I totally agree with that vision and I'm very glad to have Zach join. He is an amazing advocate for developers and I feel honored that he joined us.
More information about Zach Holman https://zachholman.com/about
Of course, maybe that's exactly why the let him go. Regardless, I'm looking forward to seeing him do the same for GitLab. (Minus the firing.)
I had been talking to various officials in leadership for a few months
hammering out the details and had been under the impression that we had
reached an agreement, but I was surprised to find out that wasn’t the case.
I was informed 28 hours before my 90 day window closed that the agreement I
had thought I had didn’t exist; it was then that I realized I had 28 hours
to either come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars that I didn’t have
to save half of my stock, or I could sign the agreement as-is and avoid
losing half of my already-diminished stake. I opted to sign.
But I still haven’t found the next thing I’m really interested in, which
just feeds into the whole cycle some more. For better or worse, that’ll be
changing pretty quickly, since I’m pretty broke after working part-time and
living in San Francisco for so long. Even though I helped move a company’s
valuation almost two billion dollars, I haven’t made a dime from the company
outside of making a pretty below-to-average salary. That’s after six years.
Think on that, kids, when you’re busting your ass day and night to strike it
rich with your startup dreams.
Those options are worth a lot less than you think they are. One of the wonders of cash is it's very hard for companies to retroactively steal it back.
If you're going to a company that gives options, demand either an 83b or iso to nso flip / 10 year exercise window.
What you actually need to ask for in this case is RSUs (vs options). The 83b election is something you independently file with the IRS. (you may need a letter from the company for proof, but they'll have drafts of those already that they've used for the founders -- speaking from experience as the person who set this up for our company)
However, RSUs only make sense in the seed stage. Past A round, the 10 year exercise window or an early exercise clause of ISOs into RSUs might make sense depending on the numbers, but likely not.
"Which one is better" depends on many factors including stage of company, risk tolerance of individual, legal precedence, marginal tax rates, outside wealth, etc.
But if you have 10 year exercise periods, that accomplishes the same thing for the employer's perspective. The difference them becomes the tradeoff for the employee between optionality and a possibly lower tax rate.
Even though I helped move a company’s valuation almost two billion dollars, I haven’t made a dime from the company outside of making a pretty below-to-average salary. That’s after six years.
Can anyone unpack this statement a bit more? What is "already diminished stake" in reference to? Is this saying that Github made some kind of offer that would let him keep half his vested options without putting any money up, like converting them to NSOs or something?
I'd really like to understand how companies handle exits like this. Certainly it's a valid perspective that employees are entitled to 100% of their vested options. But, devil's advocate: There is also the counterpoint that pre-IPO valuations are very high and based on special terms given to private investors, so maybe there is a rationale to negotiating a discount on pre-IPO exits.
I would like to understand if Github acted out of good faith here to any degree, i.e. where they were not contractually obligated to.
I also understand Holman noted he hasn't "made a dime" from the company outside his salary, which would be completely f'd up. But it's unclear to me whether that's merely in reference to liquidity or if he actually walked away with no stock. It sounds like he did walk away with some stock as a result of a negotiated agreement with Github.
Given that GitLab and GitHub have similarities in terms of the technologies used(RoR, git, fileservers, cache systems for git metadata), Zach could bring a lot to the table on the technical side. Could sytse or holman clarify if Zach will also get invloved with the engineering department as well?
I really enjoy the blog posts on GitLab, but some posts tend to be light on technical details such as this. Regarding the mentioned post, it would be great if you can provide more details about the exact server specifications, the amount of traffic you recieve, the size and variety of the hosted repos, basically more of the numbers. One of the things that interests me is how GitLab scales and I hope you continue posting updates about the work you do to scale GitLab.
About 1MM projects, >.5MM users. Repos range from smallest to 45GB (although we have a limit of 10GB). I have no quick data on languages, but I'm sure we'll blog about it some time.
Runs on Azure. Last I remember in total we have >100 servers, maybe half of which run GitLab.com. I've asked my colleagues for further detail and will update here.
Also, gitlabs needs to start sending out more stickers like github. I want some.
edit: Congrats to Zach Holman & Gitlab team!
GitLab installations on-premises should be fast already. But the nice thing is they are also benefitting from the improvements we're making for .com
As of the latest Gitlab (8.8.1), my "this breaks Gitlab" commit of the Linux Kernel sources (https://gitlab.com/nrclark/dummy_project/commit/81ebdea5df2f...) still breaks Gitlab.
