Elon’s Big Gamble

November 18, 2022

Yesterday a large number of twitter employees, potentially a majority of the engineering staff, resigned. As far as most people are aware, a skeleton crew remains keeping the website alive. The question to many seems to be not if but when the site is going to collapse like a Jenga tower.

Complex Software is Hard to Kill but Hard to Fix

Software engineers break up large web applications into micro services to enable parallel work and redundancy. Rather than a bad update taking the whole site down, a minor break in the system presents as something that does not update or a broken feature. If twitter dies it is more likely to be a slow death than a quick one.

Is Twitter’s Software too Complex?

Elon’s big bet appears to be that twitter’s software suffers from unnecessary complexity. Many small product problems require complex engineering solutions, and trading some functionality for engineering simplicity is usually a great trade-off at smaller scales. Elon seems to think if they can rip out a lot of the code that either does not do anything or services little used features, they can keep the app running.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.