A little over two weeks ago, Github founder Tom Preston-Werner resigned after engineer Julie Ann Horvath publicly quit and accused Preston-Werner and his wife of harassment. She also said GitHub was a particularly bad place for women.
The women at the GitHub table knew Horvath and Preston-Werner and told us they were baffled by the whole thing. All said they experienced no sexism at GitHub and that it was an extremely supportive working environment for women.
“If you come in, and you’re having a bad day, someone will always ask you what’s wrong. I feel like people really care there,” one GitHub employee told us.
Another said the conflict came down to a personality difference between Horvath, the Preston-Werners, and another male coworker who was featured in some of Horvath’s accusations.
“With 240 employees, not everyone is going to get a long,” another employee said.
Horvath says others at the company communicated aggressively and made comments about her character on “pull requests,” or notes that let you tell others about changes you made to a software project stored on GitHub.
Horvath also alleges Preston-Werner’s wife told her during an odd conversation that she (the wife) informed her husband’s decision-making at GitHub.
An internal investigation by GitHub found that no evidence of harassment, but did find evidence of “mistakes and errors of judgment,” which ultimately led to Preston-Werner’s resignation.
The female GitHub employees we spoke to said they miss Preston-Werner’s presence at work. One told us, “His spirit and enthusiasm is still there.”
So, apparently, is one of the motorcycles he and the other co-founders bought for the office, a red Indian from iconic San Francisco bar Eddie Rickenbacker’s, a GitHub favourite hangout that closed.
The motorcycle was famous, featured on its front sign. Preston-Werner was known to sometimes wheel it around the office.
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