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Facebook workers celebrate IPO windfall with all-night 'hackathon' at HQ

May 19, 2012 - London

Facebook employees, who have just become some of the richest men on the planet after the IPO bonus, hardly even bothered to open the champagne to celebrate the occasion at the company's headquarters in California.

Instead hundreds of software engineers and technicians gathered at the Palo Alto, California, office held and all night "Hackathon", fuelled by crates of Red Bull and a Chinese takeaway at 1am.

There was also roller hockey as workers took turns to DJ on their iPods until 6.30am, the Daily Mail reported.

At that point the firm's founder Mark Zuckerberg was due to ring the Nasdaq bell to start shares in the company trading.

The Hackathon dates back to the founding of the company and has been an annual ritual ever since.

Hundreds of workers sit in cramped conditions as they bounce ideas off each other and create concepts like Timeline and Facebook chat, which have come out of previous events.

Although Facebook is now set to be valued at 100 billion dollars, it is an attempt to recreate some of the spirit that inspired Zuckerberg to create the social network in his Harvard bedroom.

Pictures published on the Facebook page by designer Francis Luu show hoodie-wearing workers sitting next to each other on sofas staring intently at their laptops - with hardly an alcoholic drink in sight.

Other photos show them slumped on bean bags or blow up mattresses with bottles lying around the floor as their office were a student dorm or an airport terminal.

The Chinese food that was delivered at 1am was billed as a "snack attack" and T-shirts were handed out on the night that read, "Stay focused and keep hacking".

The modest celebration seems to be in keeping with Zuckerberg's own philosophy.

He was famously dubbed "the poorest rich person I've ever seen in my life" by Tyler Winklevoss, one of the Harvard twins who claim he stole their idea for Facebook.

According to the New York Times, Facebook employees have also been avoiding making large purchases in an effort to keep their feet on the ground.


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