GitHub Communications Culture and Tools

GitHub Communications Culture and Tools

Friday, 1:45pm - 2:35pm

Having a talented and compatible set of team members is a foundation to producing great work together. And yet, communication tactics and knowledge distribution tools play a more subtle but equally important role in helping everyone passionately pull towards a common goal.


In this talk, we will examine the last four years of the culture of communication at GitHub. We'll start by looking at the foundational elements, including our internal mobile and web apps, use of pull requests, and emoji. From there, we'll step towards the 2011 and 2012 hiring of remote employees across a variety of time zones, and how collaboration evolved to include shared music streams and weekly virtual gatherings to create a sense of togetherness, constantly challenged by working thousands of miles apart. As we travel through the most recent history of 2013 and 2014, we'll look at the introduction of mini-summits as a more productive alternative to all-hands-gatherings, the introduction of formal leaders, the emerging use of synchronous meetings and centralization of all formal leadership roles at the company's headquarters in San Francisco.


This review will provide you with a plethora of tools, techniques and cultural patterns that have been implemented at a rapidly growing company. Hearing how GitHub works and continues to evolve will allow you to more informedly apply, consider, and defer some of these same elements to successfully shape your own technology company.

Matthew.McCullough's picture
Matthew McCullough works for GitHub, Inc. and trains audiences around the world on the most effective use of the Git version control system and GitHub collaboration platform. In supplement to travel-based teaching, he writes books and records videos for O'Reilly and Manning on the topics of delivering technical presentations, the use of modern build and continuous integration tools, and version control industry best practices. @matthewmccull