Sharding & IDs at Instagram (2012)

Back in 2012, Instagram Engineering wrote about sharding & IDs. I re-read it yesterday and this particular requirement for their ID generation system still stands out:

The system should introduce as few new ‘moving parts’ as possible—a large part of how we’ve been able to scale Instagram with very few engineers is by choosing simple, easy-to-understand solutions that we trust.

“Simple, easy-to-understand solutions that we trust.” Their solution skipped fancier alternatives for something that worked. Remember: you’re paid to write code that works.