Operators Ep 12: Thomas Dimson (ex-Instagram)

Podcast audio here: https://delian.substack.com/p/operators-ep-12-thomas-dimson-ex

Thomas Dimson was the former Director of Engineering at Instagram. Thomas joined as one of the first 50 employees and the 16th engineer there. During his time at Instagram he developed prominent features such as the polling sticker in stories, hyperlapse, emojineering, and authored the feed algorithm. He left Instagram in February of this year and is currently working on a new project. 

In this episode we talk about the origin and rationale of the algorithmic feed, why he advocated for the Instagram engineering team to not share Facebook’s office but rather have their own space, and the story behind polling stickers. He also shares his claim to fame feature on Kindle, why he considers himself a generalist, and his passion for building things, which ultimately led to his decision to move on from Instagram.

I hope you enjoy the show.