I started a new job midweek this week at GitHub, managing their Ruby Architecture team. I love the team’s mission:

Making it easy for our engineers to create, deliver, and operate best-of-class Ruby and Rails applications, and sharing the best of it with the world.

I also took about 2.5 weeks in between leaving Code for America and starting this job, so I’m feeling fresh and ready for several weeks of official onboarding, and several months of growing into the role.

Something I learned

GitHub is heavily into written documentation. “If it doesn’t have a URL, it didn’t happen.”. And not just cross-referencing, but emoting and emoji-ing, and being, well, extra. Writing and communication has been reinforced a lot during onboarding, more even than the content itself. Which makes sense: if you understand how the organization communicates, you can seek answers independently.

Something I was inspired by

Despite formal onboarding being my number one focus, I’ve been having casual 1:1s with my team. They’re great! I’ve been inspired by the nuance and understanding they bring to the work. On its own, being a service team is hard, and corporate open source is hard. I’ve found myself heavily nodding along hearing them discuss the challenges of moving people forward. It’s brought to surface a few thoughts and memories:

  • Of being a frontend lead at Pantheon and the challenges of getting platform-team resources to build up to the outcome and vision we all agreed on, but that had some uncomfortable zigs and zags to get there. A case of make the change easy (which can be hard), then make the easy change.
  • My falling out of the Drupal ecosystem as it developed more in line with the needs of full-service agencies than of solo devs and configurers like myself. As one of my colleagues admitted this week, our developers aren’t running “rails new” a whole lot and that’s something to be mindful of how it shapes the contributions.
  • “If you’re leading and no one is following, you’re just out for a walk.”