Hi, my name is Kyle Neath and I use Warpspire to collect my thoughts about product design & development.
Most of my experience has been focused on the design & growth of software products and leading the teams that build them. Usually that means bouncing between user research, feature design/development, growth analysis, and team coordination.
I like to build really great products that last.
If you’re looking to read something I’ve written, here’s some of my favorite articles:
Most recently, I led Product at GitHub where I spent five years growing the product and building out the design team. Right now I’m spending most of my time in the Sierras, working on Leaping Daisy, and dabbling in software a bit. The mountains are calling, and I must go.
I’ve been able to work with some seriously smart individuals throughout my career, and as a result, I’ve been able to be a part of some really exciting projects. These are some I’m most proud of.
In 2009, I joined a small but fast-growing GitHub as their first design hire to grow the product and see where it might lead.
GitHub had pull requests well before I joined, but at the time they were little more than a button that sent a message. I was able to pair up with @rtomayko and @schacon to revisit pull requests and make them first-class citizens in the product.
We looked at some commonly used strategies for reviewing code in Git, and tried our best to marry them to GitHub’s collaboration & discussion features. We shipped the foundation for pull requests with Compare View, and iterated on our ideas until we ended up with first-class pull requests: Pull Requests 2.0.
To this day, Pull Requests are my favorite thing I’ve ever worked on. It was incredible watching the feature grow from our need for better code review to the power-house feature that sits at the core of GitHub today.
When I joined GitHub, the site only allowed personal accounts. My first big project was tackling the design for Organizations — our answer to shared accounts for businesses and open source teams.
Organizations were more successful than I would have imagined, and grew into one of the most critical features of the site, having a tremendous impact on the growth of the business along the way.
We knew early on at GitHub that one of our biggest barriers to growth was the same force that fueled so much of our growth: Git. Git was designed first and foremost for the command line — and the command line can be a scary place. As time went on, it became more and more obvious that we needed to solve this problem ourselves. This is how the idea for GitHub for Mac was born.
Early on, we explored a few different ideas for companion products to GitHub, one of which was trying to connect employers with developers seeking work. I worked with @pjhyett, @defunkt, and @rtomayko to design, re-design, and ship the first version of GitHub Jobs.
Jobs ended up being one of the more interesting products I’ve worked on for an odd reason: I think it might be the most efficient software project I’ve ever participated in. We were able to build out the initial version in just a couple of weeks, it required very little maintenance, and enjoyed a lasting success. It’s not the most ground-breaking product, but not everything needs to be.
As the company grew, my focus shifted from development to building out our design team. This shift inspired KSS, a tool to document CSS and automate the creation of style guides. KSS has gone on to become much more popular than I’d imagined, and is by far my most popular open source project (even eclipsing Hemingway!).
I’m just happy people are finally documenting their CSS.
After leaving Web Associates, I worked at a small consultancy named ENTP led by @court3nay. I worked on a mix of client work and product development during my time there, most notably working with @technoweenie to design, build out, and grow the first version of Tender.
ENTP had a pretty good idea of what they wanted going in: a helpdesk system that integrated with their flagship product Lighthouse. In a few months time, we were able to design, build, ship, and start earning money on this new venture, soon to be known as Tender Support.
Web Associates was my first real entry into professional software development. I spent the better part of 4 years doing front end development working on projects for Apple, RIM, Oakley, Disney, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard. WA was fun. It was fast paced. It was stressful and frustrating. It was an agency.
I learned more than I ever could have imagined from my time at WA, and I owe everyone I worked with my gratitude. For lack of a better phrase, it was the crucible that shaped my skills.
And that’s a lot to read. I really hope you skimmed most of it. Just in case you didn’t and still want to know more, feel free to hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.