True Builders
Breaking Boundaries: GitHub's Approach to Organizational Culture
Published August 03, 2023

A conversation with Julio Avalos, former chief business and operations officer at GitHub and co-founder of Shades. Listen on Apple, Spotify and Google

Leverage your career to address personal growth by recognizing and working on tendencies that impact both aspects of your life.

That’s according to tech entrepreneur and legal expert Julio Avalos. He’s former chief business and operations officer at GitHub and co-founder of news app Shades. 

We spend so much time in our professional jobs. And I would notice early on that a lot of the tendencies that I had in my personal life that I wanted to improve upon would show up in some way in my professional life. And that the professional context and the formalism and structure of work was actually something that I could use to work on those issues in a way that wasn't only beneficial for me professionally, but that was beneficial to me just as a human being.

In our conversation with Julio, we discuss:

  • Organizational structure and remote work at revolutionary tech platform GitHub
  • The challenges of managing a remote workforce
  • The importance of flexibility and autonomy for different teams and departments
  • How to define and document company culture and values.

Listen to Breaking Boundaries: GitHub's Approach to Organizational Culture on Apple, Spotify and Google

Our Guest

Julio Avalos is a tech entrepreneur, legal expert, and the co-founder of Shades. He has held key positions at Observable and Merico, contributing to their strategic direction, business operations, and legal matters. With a background in English and Philosophy from the University of Florida, he also holds a Doctor of Law from Columbia Law School.

Notable Quotes

  • “A little eccentricity in your company is probably not a bad thing provided that you're able to back it up with that constellation of things that normal, “kind of normal companies also have.”

  • “If there's a way of finding a common thread that pulls you through difficult moments and difficult conversations at work, and that you all can look at each other across the table and ultimately say okay like we're all working for the betterment of this company and for the ultimate success of what we're going after and to achieve our goals, I think that all of that really does get improved by getting people to believe in themselves as an employee of the company first and foremost rather than something else.”

  • “I'm a big believer that the arc of history over the last 10, 20, 30 years has definitely been in the direction of people wanting to bring more of themselves to work.”

  • “The problem is not that any one individual source is biased, the problem is that it's too difficult to triangulate between multiple biased sources.”