She’s not alone in that assessment. One former Twitter engineer, who was fired by Musk as part of a crackdown on those who escaped his initial layoffs but were outspoken in their criticism of him, says the end “could be minutes, could be weeks.”
“It’s the unanticipated problems that’ll break things badly,” says the engineer, who was granted anonymity to speak freely. “There’s a good amount of resilience built into the infrastructure, but big problems at this scale are never what one could ever expect.”
The former employee is unsurprised that so many others have said they’ve had enough. “It was an easy choice, given the way he’s been treating people,” he says. Those who remain, he believes, are likely those who must remain employed for an H1-B immigration visa, or for private insurance purposes. But they’re few and far between. Just to ensure basic functionality, Ingle believes, “many more engineers will need to be hired.”
MIT Technology Review has previously reported how one Twitter insider believes the company’s systems will degrade over time. Platformer’s Zoe Schiffer reported overnight that many employees who maintained Twitter’s critical infrastructure have also resigned in the last 24 hours. The fact that Twitter offices are now closed could mean it would be more difficult for staff to triage and fix any infrastructure issues that arise before the office’s planned reopening on November 21.
Musk did not respond to a request for comment. Twitter’s own communications team has been massively reduced in the recent layoffs.
“There will need to be major changes,” says Ingle. Already, we’re seeing Musk rowing back on some of his more draconian measures. After saying in an all-staff email on November 9 that “remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have an exception,” he is now saying that staff need to have in-person meetings with their colleagues monthly at a minimum.