Last week we shipped image attachments on GitHub issues, a feature that I’ve personally wanted for a long time. We worked on it for just over six weeks and shipped over 25 pull requests before turning it loose for everyone to use.
Living with a feature for a few weeks is the best way to fine-tune it before pushing it live. And by the time we did release it to the world, the pull request was just a single line of code. We knew it worked great, we just had to turn it on.
But the real story is how we ship things fast without any formal coordination. Attachments started when Kyle asked, “Who wants to help me make this a reality today?” in the chat room, with a link to Jason’s pull request sketching out the drag-and-drop user interaction design. It didn’t take long for a flurry of new pull requests to open and ship into production.
Looking back through our GitHub issues, more than a dozen people hacked on this one small feature before its release.
We don’t have managers at GitHub and we don’t tell each other what to work on. Just asking for help is enough. Invite someone to hack on something with you. You’ll be surprised by the response you get.
- David Graham
14 Dec 2012