Iteration Leads to Software Sucess

An important insight from former Facebook Engineer, Pete Hunt.

The following is an excerpt from Move Fast: How Facebook Builds Software, coming out July 6, where I discuss Peter Hunt’s view on iteration in software development.

Pete Hunt is a Facebook engineer who joined the company in 2011. Pete is six-foot-four with a towering frame and a curly mop of hair. His default expression is a lighthearted, goofy smile, but Pete becomes a serious, imposing figure once he starts to discuss matters of software. Today, Pete’s reputation among engineers precedes him. Large crowds gather at his conference talks, and his Internet comments about JavaScript frameworks are widely quoted.

Pete describes iteration as broadly important to Facebook’s success.

“Facebook is a  large-scale consumer application that is written on a stack that is fast and easy to deploy. Faster deployment means faster iterations. When you are building a consumer product, there are lots of competitors. You need to be able to develop products fast to respond to competition and keep up. So you want to create an engineering organization and a set of values in a culture that biases towards rapid iteration and moving quickly.”

To move from prototype project to finished product, Pete emphasizes the need to put a product in front of users as quickly as possible. “If you’re not sure whether you should ship or not, you should ship, get the data. Ship it to a small test group. Get some data, roll it back if it sucks. The whole company was organized around that.”

Even in cases of complete product failure, Facebook will often learn from the experiment in a way that provides significant value.

Whilst you are waiting for Move Fast: How Facebook Builds Software, learn more about business models for cryptocurrency.