Surviving Y2K: What did we learn from the biggest tech scare in history?

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  • In terms of programming, the year 2000 was perhaps the biggest digital change to date across the world. The reason for this is because, in the years before, two digits were allocated to computing related to the year. With 2000, three had to be allocated.
  • Programmers around the world came together and successfully drove the Y2K conversion. The freedom they were given by politicians, who didn’t entirely understand the problem, gave programmers the space they needed to make the changes expediently.
  • When goals are clearly stated—in this case, December 31, 1999—people understand that there is a deadline on when they have to be done with their work before bad things happen. As a result of the teamwork operating under a clearly stated goal, there were no major catastrophes when the new year rolled in.

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