2019-06-11-tesla-shareholder-meeting-elon-musk
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Elon Musk explains rationale behind Twitter’s weekly work update rule

Steve Jurvetson / Steve Jurvetson, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Recent reports have revealed that Elon Musk and his team have rolled out a new rule for Twitter employees. Every week, Twitter’s employees will be expected to submit a weekly summary of what they worked on, what they are trying to accomplish, and specific lines of code that they wrote. 

The new rule was announced through an email from Twitter Engineering, a department that is reportedly led personally by Musk. The message was reportedly sent following another all-hands meeting where Musk stated that no more layoffs are coming for now, and there are currently no plans to move Twitter’s headquarters to Texas. Several of Musk’s key companies are based in Texas, such as Tesla and SpaceX. 

Amidst the reports, Musk noted on Twitter that the rule is simply a way to know if anything was accomplished. “Perhaps not unreasonable to know if anything was accomplished,” Musk wrote on Twitter. 

Considering the text of Musk’s message, it would seem like Twitter’s remaining employees are safe for now, though the following weeks and months would likely be challenging. Musk’s demands, including the weekly reports, may seem extensive, but they do reflect equally-intensive strategies that were adopted at his other companies like Tesla. There is a reason why Musk has dubbed himself a “nanomanager,” after all. 

Following is the text of Musk’s email. 

Subject line: Weekly Software/Technical Updates

Twitter Team,

In order to innovate rapidly on software, it is critical to understand what everyone is working on and who is coding what.

Moving forward, every Friday (this week, on Wednesday), please email the following weekly update to xxxxxxxxx@twitter.com with the following format:

-Subject line: “Weekly Update, name, dept, and date (eg “Weekly Update, John smith, SWE, 11/20)

-Email Body:

  • What project you are working on (eg Blue Verified)
  • What you are trying to accomplish (eg reliably collect the $8 payment)
  • Code Samples/Phabricator links of code written that week

This weekly update applies to:

  • All managers/engineers in SWE and ML
  • Anyone who should be writing code in other departments, such as SRE and Network
  • For technical positions where code is not written (eg network/database admin), replace “Code samples/Phabricator links” above with “Summary of work”
  • For technical positions where code is not written and analyses are being performer (eg data scientist), replace “Code sample/Phabricator links” with “Summary and results of analysis”

If there are any questions or ambiguity, please email xxxxxxxxx@twitter.com.

Looking forward to making Twitter the highest performing tech software company in the world.

Twitter Engineering

Despite concerns over the past week that Twitter would collapse as large numbers of its employees quit or were terminated, the social media platform has continued to operate like before. Estimates suggest that for now, Twitter has about 2,300 full-time employees, a notable drop from the 7,500 when Musk took over the company. Twitter, for its part, has started initiating welcome changes, such as the destruction of hashtags used by suspected child predators and an easier reporting system for harmful content for children, among others. 

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Elon Musk explains rationale behind Twitter’s weekly work update rule
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