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Facebook wants Linux network stack to 'rival or exceed' FreeBSD

Updated Social network is seeking a high-level Linux kernel developer
Fri Aug 08 2014, 09:51

FACEBOOT IS LOOKING to hire a high-level Linux kernel developer, as it seeks to upgrade the Linux network stack to rival FreeBSD.

The Facebook job offer appears on its Careers webpage under the heading, "Linux Kernel Software Engineer". The job description begins, "Facebook is seeking a Linux Kernel Software Engineer to join our Kernel team, with a primary focus on the networking subsystem. Our goal over the next few years is for the Linux kernel network stack to rival or exceed that of FreeBSD." It concludes, "This position is full-time and located in our Menlo Park office."

The responsibilities listed are significant, and include the following salient bullet-points:

  • "Improve IPv6 support in the kernel, and eliminate [performance] and stability issues. [Facebook] is one of the worlds largest IPv6 deployments
  • "Investigate and participate in emerging protocols (MPTCP, QUIC, etc) discussions,implementation, experimentation, tooling, etc
  • "Triage, investigate, and resolve primarily network related performance or stability issues"

The list of duties also includes the usual boilerplate supporting bullet-points that hiring departments put in such things.

Under requirements, it's obvious that Facebook is seriously looking for a senior Linux kernel developer. The bullet-points there include:

  • "At least 5 years of experience working with the Linux kernel
  • "Have code already in the Linux kernel
  • "Expert level understanding of TCP and UDP networking
  • "Deep understanding of the Linux kernel network subsystem
  • "Reasonable understanding of the other significant kernel sub-systems (block, fs, crypto, etc) and how they fit together"

As you'd expect, Facebook wants applicants to also boast Linux kernel knowledge in depth, extensive scripting experience and more than passing expertise in C programming, kernel performance tools, and so on.

Facebook has gobs of money, so we imagine that the right person can just about 'write their own ticket' for this position depending on their negotiation skills, and everything from level of compensation through cash versus equity - and even location - is negotiable. The pool of potentially qualified candidates for this job is rather shallow, numbering in perhaps dozens at most, rather than hundreds or thousands.

However, Facebook might find it easier, and more acceptable to the community of senior Linux kernel developers, to contribute to the Linux Foundation in support of such an effort, rather than hire someone internally to lead development of Linux kernel IPv6 networking.

Facebook chirped up to remind The INQUIRER that it supports the Linux Foundation. In an email, the Facebook kernel team manager said, "We do already contribute to the Linux Foundation, both in terms of money and time (we have multiple employees on multiple [Linux Foundation] advisory boards)." µ


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