How Open Governance Influences Open Source & Inner Source at GoDaddy

By August 13, 2021Blog, OpenJS World

During the OpenJS World, held virtually in June, we heard from many inspiring people involved in all areas of technology. In this keynote series, we will highlight the key points from the keynote videos. We hope to share highlights of the speakers in a way that allows for people to discover what parts of the talk interest them the most.

In a recent Keynote Speech, Charlie Robbins and Jonathan Keslin talked about how Open Governance at GoDaddy’s organizational structure mirrors their communication structure, known as Conway’s law. GoDaddy supports internal groups in an effort to push the decision process to the engineers and content experts. They only use those outside their field when necessary. 

This technique has been successful for GoDaddy (GD). This process went on for a few years before a pattern emerged. Once they were motivated, volunteers stayed engaged because of interest in the mission of their group.

As GoDaddy’s internal and external communities have grown, so did the need for structure and governance. They created GoDaddy {open}. This is GD’s name for its open governance structure, a nexus of technology and community. It is extensible and repeatable and fostered by leadership. GD {open} groups are bodies meant to drive business outcomes or policies. They are formed across disciplines both technical and non-technical. It gives visibility to other parts of the company through shared goals.

Guilds are another form of open governance used at GoDaddy. Guilds are groups of people formed around a specific topic, such as a programming language. Individuals rally around a technical topic, sharing best practices and forming a community. One thing that guilds are not is a group that talks about standards or infrastructure. They are communities that come together to learn and grow. GoDaddy also participates in trade groups such as OpenJS, Domain Name Association, and Node.js. GD open lets them coordinate these across the company. GoDaddy also is an open-sourced supporter, and have many different projects released to open source and communicate these efforts with their engineering blog. GoDaddy doesn’t have all the answers, but they do support them whenever they can. 

Full link here

Broken down by section:

Conway’s Law 0:44

Open Governance for internal groups 1:10

Application of Open GoDaddy 2:35

GoDaddy Open Governance 3:40

Organizational Structure 4:00

Model of GoDaddy open 4:16

Application of Open Governance Groups 4:54

Guilds 5:40

What is a guild? 6:54

GoDaddy Participation 7:24

Open-source Supporter 7:36

GoDaddy External Support in Open Governance 8:16