ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Check out this week’s content highlights, then listen to our interview with Chris Wanstrath, founder of GitHub, the popular web-based hosting service for projects that use the Git revision control system. Chris talks about creating GitHub, about the user-based, collaborative interface that GitHub employs, and about his love for neo-classical heavy metal music.
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TRANSCRIPT

00:00:02this is the developerworks podcast I'm Scott landing him Chris one straw founder of dgit hub is here today to talk about the popular web based hosting service for projects that use the get revision control system but first John Swanson is here with what's new from his developer works
00:00:18newsletters editor view point eight John eight got tired thanks not too bad not too bad we're celebrating a absolutely we had that great news about the ground swell of ward and now drum roll we get another when we got to the age of my partners small and medium
00:00:37business social media marketing awards the SMB marketing awards and %HESITATION they recognize just a couple weeks after the Forster words a %HESITATION they recognized developer works for community development we got the the best in class accolade for community development and the you know yet another sign that %HESITATION
00:00:57our our efforts with my developerworks are paying off so all that we're pulling together individuals and profiles and giving them opportunities to blog and interact around all this content is it actually means something that's nice to know isn't absolutely absolutely we've got we we do have a one
00:01:14of a kind resource and and and that now it's not just a say in it it's it's not just our marketing team saying that it's it's the the big world out there saying Hey this is pretty cool let's check this out we're focusing on it in the newsletter
00:01:27and %HESITATION you've got an interview coming up related to this I think exactly tomorrow I get to speak with two or three individuals from a in my research who are part of the award a process and they're going to talk to us about why developer works one and
00:01:43what a in my research was doing with his whole contests so that'll be cool to get some more information on what's going on with all this in the little get a little deeper into it to be a great conversation and and of course if you did the the
00:01:55great interview with Josh burn off after the Forrester awards %HESITATION he had a nice little set there thank you and Josh was a great interview Josh burn off by the way senior vice president of idea development at Forrester research and author of a number of interesting books and
00:02:11we talk both about the two thousand ten ground swell award for developerworks in the business to business supporting category and also in a general sense about social technologies how they're changing business how to use them effectively and interestingly what it all means to the IT professional he had
00:02:28some interesting things to say there too so you can find that podcast in my blog on the developerworks podcast page and in our I tunes channel John also wanted to say glad to be back here with you I missed you the last couple of weeks with schedules that
00:02:42didn't match up but %HESITATION always appreciate you contributing here welcome back and I'm here for you John Swanson develop works newsletters editor also knew undeveloped works this week from the open source zone introduction to android development using a clips and android widgets to from XML enhance application security
00:03:01with sandboxes application signing and permissions and building web applications with Y. Q. L. and PHP part one use PHP and why he will to retrieve and combine data from multiple web services from Lennix network file systems and Lin X. from A. I. X. A. I. X. networking learning
00:03:20the basics from WebSphere the new WebSphere technical journal issue that just came out and from cloud computing solve cloud related big data problems with MapReduce all that and more and IBM dot com slash develop works I'm joined now by Chris one straw founder get hub a popular web
00:03:39based hosting service for projects that used to get revision control system Chris welcome to the broadcast thanks going to be here wanted to kick this off with some words about what impelled you to create get hub you're you're a young entrepreneur you know at a time when there
00:03:55are a number of early starters like you that are doing amazing things talk about this experience for you sure we didn't really set out to started as a business Tom Preston Werner and I times one of the other cofounders of get up working on open source software together
00:04:10and this is right wing get was getting to be sort of popular it started I believe in two thousand five and around two thousand seven was getting on momentum it had become a bit more polished a little bit easier to use some more more developers are checking it
00:04:22out including us and we wanted to work on open source software together using get and really take advantage of the distributed nature of get and that it just wasn't really easy to do for us in two thousand seven there were a couple hosting sites out there but they
00:04:36sort of had the classical single point of project based outlook on the world such as %HESITATION source forge and such like that so there were some get based sites but they had the source forge model of every repositories its own project it to tell the world what we
00:04:51wanted was a way to sort of contribute patches and ideas and send code to one another using distributed version control strengths which are copies of repositories living everywhere I and it took us awhile to figure out what that really meant but what it meant was that the name
00:05:07space on get hub is your username or your organization named not your project name and what that means is that if I have a project and you would contribute to it you can make your own copy of it you can forget and you can create patches are code
00:05:20or make changes right to your copy of it and I can review those and pull them in later so really on get hub and I think in the survey diverge control in general it's more about the people and organizations working on code than it is about the projects
00:05:31themselves and we we've kind of felt that and we had that idea and there was nothing out there which really did that and so we started working on get help in our free time so it sounds like certainly that social if we want to use that term social
