How Many Millions of Lines of Code Does It Take?
Today’s data visualization comes from David McCandless from Information is Beautiful. Buy their awesome book called Knowledge is Beautiful – we own the physical version, and it’s full of great data visualizations.
How many millions of lines of code does it take to make the modern program, web service, car, or airplane possible?
The range is extraordinary: the average iPhone app has less than 50,000 lines of code, while Google’s entire code base is two billion lines for all services. And interestingly, the code behind machines such as fighter jets, popular video game engines, and even the Large Hadron Collider fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
A million lines of code, if printed, would be about 18,000 pages of text. That’s 14x the length of War and Peace.
It’s more than what was needed to run old technologies like the Space Shuttle, a pacemaker, or even the game engine of Quake 3 – but it’s not enough to be the driving force behind the modern software that’s used in everyday life today.
- The control software to run a U.S. military drone uses 3.5 million lines of code.
- A Boeing 787 has 6.5 million lines behind its avionics and online support systems.
- Google Chrome (browser) runs on 6.7 million lines of code (upper estimate).
- A Chevy Volt uses 10 million lines.
- The Android operating system runs on 12-15 million lines.
- The Large Hadron Collider uses 50 million lines.
- Not including backend code, Facebook runs on 62 million lines of code.
- With the advent of sophisticated, cloud-connected infotainment systems, the car software in a modern vehicle apparently uses 100 million lines of code. This is according to Wired magazine.
- All Google services combine for a whopping 2 billion lines.
Applying the math above – that means it would take 36,000,000 pages to “print out” all of the code behind all Google services. That would be a stack of paper 2.2 mi (3.6 km) high!
Animation: The Biggest Tech Companies by Market Cap Over 23 Years
In business, the only constant is change – and for tech companies, this is even more true. Here are the biggest tech companies over 23 years.
The business world is certainly not a static one.
In the past, we’ve shown that the market leaders in the most stable industries are unlikely to keep their leadership positions over long periods of time.
But limit your window to just the dynamic world of tech and you’ll see an even more extreme example of this inherent volatility. Sometimes companies are able to separate from the rest of the pack for days or months, but it’s never an advantage that lasts for long.
Biggest Tech Companies by Market Cap
Today’s animation was originally posted to Reddit by /r/TheNerdistRedditor and captures the crazy world of tech valuations for public companies.
Watch the intense 1 minute animation below:
Note: the data here only lists companies traded on U.S. exchanges, and does not show every single valuation point.
Over just 23 years, the company topping the list flips eight separate times – and if you were to get more granular with the numbers (looking at daily valuations, for example), you’d see it happen far more often.
Today’s Market Cap Leaders
As we noted above, company valuations are constantly changing – and back in early September 2018, both Apple and Amazon even topped the $1 trillion milestone for a short period of time.
Using the same criteria as the above animation, which is based on U.S. listed companies, here are the top 10 tech companies based on data at time of publication:
|Rank||Company||Ticker(s)||Market Cap (March 18, 2019)|
|#4||Alphabet||GOOG, GOOGL||$824 billion|
Based on March 18, 2019 data
This is not a comprehensive list globally, as it misses companies like Tencent which are listed on other exchanges such as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Based on recent HKD/USD conversion rates, it’s estimated that Tencent would be roughly worth $450 billion today – good enough for 7th on the list.
Regardless, since change is the only constant in the tech world, it’s fair to say that the above list of the biggest tech companies will likely be much different in just a few months time.
Which Countries Are Set to Attract the Highest Skilled Workers from Abroad?
The world’s most innovative companies want to get the best talent at any cost. See whether their home countries are helping or hurting their odds.
For the world’s most innovative companies, the stated goal of attracting top talent is not simply an HR mantra – it’s a matter of survival.
Whether we’re talking about a giant like Google that is constantly searching to add world-class engineers or we’re talking about a startup that needs a visionary to shape products of the future, innovative companies require access to high-skilled workers to stay ahead of their competition.
The Global Search for Talent
There’s no doubt that top companies will go out of their way to bring in highly-skilled workers, even if they must look internationally to find the best of the best.
However, part of this recruitment process is not necessarily under their control. The reality is that countries themselves have different policies that affect how easy it is to attract people, educate and develop them, and retain the best workers – and these factors can either empower or undermine talent recruitment efforts.
Today’s infographic comes from KDM Engineering, and it breaks down the top 25 countries in attracting high-skilled workers.
If attracting the best people isn’t hard enough, there is another factor that can complicate things: the best people are sometimes not found locally or even nationally.
For top companies, recruitment is a global game – and it’s partially driven by the policies of governments as well as the quality of life within their countries’ borders.
Top Countries for Attracting High-Skilled Workers
Using data from the United Nations and the Global Talent Competitive Index, here are the top 10 countries that are the best at attracting and retaining highly-skilled workers.
They are ordered by overall rank, but their sub-category ranks are also displayed:
|#3||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||#8||#11||#7||#5||8,543,120|
|#4||🇺🇸 United States||#11||#16||#2||#8||46,627,102|
The subcategory ranks are defined as follows:
- Enable: Status of regulatory and market landscapes in country
- Attract: Ability to attract companies and people with needed competencies
- Grow: Ability to offer high-quality education, apprenticeships, and training
- Retain: Indicates quality of life in country
According to the data, Switzerland (#1) and Singapore (#2) are the two best countries for attaining and keeping high-skilled workers.
While the regulatory environments in both of these countries are well-known by reputation, perhaps what’s more surprising is that Singapore scores the #1 rank in the “Attract” subcategory, while Switzerland is the #1 country for retaining talent based on quality of life.
Another data point that stands out?
The United States has a higher total migrant population (46.6 million) than all of the countries on the top 10 list combined. Not surprisingly, the massive U.S. economy also has a high ranking in the “Grow” category, which represents available opportunities to bring high-skilled workers to the next level through education and training.
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