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Why GitHub Decided Bosses are Needed After all



Two years ago, Chris Wanstrath gathered the employees of his software startup GitHub into a meeting to notify them of a major change: They were all getting bosses.

When Wanstrath and his co-founders started GitHub in 2008, they were adamant that they use a flat corporate structure without managers or titles. GitHub quickly became an essential tool for software developers to share their code and collaborate on projects, and its creators gave part of the credit for that success to their nontraditional work culture. Although the founders took “fluidly” defined roles of president and chief executive officer, they said the otherwise lack of structure allowed workers to pursue their own ideas and congregate around whichever ones interested them most.

But a boss-free setting had blind spots. Shortly after Wanstrath slid into the CEO chair at the beginning of 2014, Julie Ann Horvath, a developer at the startup, said she faced gender bias and was pressured into leaving by the previous CEO, Tom Preston-Werner, and his wife. After an internal investigation found that he’d acted inappropriately, Preston-Werner resigned as president. Wanstrath penned a blog post acknowledging “challenges” facing efforts to create an inclusive work environment and promised to institute new HR policies.

The mess highlighted that GitHub’s six-year experiment in self-government had come up short. Wanstrath told staff of the switch to bosses the month after his co-founder’s departure, and the software engineering department began assigning managers in the spring. The company hasn’t publicly discussed the change in detail until now. “We’re building a tool for software developers, but we’re also hacking on the future of work,” says Kakul Srivastava, GitHub’s vice president of product management. “That hacking has taken us down some pretty interesting paths, and we’re a better company because we went down those paths. But not all of those paths were the right paths.”

As GitHub has grown to about 600 employees, it says a flat organization compromised its ability to get things done. GitHub says coordination by the heads of the engineering, legal, marketing, sales, and other departments has been crucial to recent achievements, including the ability to open-source more projects than before, increase the frequency of some product updates to quarterly, and secure a major partnership this year with IBM.

Coders at Ford Motor Co., General Electric Co., John Deere, and Target Corp. are among the more than 16 million users that now rely on the startup’s services. GitHub is taking on increasingly ambitious tasks, such as organizing a two-day developer conference on Sept. 14 in San Francisco that’s expected to attract 1,500 attendees. The company, valued at $2 billion (U.S.) by venture capitalists last year, declined to disclose revenue or other financials.

Julio Avalos, who was one of the first 100 hires when he joined in 2012, says the Preston-Warner episode helped demonstrate that some problems couldn’t be solved by the masses. While the old times created a strong sense of camaraderie, employees didn’t know who to direct questions to, either about uncomfortable confrontations with colleagues or about their own performance. “Without even a minimal layer of management, it was difficult to have some of those conversations and to get people feeling like they understood what was expected of them, and that they were getting the support that they needed in order to do the best work,” says Avalos, who’s since been promoted to chief business officer, the only C-level position besides CEO.

It was a big shift for a startup that long resisted a corporate hierarchy and prided itself on a communal culture reflecting the ethos of the open-source software it sells. Some employees were concerned that bosses would threaten the fun, casual work environment they had been sold on, Avalos says. “The risk in startup culture is that you fetishize that early culture and you get committed to a set of practices that eventually outlive their usefulness,” says Catherine Turco, an associate professor of work and organization at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Evan Williams, a founder of Twitter Inc., established his latest company Medium using the trendy self-management method Holacracy. The philosophy enabled employees to take initiative at an important early stage in the blogging service’s life, but it eventually became unwieldy, says Andy Doyle, head of operations. Coordinating between teams was more time-consuming, and newcomers were put off by the idea of working in such a radical corporate atmosphere. At least Medium’s experiment lasted longer than Google’s, which was abandoned after just a few months in 2002.

Several companies have managed to make it work. Zappos, the shoe retailer owned by Inc., has maintained its use of Holacracy despite protests from staff. In January, the company shrugged off criticism of its non-management methods, saying a 10 per cent spike in turnover last year was due mostly to the departure of longtime employees who wanted to pursue other things, not to Holacracy.

New recruits at Valve Corp., the two-decade-old Bellevue, Wa. video game developer behind the Half-Life series and Steam software, receive a handbook explaining the merits of corporate “flatland,” where no one has a boss and employees are free to green-light their own projects.

At Morning Star Co., a California tomato grower, staff are supposed to be guided by “missions,” not managers. “It’s very possible to maintain your startup culture while still doing what you need to do to scale,” says Ethan Bernstein, assistant professor of leadership and organizational behavior at Harvard Business School. “That trade-off is not black and white.”

Despite GitHub’s transition to a more conventional power structure, the company says it’s still trying out different modes of work. About half its staff is remote, and some are nomads, moving from city to city every couple months. One person is currently road-tripping across the U.S. in an RV. He checks in with his boss daily.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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