Community AMA featuring Mike McQuaid Today 2PM UTC

Hiya!

Please join us today for a GitHub community AMA with Staff Software Engineer and Homebrew Leader Mike McQuaid.

See you soon,
AG

PS: This topic will reopen at 1:50pm UTC ahead of the AMA kick off!
Community AMA featuring Mike McQuaid 2021-02-26 2PM UTC - Events - GitHub Support Community

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Topic is now open and will remain so until the AMA is over at which time it will revert to read-only mode! We’ll start at 2:00pm UTC.

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Welcome to the GitHub community AMA, we are excited to be joined by Staff Software Engineer, Author, Inventor and Homebrew Maintainer Mike McQuaid. We are standing by live to answer your questions about Open Source, burnout, mentoring, being a hands-on Dad and Mike’s Engineering values . To submit a question, click “Reply”.

All participants will be awarded the new AMA badge and are eligible for a random swag drop (form link posted at the end)

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As a Begineer developer, how to start and be active in the open source community and contribute.

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Hi, I’m Mike McQuaid :wave:, thanks for joining <3. As mentioned by @andreagriffiths11 I work at GitHub and on Homebrew. Happy to answer any questions you have about anything I’m doing (or did) that might be interesting or helpful

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Great question!

Good luck and have fun!

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What does it mean to be a Staff Engineer at GitHub?

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Nice question! There’s two ways of looking at this: the logistical and the descriptive.

Logistically, at GitHub “staff engineer” is an engineering level above “senior engineer” and below “principal engineer” or “distinguished engineer”. Not all organisations use this same terminology, though, so you may see “staff” or “principal” or “lead” used interchangeably. At GitHub they do not have “direct reports” so are different from an “engineering manager” or “director” in that way.

To describe the role a little more, I’d first really recommend https://staffeng.com (if you haven’t already read it). It helped me understand what the role was before I was promoted into it, whether I wanted to do it and what “archtype” of staff engineer I wanted to be (more details on that here: https://staffeng.com/guides/staff-archetypes).

My summary would be that a staff engineer is generally going to be less focused on e.g. just shipping features than a senior-or-lower engineer and instead be doing more mentoring, architecture, problem solving, etc. In my case, I’m in the “Communities” organisation in GitHub and focusing on organisation-wide and company-wide initiatives such as performance improvements, on-call, developer tooling, etc.

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I’m still very new to the use of github and I’m learning fast on how to use it… Happy to be here

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For those interested, here’s a good first issue in the brew repository.

Issues with the good first issue label tend to be great opportunities for those wanting to get started in open source.

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Hi Mike, thanks for taking time out here to share and answers questions

I am really intersted in the Homebrew space (but not started on it yet), and this something we are looking to use in our corporate space.

So the first thing the secuity folks starting asking about after throwing their hands up in the air, is OMG this is open source and you are installng other open source software as well, how do we know its controlled, safe and not installing virus/malware. Oh and Solar Winds get mentioned…
For me there seems to be two aspect to this

  1. Homebrew itself (perhaps an easier answer, and more trustworthy)
  2. The applications that can be installed by use of Homebrew (perhaps more challenging…)

Would also be interested if you are using some of the great new features that GitHub has deliverd in last 6-12 months to help both the security (homebrew itself or applicatons it can install) and overall maintenance CI/CD and testing work.

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To enjoy the use of github, do I use to make use of github desktop?

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If you’re interested in any more of my thoughts on open source I was on a podcast recently, too: Ep06 - Supporting FOSS Maintainers, handling conflict, Homebrew & Software Freedom Conservancy with Mike McQuaid | Scotland OSUM!

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GitHub Desktop is great but, nope, you can use it without it! You might like to use VS Code plugins, the git or gh command-line tools or anything else. If you’re new to Git, thought, GitHub Desktop might make your life a little easier!

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Okay. I will download the desktop, I already have VS downloaded and have been using it to practice some program language

At this level in your career, do you plan your goals pretty far out?
Or do you like to focus or more short term prospects?

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I am learning how to make a Social Media App with SwiftUI but I am having trouble getting thing to work. I can make views with buttons, links, navigation…etc… but connecting to @State, @Binding, @Enviroment … Cloudkit … etc is difficult… How can I use Github to help me learn how to get the functionality of the App working?? I am not sure how to use GitHub…

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