Zuckerberg: Our development approach has matured

It's no longer about moving fast and breaking things because the bug fixes were hell. Now it's about move fast with stable infrastructure.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the company's F8 developer conference. James Martin/CNET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has grown up a lot in recent years, and now the social media giant's platform is maturing too. Zuckerberg realizes that Facebook's infrastructure is critical to developers and now the company has to be more enterprise class.

Enter the service level agreement, supporting older application programming interfaces for stability, and a hardened mobile platform.

Zuckerberg said the initial mantra for Facebook's hackers was "Move fast and break things." But that didn't work because Facebook spent a lot of time fixing bugs that only slowed development now.

The new approach? "Move fast with stable infra (infrastructure)."

There's not much of a choice. Facebook just launched a mobile advertising network. It has tweaks to boost engagement with apps while improving permissions, and other developer perks.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that the stable infrastructure theme isn't exactly sexy, but "we build better experiences for everyone we serve, and it's how we operate now."

With that approach, Facebook appears to realize that its an enterprise-class advertising and social platform. Permanent betas won't fly. It's fun to watch companies evolve their approaches. Red Hat doesn't rush out new code. Many enterprise vendors support older versions for a while just because big companies need the stability.

Facebook is even on the supporting old APIs bandwagon and now has a two-year stability guarantee that even if there are changes support will continue. Every API will also be versioned so developers can pick and choose.

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As for service-level agreements, Facebook is promising to fix every major bug for developers in 48 hours.

Zuckerberg's message: We're building a stable mobile platform and hardening it.

This story originally appeared as "Facebook's Zuckerberg: Our approach to development, IT has matured" on ZDNet.

About the author

    Larry Dignan is editor in chief of ZDNet and editorial director of CNET's TechRepublic. He has covered the technology and financial-services industries since 1995.

     

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