Blog Culture How GitLab's customer and partner focus fuels our culture
Published on: May 3, 2022
6 min read

How GitLab's customer and partner focus fuels our culture

It’s an exciting time to be working in a customer- or partner-facing role at GitLab. Our sales team members explain why.


It’s an exciting time to be working in a customer- or partner-facing role at GitLab. Our role with customers is to build personalized relationships and demonstrate how we can help them solve problems with a best-in-class DevOps platform.

As we grow, our customer and partner focus plays a key role in building a healthy, connected workplace culture at GitLab. So we asked some of our leaders and team members from across the Sales, Channel Partner, and Account Management teams to share their insights. Here’s what we learned.

The opportunity we have to become the leader in DevOps means hiring more top-tier talent

"We are on a journey as a company where we believe we have got this exciting market opportunity. We've got a great product that fits the market really well, and that product is an industry leader.

"We believe a lot of companies are going to buy DevOps. We need to make sure that they buy that from us and that's a hard thing. That execution requires lots of top talent. We want to keep growing, as a team and individually, to capture more market share. That's going to take a lot of people who are great at what they do."

  • Michael McBride (a.k.a "McB"), Chief Revenue Officer

Why GitLab is an ideal place to grow in a sales or channel partner role

"We have an integrated GTM with our field sales teams and channels and alliances partners. I look after both the sales organization that manages those partners and supports them and their engagement with our direct selling force, as well as the programs and enablement and functions that it takes to integrate those partners into our go-to-market.

"I believe we've got great technology, great market timing, high customer need, lots of customer value, and a great product. That makes for a pretty awesome mix from a partnering perspective. It’s lots of fun to manage partners who are aiming to grow their businesses at the same time. It’s going to make the partners very happy."

  • Michelle Hodges, VP, WW Channels

"At my previous company, we were an unknown entity and you had to really pull out all the stops to get people just to take a call with you or to test the product or buy the product. Whereas, with GitLab, I would get on calls and customers are super excited to meet people from GitLab. There were quite a few cases where people were already going to buy GitLab, but they just needed someone to help them understand what they wanted to buy. It was a salesperson's dream because you are working with people who not just love the product, but love what the company stands for.

"I remember one time I was in a coffee shop, and I had a GitLab sticker on my laptop. Someone saw that – he was a developer, he came up to me and said, 'Wow, you work at GitLab. I love that company and we use it in our team.' I felt a bit like a celebrity getting spotted on the streets."

  • Anthony Ogunbowale - Thomas, Named Account Executive, EMEA

What makes our culture unique

"The things in the company handbook can be kind of unbelievable to folks from the outside, when they say there's unlimited vacation time or they value results, not hours. But after being here for three years, it's true – there’s a real emphasis on valuing productivity and results. And, when people produce results, they’re rewarded."

  • Kevin Vogt, Federal Technical Account Manager

"I am not joking when I say this: This is the most successful I've ever felt in my career. And a lot of it is down to our values.

"We have a value system that's called CREDIT: It's collaboration; results; efficiency; diversity, inclusion, and belonging; iteration; and transparency. You will find in every engagement with a GitLab team member that they work towards exhibiting those things in a really authentic, intentional manner. It makes it a great place to build relationships, but also to get your job done. It creates innovation, speed, and teamwork in a way that I haven't found before."

  • Michelle Hodges

How GitLab sets its team members up for success

"We 'dogfood' our tools. We use GitLab for everything from HR to legal – the entire company uses GitLab as a platform.

"The company is also great with training. Any time that I've ever wanted training for any kind of need in my business role, they've always provided it and reimbursed it. I just finished a month's worth of training classes on how to be a successful manager. That's my first month going into that role, trying to make sure that I can be set up for success in it."

  • Kevin Vogt

"Every conversation with the customer is a collaboration. In pre-sales, we have a solutions architect, who's more of a technical person, and they can help lead on answering technical questions or do demos and proof of concepts. And then, depending on how the conversation is going, we might bring on someone from Product, in relation to what the customer's looking at. Everyone in the organization works together to help the customer understand and feel comfortable with the solution."

  • Anthony Ogunbowale - Thomas

"McB, our CRO, does his own Reverse Ask Me Anything session for team members that are underrepresented in tech to understand what the experience is on the GitLab Sales team. And also what upward mobility and trajectory could look like in the company.

"I feel very supported here. I feel empowered. It's one of the first jobs I've felt where they just trust me. They tell me to take things and run with it."

  • Marcus Carter, Senior Sales Recruiter

What we’re looking for as we grow our team

"I would say, curiosity is huge. Somebody who's curious and doesn't mind asking questions. I'd say somebody who is customer-focused, somebody who's excited about our customers, and somebody who's excited about technology as a whole, and in how technology is set to advance us. It's someone who is tenacious, somebody who is unrelenting and trying to offer solutions."

  • Marcus Carter

"This is a place where we believe we have a large market in every single one of our territories. There are customers that need the right DevOps solution and our product fits with those customers really well. So that leaves one last thing, sales skill.

"That’s great for a sales rep. If I've got the right product and a solid market, I'm excited, because I know I can deliver the sales skill, especially if I've got the marketing support and all the other things that GitLab has."

  • Michael McBride

If GitLab sounds like the place for you, there’s plenty more to learn about what it’s like to be a part of our team on our careers site. You can also learn more about open roles on our team.

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