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Yes, you can work for Facebook in Boston if you're special

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 22, 2012 08:05 AM

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The Facebook web site doesn't list Boston as a location where the company has job openings, and a Facebook spokesperson says the social networking giant has "no plans to open an office in Boston at this time."

And yet, you can work for Facebook in Boston, right across from South Station on Atlantic Avenue. If, that is, you're an extra special engineer that Facebook absolutely must have on its payroll.

The company confirmed to me yesterday that a small number of Facebook employees now work out of a shared office space in Boston. "We're always hiring the best engineers we can find," a spokesperson wrote via e-mail, and sometimes those top programmers simply don't want to relocate to New York, where Facebook has an office, or the company's Palo Alto headquarters.

The shared space in question is WorkBar Boston, which rents desks starting at $250 per month. (A dedicated office is $1000 per month.) The Facebook crew showed up earlier this year, sources tell me, and while it's still just a handful of folks, the number is growing. Could it eventually serve as the seed of a larger Facebook presence? Interesting notion... Several WorkBar employees haven't returned my phone calls or e-mails.

Since Facebook doesn't advertise for employees in Boston, presumably these are people the company has actively recruited. (Some of them are also people who've worked at other Facebook locations in the past, but needed to move to Boston for personal reasons.) A little LinkedIn trolling turns up software engineers like Edwin Smith, Olivier Chatot, and Ryan Mack, who all list their location as Boston.

In its early days, Facebook had an advertising sales office in Boston, which it shuttered in 2006.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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