Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated November 11, 2020

What is Y2K?

Y2K is short for the term "year 2000."

How Does Y2K Work?

In the business world, Y2K (also called the millennium bug) was a problem that plagued computer systems around the world. Prior to the year 2000, most software code included years as two-digit codes (for example, "97" instead of "1997"). Realizing that the advent of the year 2000 would cause computers to see the year as "00" and likely crash, a dull roar of panic ensued during the late 1990s as companies scrambled to review and rewrite the affected code.

Why Does Y2K Matter?

Y2K is a lesson in the importance of technology and IT in the business world. Although there were few incidents on January 1, 2000, the technology industry made billions in consulting and coding work in the effort to avoid catastrophe, and the general public became aware of just how connected everyday things -- from electric companies and streetlights to airplanes and bank accounts -- are to computers.

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