Trimming the Sails

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Trimming the Sails

I wanted to take a moment to share more than 140 characters about Twitter’s continued reliability improvements and how we’ve made it here.

I’ve always respected a good sense of pacing. It’s easy to be fast and loose, but it takes a certain discipline, foresight, and patience to guide something through the right way. For most of Twitter’s early days, pacing could be considered an unattainable luxury. Our effort started with a bang and quickly accelerated to a disconcerting velocity that never let up. We found ourselves reacting to situations instead of crafting solutions and features we wanted to make.

With nearly two years at full speed, thousands of successes (with as many mistakes), and countless lessons learned, we’ve finally discovered our rhythm as a team. By carefully regrouping all aspects of our work, breaking the problem down into smaller parts, and iterating rapidly, Twitter, Inc. is poised to bring a new kind of communication to every part of the world.

While our focus on building a stable service is well known, we haven’t discussed how we’ve been organizing our work internally. Twitter is a small company of only 24 full time employees and a network of contractors working in 6 discrete, nimble teams:

Product. Define, design, and support the Twitter products and programs.

User Experience. Craft the user experiences of our products, and develop tools that safeguard those experiences.

API. Develop and manage programmatic access to our services, and vitalize the developer community to harness those services.

Services. Architect and develop our core applications and services.

Operations. Architect, deploy, operate, measure, and monitor our infrastructure, products and services.

The team responsible for the company itself is my team. Our goal is to create an engaging and energetic environment in which to work, and to provide all the other teams with the necessary human, financial, and directional resources they need to make Twitter a success. Each team is staffed by a small number of people working together to craft every detail, always informed by testing, measurement, simple planning and tracking, and lots of creativity.

It’s taken some time to put everything in its right place. We’re proud of what we’ve built, and now more than ever, we’re proud of how we’re building it.

*Editor's note: As of November 2017, Twitter has increased the character count of Tweets in certain languages to make it easier to share what’s happening.


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