February 5th, 2016
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been wondering why Github doesn’t add all the features that people obviously want. Apparently others have been wondering the same thing. Searching previous commits is an obvious one, especially since I can do it at the command line. Real issue tracking is another. A real wiki is another. The big surprise is that so little has changed in the last 5 years. Github in 2016 has basically the same features it had when I started using it in 2011. What have they been doing for all this time? The product is stagnant.
Enterprise sales people can make a habit of selling things that the product can’t currently do, and then forcing engineering to make it a reality on a compressed timeline because “this is a deal we can’t afford to lose.” Repeatedly. No idea if that’s happeing at GitHub, but I’ve seen it happen a few other places, and it sucks for the engineering and product teams even if the sales people are in a different state.
In a similar vein, enterprise customers tend to want different things than smaller customers do. This means that the features the teams have to work on will change, and some people may not be as interested in working on stuff they have no interest in using themselves.
Or, alternatively, “I know we have our product, but these guys don’t want it. Instead they want this [custom engineering project] that’s tangentially related to our core product. They are offering to pay lots of money for us to ignore our main product and add [cancerous project] to it, at which point we can surely sell it to tons more customers!!
Engineers: “There goes our sprint”
Product Managers: “I’ll be updating my resume…”