If a billion people wouldn’t be able to use what we were building, it didn’t make sense to keep building it. At the Tribune, not having to please a sixth of the world’s population makes it possible to spend an afternoon working on projects like analyzing underutilized schools in Chicago, which can be much more interesting and fulfilling than internationalizing a little-used contact form into 40 languages.
Consistency and fault-tolerance are hard. Genuinely hard. The devil is always in the details, and it takes a concentrated mind to navigate through these waters correctly. I know a thing or two about building large, complex systems, and I’ve done this for quite a while now, and yet it still takes me all my attention
Look, I realize that we live in a TL;DR culture. I lived through 8 years of a non-reading president along with everyone else. I know that the brogrammers out there are constantly getting texts from their buddies to plan the weekend’s broactivities, trying to decide in whose mancave they’ll be setting up their lan party, and are thoroughly distracted in between futzing with their smart phones and writing a few lines of code per day by cutting and pasting it from stackoverflow. But it’s really not ok to act functionally illiterate when you’re not actually illiterate, when an advanced society that once put a man on the moon worked so hard to educate you.