Post Image
Hack To Start
Episode 16

Zach Holman

Created the okay parts of GitHub Inc.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Zach initially worked on what would become GitHub Enterprise and now mostly speaks on the subjects of building products, growing startups, and how to give talks.

Episode Overview

Zach is the ninth employee at GitHub and the founder of speaking.io. He talks about open source projects, building useful products, and how to speak effectively in public.

Zach initially worked on what would become GitHub Enterprise and now mostly speaks on the subjects of building products, growing startups, and how to give great talks.


Some Of The Questions We Ask

0:55
Where are you from, what did you study and how did your passion for entrepreneurship start?

1:39
You were one of the first engineering hires at GitHub in 2010 (#9 to be specific, but who’s counting anymore?), working on what would become Github for Enterprise. What is Github? Why did you decide to work there?

2:40
What is a regular day there like for you?

4:58
You’ve mentioned on your site that Github encourages it’s employees to give talks (“Somewhere between a third and a half of GitHub's 240 employees gave a talk in 2013”)? Why?

8:35
You also built the site: speaking.io - and it’s an amazing resource. Why did you decide to put this together? What are the most common challenges (you’re found) in creating talks?

11:00
One of the most recent examples of this is from a recent closing keynote at the Future of Web Apps in London, entitled “Move Fast & Break Nothing”. How do you balance code, process & Communication to ship “perfect” products?

14:00
How to go from “Hack” to “Popular Project” with open source code? Can you share some of your insights and experiences on doing this?

17:08
“Don’t Give Your Users Shit Work”. What do you mean by this? And how can you create a product that avoids doing this?

20:08
What devices, apps, tools, or books are you obsessed with right now?


What You Learn In This Episode

  • Why attending conferences is important.
  • How to design slides, especially if you aren't a designer.
  • Some keys to making a popular open-source project.
  • Why you shouldn't give your users shit work - and strive to build a more valuable product.
  • Why you need to have 1 thing in your life that challenges you.
  • And more!

Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Zach on Twitter
GitHub on the Twitter
GitHub on the Web
Speaking.io on the Web
Move Fast And Break Nothing
From Hack To Popular Project
Don't Give Your Users Shit Work
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Books & Apps

GoPro
FinalCut

We make Hack To Start for you!

Subscribe to our email newsletter to know when we launch new episodes, behind-the-scenes content and more goodies to help you launch, build, and grow your thing.