Souping up the site: The brains behind LinkedIn's tech upgrade

By Jessi Hempel, writer

(Fortune) -- Nothing can spoil a website's success faster than its own growing pains.

A new management team at LinkedIn, charged with jump-starting growth at the company, arrived in December 2008 to find the service slow, cluttered, and running on technology that shuddered under the weight of its users.

Their first mission was to rebuild the technology to scale up quickly without crashing. "When you launch a rocket, if you're off by inches in your trajectory, you'll be off by miles in space," says CEO Jeff Weiner.

For a brief period, the company stopped developing anything new and focused on updating its servers and fixing the algorithms to deliver better performance. Now the site goes down less often, pages load 60% faster, and recommendations to users are more relevant.

The next phase is developing the technology to turn LinkedIn's vast trove of profile information into useful tools.

Example: Click on a company name -- say, MTV Networks -- and you'll arrive at a landing page that lists the current and former employees to whom you are most closely connected. You'll see statistics like the rankings of the largest feeder schools and stepping-stone companies.

This business intelligence could show LinkedIn's users the best career path to follow. "Imagine you want to be a comptroller and you're trying to decide whether to return to school," VP of products Dipchand Nishar explains.

LinkedIn has the single biggest public database of résumés belonging to comptrollers. With a well-tuned algorithm, the site could eventually tell you the best way to land the job based on what everyone else did to get there.

Back to How LinkedIn will fire up your career To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 32,627.97 -234.33 -0.71%
Nasdaq 13,215.24 99.07 0.76%
S&P 500 3,913.10 -2.36 -0.06%
Treasuries 1.73 0.00 0.12%
Data as of 6:29am ET


Bankrupt toy retailer tells bankruptcy court it is looking at possibly reviving the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands. More

Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford charts her career path, from her first job to becoming the first openly gay CEO at a Fortune 500 company in an interview with CNN's Boss Files. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.