When LinkedIn went public in 2011, its computing systems and code infrastructure were a shambles, but that has changed since an overhaul that venture capitalist Mike Abbott likens to "doing open heart surgery on a runner while he's sprinting a marathon." The changes may give the network an edge over its rivals, Ashlee Vance writes, noting that while Google and Facebook refresh their code a few times a week, LinkedIn usually updates three times a day.

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