August 22nd, 2013 | Published in Google Enterprise
(Cross-posted on the Google Cloud Platform Blog)
Editor's note: Today’s guest post is from Ben Kamens, Lead Developer at Khan Academy, a not-for-profit that provides a free education available for anyone. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
Khan Academy has an audacious mission: to provide a free world class education to anyone anywhere. With less than fifty full-time employees at the company, our small team has to take special care to work on whatever’s most critical. So we’re building a culture that relentlessly focuses on shipping code that improves students’ lives. Our team of developers relies on three simple principles that guide all the work we do:
- Shipping beats perfection.
- Be open. Share your work.
- Anybody can fix anything.
- Google Cloud Platform provides a flexible and reliable environment to put these principles into practice. With Google App Engine in particular, we get a big, enormous, whopper of a benefit — consistent Datastore performance no matter how big the product gets. Even if we have a query that returns 10 items from a set of 10,000, we can relax. We know that as our company grows over time, we’ll get the exact same speed when pulling 10 items from a set of 10,000,000,000.
- Lots of people ask, “How will you know if Khan Academy is really successful?” My answer is always the same: we of course care about data, analytics, and metrics that demonstrate provable, real learning. But in the back of my mind I’m most persuaded by the personal stories that people send us literally every day. Those stories of real lives being changed for the better are the reason why we believe a free educational resource like Khan Academy simply must exist.