Episode #47: Will Farrington & Mike Skalnik of Github

Episode #47: Will Farrington & Mike Skalnik of Github

Aug 29, 12 • In Featured, Interviews, Podcast

Will Farrington and Mike Skalnik, of Github, talk about being a part of one of the most widely distributed companies out there, coordinating work between teams, and give advice about successfully securing a remote working position.


Show Notes:

Twitter: @wfarr

Twitter: @skalnik

00:35 – Introduction

  • Will Farrington: System Operations @ Github
  • Mike Skalnik: Rails Developer @ Github
  • Calling in together at Github Summit in San Francisco

01:40 – Github is widely distributed all over: Korea, Australia, New Zealand, England, USA

  • ⅔ of company works remotely, full-time
  • Company paid office setups
  • Traveling is a huge part of being a part of the company

04:48 – Github Summit

  • Semi-annual week-long get-together
  • Meeting people in person

05:40 – Coordinating work

  • Everything is asynchronous
  • Loosely organized teams
  • Weekly live streaming fireside chats in Campfire

09:15 – Keeping people on the same page and adding employees

  • Put on notification blinders
  • People hired have specific focuses

11:00 – Flow of incoming information

  • Danger Room: everything non-work related
  • Internal Twitter: keep up to date on higher level things
  • Mass emails
  • Using team & individual mentions

15:14 – Planning

  • Pull requests
  • Unofficial policies
  • Rolling things out internally, staff-only first

18:09 – HUBOT

  • Deploys the site
  • Automates tasks
  • A source of fun within the company

23:50 – Frustrations working distributively

  • HR software

25:40 – FaceTime

  • Mostly during summits & conferences
  • Trust
  • Constructive criticism

30:30 – Getting into remote work

  • Seeking out companies that trust remote workers
  • User groups & conferences
  • Getting involved within the community
  • Being passionate about what you’re working on
  • Ask your favorite companies, “What would it take to work for you?”

34:30 – Advice for distributed teams

  • Make it reasonable for everyone to be able to participate
  • Communicate

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