I’m a Hubber!

In my last post, I wrote a bit about my time at Khan Academy and now I come to what’s next! I’ve joined GitHub as a staff software engineer in the new open source program office (OSPO) team within Communities.

When thinking about what I wanted to do next, one thing I came to realize is that I wanted to do more hands-on development work after a few years of working mostly at a higher level. This is a change I would have made at Khan Academy had I stayed.

I was also attracted to a return to developer-facing product work. It can be fun and energizing to work on something that you yourself use regularly, and it was this aspect that made me look at what GitHub had to offer. In recent years, I’ve been impressed by how GitHub has evolved and keeps finding more ways to make developers’ lives easier.

I also have a lot of open source experience. I released my first open source project (a blogging package for Zope) in 1999. Releasing in those days was nothing more than putting a tarball on my website and posting to the right mailing lists and newsgroups.

My first serious experience as an open source maintainer came in 2005 when I released TurboGears. That release involved setting up my own Subversion and Trac servers, creating a Googlegroup for discussions, and recording a screencast for the marketing website. Running a busy open source project in 2005 involved a lot of friction.

Git and, moreso, GitHub reduced the friction a lot. When I was at Mozilla, we had access to a lot of infrastructure (with people to run it), so GitHub hadn’t generally caught on there during my tenure. But when I joined the Brackets team at Adobe, I had a solid appreciation for the amount of friction GitHub had removed for open source maintainers.

Something I helped with at Khan Academy was establishing our guidance and process for releasing open source. This is one of the things an OSPO is concerned with: How folks in an organization can release, maintain, and contribute to open source productively.

With my desire to return to more hands-on development on dev-facing product and a long-standing interest in and love for open source, the OSPO team at GitHub looked like a perfect match and I’m really excited to have joined the team!