Profile: GitHub


GitHub is used by an enormous variety of hackers, including us, so we wanted to learn more about its origins

Organizational Details

  • GitHub is a Corporation Registered in the State of Delaware
  • GitHub was founded, April 10th, 2008
  • GitHub's Founding Fathers:
    • Tom Preston-Werner
    • Chris Wanstrath
    • PJ Hyett
  • All of the original founders are still active with the exception of Tom Preston-Werner.
  • GitHub is a private corporation and isn't publically traded
  • GitHub has acquired the following companies:
    • Easel - In Browser Web Design Tool Built for Collaboration
    • Ordered List - Gauges, Speaker Deck, Harmony
  • GitHub hasn't invested in any other companies
  • Interestingly enough the first investment in GitHub was for $100M
  • GitHub has 267 employees, some of which work at their HQ: 88 Colin P Kelly Jr St (at Brannan St), San Francisco, CA 94107, United States


Social media for GitHub

Communications channels for GitHub

GitHub Conference Participation

  • GitHub hosts “GitHub Universe” which is their own conference about working on open source projects as well as gathering tons of people working in open source. (
  • GitHub also hosts “CodeConf” a two day conference about open source, best practices, documentation, and collaboration. (
  • GitHub also attends several other conferences including GDC. (

Community Architecture

Github and Government

  • Github and Government is a website dedicated to sharing open government efforts that involve Github
  • Started January 20, 2013, most recent commit March 5, 2015
  • Two people (benbalter and jlord) accept all of the pull requests
  • benbalter and jlord seem to be the only two maintainers (BDFLs)
  • The original developers have remained with the project the entire time.
  • Development has been active throughout its lifetime
  • The project would continue fine if one of the two main devs were eaten by a velociraptor
  • No onboarding, since most of it is adding information instead of code
  • Ruled by a pair of individuals who try to make sure data is complete and accurate
  • Is this the kind of structure you would enjoy working in? Why, or why not?
  • This structure is well-suited for this project, but maybe not for a code-based project


The Technology Behind GitHub

GitHub is powered completely by Git, a distributed source control system.

  • Git was originally started by Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel.
  • Git was initially started to track the Linux kernel and was then used by other projects.
  • Lots of people interested in working on the same set of files or tracking changes in files could potentially use Git.

GitHub Using Git

  • Created to be a highly distributed SCM, GitHub based their entire product on using Git.
  • GitHub now uses git as the tool it uses to track most of their repos and interface with GitHub.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Git existed before GitHub. GitHub created a nice visual front end and a great central area for code repos.