00:05:44media aspect of get hub is a key differentiator for it beyond the direct focus on get what what are some of the other things that you would say to somebody that says how does it differ from source forge I think that well one thing is our our business
00:05:58model that we eventually landed upon source for H. as everyone knows does a lot of downloads so you get to the site often from a Google search or something like that and you download a piece of software on source forge and what you see their ads advertisements so
00:06:13their business model is adjuvant which means the customer's advertisers so our business model is private repositories so if you're hosting private code that costs money open source code is free so our customers are developers and I think that is been a driving difference for us since day one
00:06:28is that if we want to survive as a business we have to give developers really awesome tools to develop and that's what I think is one of the big things get hot days are collaborative development features like our poor class army which he says documentation system which is
00:06:42get back to things like that are the things that make it a really awesome I think in a lot of that is social are poor class which is our former code review is all about streamlining the way you work with other people and I think those are really
00:06:52get have strings so Chris exploring that just a little bit more do you feel reflecting back that you guys were simply thinking about you know utilizing the strengths of get and in the way that you provided %HESITATION interaction around information here and presented it or were you actually
00:07:08also influenced by your use of social media social networking sites in this room maybe not it wasn't our focus our focus was on a place to host get repositories where you could do this sort of forking and clever development once that was in place once we had those
00:07:25basics up and running I think that we saw all that okay well now what we really have is a website where there's all these projects and when you log in what do you see in most social media sites is it's a dashboard aggregating all the content and all
00:07:39the activity going on the site so we said okay let's just have an activity stream right when you log in it shows you what's going on your projects any commissioner made to them and %HESITATION we could make it more interesting by saying okay you can follow other developers
00:07:52and see what projects they're watching so if you're following someone who's at the game developer like John recipe you can see what sort of jealousy script projects he's interested in by watching what he watches when the event is %HESITATION generate there for a repository subscribes to and naturally
00:08:06I think we're a lot of the social stuff started to creep in is when we had this dashboard this way of showing events it became really easy to say okay let's make an event for that let's say someone opening comment over here well you're following a person or
00:08:17you're watching that repository let's make sure that an event gets into your dashboard so you can see what's going on and then jump in and participate in the conversation if you want to which is really what the dashboard is about is helping you find places to participate so
00:08:29in a way this is part of the result of a of a larger trend and mind shift you might say that's going on with social media just in the way information is is tracked and shared an identified and present it didn't right I think so I think one
00:08:44of the unique things like get help as you have so many cool projects that are really worth looking at worth using in the same place and so the features where they might not make a lot of sense when there's not a lot of activity going on they become
00:08:55really useful and all the social aspect really becomes apparent when you have a lot of people using the site and a lot of projects on the site it was empty they would be very useful it just be noise and in fact sometimes it's almost too many events in
00:09:08too much stuff going on but that's really what it's about is all the people doing all these interesting things and our challenge is sort of helping you navigate through that and showing you the things that are interesting do you feel like the this approach has impacted the types
00:09:21and quality of collaboration that you see going on I mean clearly it's a different kind of view than any other type that we've talked about here may be the source forge view but do you have a sense of that I mean like wow it's causing these types of
00:09:35things that happened that we wouldn't have seen otherwise I like to think that yes absolutely in every case it's true I think what what the reality is people are different and for some people to get a model of collaboration really it really clicked for them and they're really
00:09:50interested in it and a lot of these people maybe hadn't hadn't contributed to any open source or any software before so what's happening I think is we're not necessarily changing people's minds maybe that's happening and in some cases a lot of people who never contributed to anything before
00:10:05ever now they see all works like this and not make sense to me I want to do it that way it looks very easy now also contributing to projects so we see a lot of people who are who have their first four to the first piece of code
00:10:16get accepted into a separate project the first time collaborating with another individual their first time open sourcing anything we see a lot of that happening right on get hub let's take a little turn here and talk about just in a general sense Chris your love for open source
00:10:29programming I mean we are open source is certainly a big content %HESITATION focus on developerworks and loved to hear different people's perspective on why it means what it does to them our sure I I've been a open source developer I started on source forge don't know eight years
00:10:46ago or something doing open source development and I've always been a big fan of it just because it's not even necessarily the philosophical implications but really just being able to meet people that are strangers to you people that you wouldn't necessarily have the opportunity otherwise and work with
00:11:00them on a project you know with the internet you're not bound to any sort of geographical limitations which we all know and with programming you're doing it all on your computer so we're in a pretty unique situation we can take full advantage of the internet for me people
00:11:15and working directly with other people and I think that's what's really exciting about open source you can find people who are interested in the exact thing you're interested in no matter where they live and you can work on that project together and you can learn something they can