Can we get some smarter diff handling on the roadmap? Please? There was a fix deployed a couple of releases ago, but the behavior is still pretty broken. :(
As for my browser, I'm on the latest Firefox on Fedora 23. Something interesting - I think it's related to some kind of internal cache on Gitlab's side. Could I maybe get you to try loading the same page in a few hours and see what it does for you then?
We cannot know for sure whether it has anything to do with his firing (and he doesn't mention it in the writeup), but Julie Ann Horvath did accuse Zach of harassing her at GitHub.
Regardless of what happened or didn't happen, his close association with her probably didn't help anything.
"complicit in the actions of both Tom and Theresa Preston-Werner and even admitted to plotting with Theresa Preston-Werner to get women at the company fired. He should be let go from GitHub and I regret being kind to him in previous interviews"
Again, unsubstantiated, but if for example he was just mean but not harassing, that could explain the firing (while Github claiming no harassment occurred).
It's a really tight knit subculture with its own rules and a vicious ingroup/outgroup attitude.
Like goths or old school hippies, they have a distinct way of dressing and signalling to each other that they belong: purple or pink hair, Twitter profiles that specify "he/him" or "she/her" even when it's obvious, using words like "mansplaining", etc
Outrage culture is a kind of conspiracy theory: people who are into it see oppression and harassment everywhere, and cast themselves as victims.
Here's a great explanation of the history and ideology of outrage culture: https://youtube.com/watch?v=cYpELqKZ02Q
Github has been taken over by outrage culture. Check out this insane story from earlier this year: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11049067
* Leaked internal HR slides talking about how "white women" are often "part of the problem"
* An employee casually mentioning to BusinessWeek that "it's hard to even interview white people"
* One Github executive sending this flagrantly illegal tweet: http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/56b3d2f12e526555008...
Imagine the instant EEOC investigation if that tweet said "black, male" instead of "white, male".
Anyway, Zach Holman is also a white male. I don't want to speculate on exactly what went down, but the circumstantial evidence is pretty strong that he was railroaded out of the company in the wake of the Julie Hovarth scandal.
I don't in any way defend the most visible opponents of outrage culture -- rank bigots like r/RedPill, Trump enthusiasts, and so on.
I just want to point out that outrage culture is, itself, bigoted and intolerant, just in a different way.
I really respect Zach. I learned how to give better talks from his amazing ones. He was the face of Github to me and I wish him the best!
> Outrage culture is a kind of conspiracy theory: people who are into it see oppression and harassment everywhere, and cast themselves as victims.
> Zach Holman is also a white male. I don't want to speculate on exactly what went down, but the circumstantial evidence is pretty strong that he was railroaded out of the company...
Oh. It's almost like you forgot the last few paragraphs you wrote when you got to this point. Talk about conspiracy theory...
Julie Hovarth and Zach were partners at one point. Later they broke up, and after the big story of her exit from Github, she told journalists that Zach:
> "was complicit in the actions of both Tom and Theresa Preston-Werner and even admitted to plotting with Theresa Preston-Werner to get women at the company fired. He should be let go from GitHub and I regret being kind to him in previous interviews."
This strikes me as unprofessional and dishonest.
Combine that with the statements by the new Github executives who came in after Tom Preston-Warner's departure, especially this rather unbelievable tweet:
Ironically, the new leadership has created an environment of bullying and bigotry. They are fighting what they see as intolerance with intolerance of their own.
You're right that I shouldn't have speculated about specifics.
But I think we can both agree that when someone's being accused of vague transgressions by people this patently biased, fired, and not allowed to talk about why, we should treat that with healthy skepticism.
> As to the remaining allegations, the investigation found no evidence of gender-based discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or abuse.
I realize this is unsubstantiated speculation on my part, so take this all with a grain of salt.
Following Zach on his blog and his talks, I think he has a lot of input to add. I feel this will be good for Gitlab users.
Good luck, to both sides.
whatever your issue with Coraline Ehmke is (I have no idea what the situation there is) you should still try to conduct yourself with some kind of professionalism and decorum.
politicization of OSS is indeed becoming a problem and I've seen some problematic behavior from a lot of people involved in political conflicts with this stuff. however, there is nothing more certain to undermine and destroy the OSS community than dragging yourself and everyone around you through the mud because of some internet flame wars that got a little out of hand.
Like some might assume a project's core contributor's behavior is known of and condoned by the project, perhaps?
That makes the hiring itself an endorsement of the behaviour.
Congrats, Mr. Holman!