This article is light on details, hard to tell if it’s even true but I was surprised that GitHub has 500+ employees. Does anyone know why?
I’d expect a service like GitHub to run on 30 - 40 people in engineering. A dozen or two in Sales, and a half dozen in HR. That’s less than 100. Add in Atom and you’ve got 120 or so? I’m just not sure what GitHub does that requires so many people and so much money. I don’t even really see good features coming out of GitHub. PR’s are still pretty trashy, wiki and issues look about the same to me as they did 4 years ago. The URL to clone has moved a few times, back to where it was 5 years ago, though.
Obviously it is case that needs more facts but my guess is that increase in head count is seen as growth in some metrics. GitHub took money and an easy hit for showing growth to investors is: “hey look… We hired all these people… We are growing to meet the milestones we had laid out in the roadmap”.
That sounds pretty naive. Five hundred sounds just fine to me.
First off, 30-40 in engineering seems pretty low. Besides the website and its back end they have the enterprise version, and a lot of stand alone tools like GitHub Desktop for Windows, the app for OSX, a mobile app, and the Visual Studio plugin. As you pointed out, they have a lot to improve, so I’m sure they’ve spent some of that investor money on developers.
And unless upper management is incompetent they have a lot more than two dozen sales people. Just in the United States there are thousands of potential GitHub Enterprise customers, and before signing up they’ll all want to spend a bunch of time talking about features, compare it to competitors, demo it, talk about pricing, etc. It’s a lot of work selling to enterprises.
Besides that, you’re missing a bunch of important groups, like finance, legal, and support (probably pretty big with millions of users).
Does that explain another 300+ people? Maybe. I’m not sure. Feels large and fat to me, especially with a “flat” org. But who knows, I’m generally biased towards thinking companies should be leaner.
I kinda hope this article just sloughs away, but in the event that it doesn’t…
The basic question is not “What would it take to run Github?” The question is, “Well, having taken in all this funding, how can we scale the business to get a good exit?” By moving into the enterprise space, and hiring to push those sales, Github will follow a more traditional trajectory–with more predicatable ROI.
One wonders if, for example, the whole thing could’ve been bootstrapped or done with minimal outside investment; then again, it’s hard to say no to millions in funding.
Some of the comments by “top GitHub Diversity People” are just downright funny in their confusion. Here are some samples from the article:
You don’t get to “diversity” by focusing on disenfranchising people based on their race (or race/gender-combo). Diversity is not just an expression of your race or gender. Diversity is, fundamentally, a mixture of beliefs. Culture is just one set of beliefs, and beliefs do not have a skin color or genitalia (although they do tend to cluster around physical attributes like that).
If you focus on simply the physical attributes, you might impact diversity a bit, but in the end you are still perpetuating the same old problem: racism and sexism. The magnitude is the same, the only difference is the direction.
What was it MLK said? Oh right:
“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” - Martin Luther King, Jr
[Comment from banned user removed]
I downvoted you because you expressed an opinion. We can’t have an argument that it sickens you–that’s for you to decide.
If you were to make a more normative statement, such as “Github is engaging in racism and sexism in harmful ways” or “Github should not be attempting reverse racism”, or even the tamer “Github is probably ruining their business internals”, then we would have something to discuss.
As it is, your statement just reads as, at best, an opinion (which isn’t worth discussing in and of itself), and at worst, as pearl-clutching.
I’m not sure how your comment relates to the story. The story mentioned two people at github who are apparently working to eliminate racism. Are you saying that Sanchez and Campos are making github more oppressive or that the quitting employees are racist or …? Without more context, it’s just unproductive raging.
Ok, that’s much more clear and I can even agree. I didn’t know Campos was at github, but having interacted with him a few times on HN, I got the impression he sees white oppressors everywhere. I don’t think I would enjoy working with him. It’s hard to be productive in an environment where you’re looked at as something to be damage controlled.