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Scaling Happiness

Ted Nyman
January 31, 2013

Scaling Happiness

Why is GitHub structured the way it is?

Ted Nyman

January 31, 2013
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  1. scaling
    happiness
    Ted Nyman
    Engineer at GitHub
    @tnm

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  2. Most working
    life is
    inauthentic

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  3. Hierarchy
    creates
    inauthentic
    relationships

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  4. Without authenticity
    we become alienated
    “Work is a kind of vacuum, an
    emptiness, where I just switch
    off everything except the scant
    intelligence necessary to keep
    me going.”

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  5. Perks are weak
    substitutes for
    an authentic
    working life

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  6. Plato on Love

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  7. Plato was Wrong

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  8. I’ll never quit
    because X perk
    is just so good


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  9. A better X will
    appear, and
    they are gone

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  10. You can’t truly make
    people happy with
    bread and circuses
    “How little our careers express
    what lies in us, and yet how
    much time they take up”

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  11. You can’t build
    culture with words
    “How little our careers express
    what lies in us, and yet how
    much time they take up”

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  12. Token ‘freedom
    gestures’ are just not
    enough
    “How little our careers express
    what lies in us, and yet how
    much time they take up”

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  13. The real way is
    organizational
    structure

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  14. The lack of formal
    managers creates
    GitHub’s working
    culture

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  15. Cultural and
    technological
    adaptations grow
    naturally from this

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  16. Create the structure
    and let the culture
    form. The culture
    then reinforces the
    structure.

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  17. Earthly
    software
    craft
    paradise

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  18. Nothing
    Actually
    Scales

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  19. Here’s what we
    actually do

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  20. Accept
    awkwardness

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  21. Embrace
    disorder

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  22. Let ‘teams’
    form naturally

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  23. Propagate
    culture
    bottom-up

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  24. Technology
    creates order
    when needed

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  25. You can’t make
    anyone do
    anything

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  26. Consistency
    comes from
    libraries

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  27. You have to
    accept
    mistakes

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  28. Authenticity
    and autonomy
    are priceless

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  29. MOST
    IMPORTANT
    (META)
    QUESTION

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  30. Who sets these
    ‘policies’?

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  31. Everyone
    Culture

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  32. Everyone
    Culture
    Structure

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