Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a lot of the initial code for Facebook, but very little of it, if any, is still in use. It has been written, rewritten, and optimized many times over. I guess that doesn't matter, given that Zuckerberg barely programs anymore anyway; his time is mainly dedicated to management and his vision of connecting the world. In 2006, when he was 22 and his company was only two years old, Zuckerberg gave up writing code. This year, however, he's reportedly been trying to program every single day.
It's all part of a set of personal challenges Zuckerberg has been setting for himself for the last few years. The young man, who turned 28 on Monday, has had to work extremely hard to meet all the demands of his quickly growing company, his family and friends, as well as his own goals.
The first annual test of discipline was vowing to wear a tie to work every day in 2009. Then Zuckerberg pushed himself to learn Mandarin in 2010. Finally, he insisted on personally killing any animal he ate in 2011 (causing him to become almost a complete vegetarian). That last one caused quite a stir last year; I remember it even though I wasn't covering Facebook at the time.
So 2012 is for programming, at least according to Businessweek: Zuckerberg this year "pledged to return to his roots and spend time programming each day." I bet he'll satisfy today's and tomorrow's coding quote at the company's last hackathon as a private company that is happening as I write this.
The 2012 challenge seems like Zuckerberg's best one yet, because it's directly related to his job. Technology company CEOs that keep up with the latest developments in programming have a much more realistic strategy and more importantly, can communicate it better to their engineers.
That makes sense, given that Facebook is going public this year (read: tomorrow). Zuckerberg is going to want to make sure he can still connect with everyone at the social networking giant as it continues to grow.
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