How would you run a 30,000 person software company? #75

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icco opened this Issue Nov 8, 2011 · 6 comments

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@icco
icco commented Nov 8, 2011

I'm curious, you're a huge proponent of how github works today, but I wonder how you would scale that. For example, if you were in charge of dictating all of the engineering processes and heavily controlling the culture at Google, what would you take from GitHub, and what would you do differently?

Thanks!

@holman
Owner
holman commented Nov 8, 2011

If you haven't read it already: http://zachholman.com/posts/scaling-github-employees/

I'm not sure what I'd do with 30,000 employees (other than quitting). Things will work well for us up to a point at GitHub, and when things change we'll adapt as we go. Until then, I'd just be making wild guesses. :)

@holman holman closed this Nov 8, 2011
@icco
icco commented Nov 8, 2011

I'm kind of curious what those wild guesses would be. I have read the article, and it is part of what inspired my question.

In a company the size of GitHub, I imagine that despite your separation of product, you still have a constant culture. I wonder if you would go the Amazon route, where every product is a separate company. Or would you push more towards Google where everyone is part of the same company with lots of small groups working to create the next thing.

@holman
Owner
holman commented Nov 8, 2011

I think we'd probably silo off, more towards Amazon's way of doing things. Take a given area and just own it.

Part of the problem is that with tens of thousands of people, you (probably) have to have a rigid organizational hierarchy, at some level, and since we shun that completely it's a little hard to anticipate which direction we'd head to address that.

@icco
icco commented Nov 8, 2011

Fair enough, that makes sense.

Part of the reason I asked is because I was part of a six person company that was acquired by Google, and lately have been thinking a lot about how companies grow over time.

Anyways, thanks for the response!

@holman
Owner
holman commented Nov 8, 2011

Good luck with that, and congrats! :)

@mojombo
mojombo commented Nov 8, 2011

You should check out how Gore works, here are some books and articles:

http://www.gore.com/en_xx/aboutus/reading/index.html

And also read about how SemCo operates in the books "Maverick" and "The Seven Day Weekend" by Ricardo Semler. They are both huge companies that do things differently and share a lot of our cultural views.

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