I am completely in love with “Anna’s Story,” which is a little brief yet poignant vignette of what the future is like for those who live in a post-GitHub world (created / produced by GitHub).
You can watch the 2-minute clip here:
Today, it’s a bit difficult to imagine a world pre-GitHub, a world where software wasn’t built collaboratively (or at least in a way that was even close to real-time and truly collaborative) and even though I know what it’s like pre-GitHub it’s hard to recall those times with completely fondness as it was riddled with unnecessary inefficiencies.
But the reality is that the kids growing up today, just like “Anna” have no other context of building software than one that involves this amount of collaboration. This is just how things are going to be done and how the world will build the future technology platforms that will power our world. As Anna’s college professor says, almost nonchalantly:
Have your pull requests in by Monday.
This is just how it’s going to be.
Combine this with the fact that these individuals will grow up in not just a post-GitHub world but also a post-Facebook world (one where the News Feed is king) and you’ve got a class of individuals and developers and users unlike any that has walked the face of the earth.
So, how, exactly, do you build a product for that future generation? It’s one that I’ve been asking myself countlessly for the past few weeks as I meditate and research opportunities around what we are putting together.
Anna’s Story might be a relative anomaly today (and that might be an extreme word) but it won’t be soon. Building better software will require not just better technology systems for collaboratively building and deploying code, it will also require better ways of interfacing, surfacing, and engaging with content around the product, customer service and support, and even operational needs that the business has.
This vast integration between disparate systems is part of what we’re trying to solve. Building better software fundamentally requires better communication systems. And that’s what I’d love to build.
It’s worth noting that I find all of this deeply personal and this video struck a very deep chord with me because I have two young daughters who have already begun to interface with not just the tools but the underlying technology that powers them. My oldest has already learned to write code and has systems of learning and platforms to play in that I couldn’t have possibly dreamed of.
She doesn’t have a GitHub account yet but if she continues down this path she will very soon. Building in isolation is where you might start but it’s never where a developer’s story ends – to change the world through software is a team sport, always has been and always will be.
So, let’s get those PRs in and get it done.