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Software Engineering Internship @ Facebook/Instagram

January 15, 2019

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What I worked on
  3. Internship Events
  4. Perks
  5. Campus
  6. Final Thoughts

If interested, check out the following YouTube video where I show the typical day in the life of a software engineer intern at Instagram/Facebook.


Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world with over 2 billion users in more than 140 countries worldwide. Facebook is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, and was founded in 2004 with the mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram, and in 2014, Facebook acquired both Whatsapp and Oculus VR. Instagram, which launched in 2010 is also one of the largest social networking sites in the world, and has the mission to capture and share the world's moments.

In Fall 2019, I interned as a Software Engineer at Instagram in both San Francisco, CA and Menlo Park, CA. The internship lasted 12 weeks and there were thousands of interns just at the Menlo Park location (while I believe that I was the only intern at the San Francisco location). Facebook pays interns very competitively with other tech companies (e.g. Yelp, LinkedIn, Google) and provided free housing to interns in a variety of locations within a given radius from the location they are interning at. Facebook is a pretty outstanding company to work for with over a dozen cafeterias throughout its MPK campus; multiple top-notch fitness centers (with a turf soccer field, full-size basketball court, and rock-climbing wall); and great perks/benefits. One of my favorite internships.

FB Sign

What I worked on

Unlike my previous internships where I just worked for one team, my internship at Instagram consisted of me working for two teams spanning both the San Francisco and Menlo Park locations. Over the course of twelve weeks, I interned as a backend Software Engineer for the Instagram Core Business team in San Francisco for the first half of my internship, and for the Instagram Data Security & Privacy Team in Menlo Park for the second half of my internship.

While working in San Francisco for the Instagram Core Business Team, I worked on a feature to display both active and expired apps and websites that users have used Instagram to log into. This was a challenging and exciting project to work on, in which I got to work with Facebook's Tao social graph database and Instagram's graph database by working with GraphQL (developed at Facebook) as well as Instagram's Graph API. This project was a great experience for me as I got to work across two very large and complicated databases in Facebook and Instagram, and learn some really cool technologies.

While working in Menlo Park for the Instagram Security & Data Privacy Team, I worked on several smaller projects with one involving working on the implementation of features for an Instagram ranking system to help better target and tailor ads to users. In addition, this involved building out the mobile configuration and landing pages, which was really cool as this was the first time that I worked on anything mobile-related.

Internship Events

There were a number of cool intern events throughout the course of the internship, and below is a list of some of the events:

  • Intern Preview Day -- After accepting the offer, I got the chance to take an early tour of the Facebook Menlo Park campus, as well as receive some exclusive Facebook swag.
  • FB Preview Day

  • Los Angeles Galaxy Soccer Game -- Incoming interns at UCLA/USC got to attend an LA Galaxy soccer game in box seats.
  • FB LA Galaxy Game

  • San Francisco Giants Baseball Game -- This was a special game as it was the last home game for Giants' Manager Bruce Bochy, and also a game against the rival LA Dodgers.
  • Golden State Warriors Basketball Game -- Again this was a really cool game as it was the second game ever at the Warriors' new Chase Center arena in San Francisco.
  • FB Warriors Game

  • Instagram 9th Birthday Party -- As I worked for Instagram in San Francisco, I was fortunate to get to attend IG's 9th Birthday celebration.
  • FB 9th Birthday

  • Hamilton Broadway Play (SF)
  • Intern Yacht Dinner Party
  • Facebook Christmas Party


Facebook is a top-notch company with competitive comensation and benefits, along with a large number of cafeterias and fitness centers, and many other perks. Below are some perks:

  • Swag -- At orientation, interns received a Facebook backpack, Facebook water bottle, and several smaller items. Additionally, I received an exclusive Facebook jacket at the Intern Preview Day, and an Instagram thermos at Instagram's 9th Birthday Party in San Francisco.
  • Charlie FB

  • Cafeterias -- Facebook's Menlo Park campus has over a dozen cafeterias that serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, there are two sweet shops, where you can get cookies, ice cream, etc. Instagram's San Francisco building features several cafeterias with high quality food.
  • Fitness Centers -- Facebook's Menlo Park campus has three fitness centers with top-notch workout equipment and cardio machines; full-size basketball court; turf soccer field; and a rock climbing wall.
  • Retro Arcade Room -- The Menlo Park campus has a retro arcade room where employees can relax after a long day's work by playing some Dance Dance Revolution, Street Fighters, etc.
  • Micro Kitchens -- classic tech company micro kitchen near every work station with snacks, drinks, etc.
  • Workplace Groups -- Facebook features hundreds of Workplace groups (e.g. Super Smash Bros Club, Soccer Club, etc.) that makes it feel like you are back at college with all of the different club options.


Facebook is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, but there are offices all over the world (with other offices in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, etc.). The Facebook campus consists of over twenty buildings; over a dozen cafeterias; several fitness centers; and trams (or individual bikes) that take you across the campus. The San Francisco Instagram building is a high rise and is flanked by the Salesforce and Slack buildings. The SF building has several cafeterias that also serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as micro kitchens throughout.

FB SF View

Final Thoughts

This was my last internship unfortunately (if I could continue interning, I definitely would! Interning is the best!), but I thoroughly enjoyed interning at Facebook/Instagram. I had the privilege to get to work at both the San Francisco and Menlo Park offices and got to attend some exclusive Instagram events, as well as incredible intern events that made the internship that much better. The cafeterias and micro kitchens were amazing, and the campuses were beautiful (i.e. MPK campus features a roof garden!). I recommend interning at Facebook as you get to feel what it is like to work for one of the biggest tech companies in the world, in addition to enjoying some of the nicest perks/benefits in Silicon Valley.