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You need more people to manage 1,000 servers than you do for managing just 10. Sure, you can automate processes, but as automation becomes more sophisticated it takes more time and resources to build and maintain. So, yes, the number of devs does not grow linearly with the number of servers, but maybe it grows logarithmically, or even slower. But it does grow.

Note they are looking for developers, not sysadmins.

Yes, 1000 servers translates to roughly 40 racks and you'd better have a team of sysadmins to babysit them.

Imho that doesn't have much to do with hiring 40 perl developers in one fellow swoop, though.

They are also looking for DBAs if your skills lean that way.

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