Who’s the next Jon Rubinstein? For millennials that name might not ring a bell. Rubinstein was the “podfather”: as head of hardware engineering at Apple he launched and ran the project that became the iPod, the product credited from turning Apple from a computer company into a consumer electronics company.
Facebook, it seems, would very much like to make a similar leap into consumer hardware. So they need lots of good engineers—including an EE “podfather”. Right now, according to Business Insider, the company has a number of hardware projects in development in its secretive Building 8, including augmented reality glasses and, potentially, a consumer drone.
One of the most important hires will be that podfather—a head of electrical engineering. Says the listing for that post: “We are looking for a slightly impatient individual willing to face down their fear of failure to accomplish bold things.” It’s a person “who has experience in building and leading EE teams for consumer electronics and mobile products.”
Other openings are for a mechanical engineering architect and an EE systems architect, both experienced with audio and video product design; a lead systems engineer with some experience in imaging, audio, communications, and machine learning; camera system architects; brain-computer interface engineers; a haptics engineer; and test engineers.
And of course, you know Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is going want to see demos, early and often. So the company is also looking for someone to build the “demos and prototypes to test core concepts, technology edges, and the intersection of tech with human interaction.”
Besides these hardware gigs, the Building 8 group is also hiring software engineers to work on camera software, machine learning, user interfaces, and other potential technologies involved in consumer product design.
The overall mission, according to the jobs listings, is to build “seemingly impossible products that define new categories that advance Facebook's mission of connecting the world.”
We’ll likely know soon more about what that means: in addition to all the engineering jobs, the company is looking for a communications manager to “shape the narrative” of Building 8.
I’ll let you know when they find their “podfather”.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.