technology companies.
Zuckerberg has always enjoyed what he calls the “deterministic” nature of engineering—the element of being able to sit down and build something that does exactly what you want it to do. For all the wildly ambitious things he can accomplish as the head of a company of more than 15,000 people that has billions of users across Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook itself, he missed that pleasurable certainty.
That’s why he has continued to work on small programming projects in his rare spare time, and why his personal challenge back in 2012 was to code every day. He has participated in several company hackathons over the years and, as an exercise, once wrote a system that paired Facebook’s org chart and the internal social graph to see which groups within the company were most socially connected