She’s not alone in that assessment. One former Twitter engineer, granted anonymity to speak freely, 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,” he says. “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 engineer is unsurprised at the scale of those who 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 are required to remain in continued employment for their H1-B immigration visa, or for private insurance purposes. But they’re few and far between, and the talent in the company has been routed. Just to ensure basic functionality, Ingle believes that “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 needed,” says Ingle. Already, we’re seeing Musk rowing back on some of his more draconian measures. After saying “remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have an exception” in an all-staff email on November 9, Musk is now saying that staff need to have in-person meetings with their colleagues monthly at a minimum.