For this edition of the GitLab contributor blog posts, I'm excited to introduce Daniel Juarez from CERN.
Can you tell us about you do at CERN and what Geneva is like?
I started working at CERN in September 2017 as an associate for the Version Control Systems team. I came to CERN from the University of Oviedo in Spain, as the university has an arrangement with CERN to give its students an opportunity to work here. One of my main responsibilities is to improve, maintain, and support the GitLab setup at CERN, as well as the continuous integration (CI) infrastructure.
Geneva feels like an extension of CERN, as you can meet people from all over the world with so many international organizations in the city. It may not be the best place in the winter if you are not into skiing, but the city has a wonderful lake and is full of life in the summer.
How long have you used GitLab and why did you decide to make contributions?
I first used GitLab when I joined CERN. Contributing to GitLab is part of my job, and my first merge request (MR) was on the Runner project.
In addition to MRs, I create issues and work with the GitLab team to find solutions. A good example is the storage performance issue that we ran into recently.
Do you plan/coordinate contributions to GitLab at CERN or is contribution done on an individual basis? Any advice for GitLab customers who want to make contributions?
We keep track of our current GitLab issues and improvement areas in our internal Jira instance, and from there we organize who will submit an MR or open an issue with GitLab. We have a few other GitLab contributors at CERN, like Alex Lossent and Borja Aparicio.
In terms of advice for others, I encourage people to ping GitLab team members, such as product managers or maintainers, if you feel like your MRs or issues are not being picked up in a timely manner. You can find GitLab team members either on the team page or the product categories page. It's also helpful to note how many users are being impacted by your issue. Even though only one person from your organization may be commenting on an issue or MR, it could actually have an impact on thousands of people.
What has been your experience when contributing to GitLab?
GitLab team members are always eager to help. They show interest in community issues and MRs, which is highly appreciated. Engagement from the GitLab team has helped us improve the service we provide to ~16,000 GitLab users at CERN.
However, we are concerned about the large number of open issues at GitLab. Even if issues have the
customer label, we are concerned that sometimes they could be forgotten.
Are there any community contributions (MRs) to GitLab that you thought were particularly interesting/useful?
From CERN, we were definitely happy to have SAML support a few years ago. We also found Shared CI Runners for groups to be helpful, because some of our users were required to have the same runner registered against multiple projects instead of having it per group. This clearly improved the service for many of our users that rely on private runners and cannot use our shared infrastructure.
What do you like to do when you're not working?
I love playing video games no matter the genre. Recently, I started watching bad movies and learning to cook new dishes (usually at the same time). I find that cooking helps me digest the bad movies!
Anything else you want to share with the community?
Do not be afraid to submit MRs! It might look difficult in the beginning, but GitLab team members will do their best to help your changes "go upstream" to GitLab. I learned that wider community members are also willing to help.
Interested in learning how you can contribute?
A good place to start is the Contributing to GitLab page, where you can learn how you can contribute to GitLab code, documentation, translation, and UX design.
If you have any questions, you are always welcome to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This post is part of a series featuring people who contribute to GitLab.