Facebook absorbed Silicon Valley’s hacker ethos and amplified it. Tech companies normally do controlled beta versions of their technologies; Facebook doesn’t beta anything. It runs as an unending series of quick, on-the-fly tests with actual customers. Engineers race to put up new features, see if they work, and make tweaks to fix them if they don’t. Even trainees who haven’t finished their six-week indoctrination program are asked to work on the live site. The live site, by the way, runs on custom-designed hardware and software housed in Facebook’s superefficient, and experimental, data centers (I have a case study on its Prineville, OR data center in my book). Every now and again the whole site crashes, but Zuckerberg can live with that. “The faster we learn, the better we’re going to get to the model of where we should be,” he says.
Video of new Facebook video to celebrate its billion user milestone