00:11:26learn something you can make something better together and it can be like I said someone was a complete stranger a couple minutes ago now so that part of it is is really appealing to me just the chance to work with people that are like minded that you might
00:11:36not be introduced you otherwise and then I do a lot of really great friendships based on open source software identity and that Tom Preston Werner one of the phone companies get hub because of open source software so I think it's really powerful out from a social perspective and
00:11:49it's usually pretty great suffer anyway because no one is usually super invested in the success of an open source project for some reason other than the project being successful and that makes sense in other words I would such projects get successful because they're good not because they're somehow
00:12:05entitled or forced to become successful if they're not good they just don't work out and we can move on to something more interesting yeah I mean open source something it's it's clearly at home maybe more than anything we know of that is clearly at home with that web
00:12:19based experience with virtual teaming and all that and speaking of that what what about get hub about how you guys work together something cool you can share there the %HESITATION the office forget it on the official office is our campfire room can't fire is a %HESITATION higher see
00:12:35like product from thirty seven signals that has some some cool features like embedded video embedded %HESITATION images in it but it tastes you can really easily dog on the same page and talk to people and also has history you can catch up and see the war saying while
00:12:48you're gone so we all rally around the campfire room and for the first couple years again how we didn't have a physical office at all so people work at cafe sometimes together sometimes alone and we would all sort of be on the same page and watch what's going
00:12:59on with the development of the site and issues through our campfire room and that's still that's still true today we have an office now into every Cisco and %HESITATION you know I'm actually the only person in it right now and it's %HESITATION you know one PM on a
00:13:12Thursday but it doesn't matter because people are working and things are getting done and we can all stay on the same page thanks to you know get hot but also campfire I know you guys are headquartered in San Francisco but how widespread is your team where most of
00:13:24us are some Cisco we have one person in Colorado and one person in Australia very cool Chris what about some of your other personal interests I know you're a musician what kind of stuffy into I'm definitely music I'm like I play guitar for awhile since I was a
00:13:37kid I'm very into %HESITATION it to heavy metal both stuff from the eighties and the late seventies and modern stuff kind of like %HESITATION most recently losing some newer bands such as on earth has been my band of the week just you know really blatantly heavy metal but
00:13:53it's good because it's a there's a type of medical neo classical which is really complicated stuff as far as musical theory and technical ability goes some also not pretty interested in classical music and I got into classical music through metal by learning that there's this whole world of
00:14:10sort of music theory going on in all these things going on behind the scenes you don't really know about just by listening with your ear and it's all very very interesting and a lot of it's kind of similar to programming or at least you know there's there's layers
00:14:21of meaning going on in the layers are enriched by what layers underneath and stuff like that is a super interesting to me yeah in a lot of time playing music and and listening to music that's cool I met so many developers that are musicians and I've always wondered
00:14:35about the connection between the two if it's something about the science and art of music that resonates also with with programming itself do you meet a lot of musicians that are programmers as well I do I have to wonder if there are just a whole lot of musicians
00:14:50in the world in general out I definitely because I don't know the difference there but I I I mean a lot of programmers and a lot of them are are absolutely musicians but we were we were talking earlier I think the the main thing that learning instrument and
00:15:02learning programming have in common is that both ways to procrastinate doing actual school work so it may just be that well that that definitely was true about me staying up too late plan and and you know not making it to that eight o'clock class that's for sure you
00:15:18also travel to a lot of conferences and speak a lot what's that experience like for you to enjoy that you get some special out of there you just want to get home as fast as possible it's %HESITATION into both it's a I like I would really like I
00:15:29say I was really like meeting new people and with open source you get one side of that but it's a whole other sites it to meet people in person %HESITATION especially people you had a relationship with online or people you mean for the first time in either you
00:15:41know them by reputation or they've heard about something you've done that's that's always really exciting and sort of gave me a lot of energy I'm traveling as you know getting worse by the day as an experience so that's that's that's one thing but it's it's really great to
00:15:53meet people especially in their hometown because you know you can you can go to %HESITATION conference in the middle of Indiana and just have an amazing time hanging out with these locals that you probably would have had if you'd gone by yourself and try to figure out what
00:16:05to do on the internet one not so meeting people in their hometown is definitely an awesome way to travel and see the world Chris one straw founder of get hurt Chris hope I run into you one of these conferences some time thanks for doing this man absolutely thank
00:16:18you visit get habit G. I. T. H. U. B. dot com get hub dot com this is been the developer works podcast I'm Scott landing him talk to you next time

Transcribed by algorithms. Report Errata

ABOUT THIS PODCAST

developerWorks podcasts feature interviews with IBM technical experts on
today's vital software development issues. developerWorks podcasts are part of the
developerWorks community, where developers come to learn and share knowledge about IBM
middleware tools and open standards technologies.
English
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420 episodes
since Sep, 2007
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