The GitLab Quarterly: How our latest beta releases support developers

Jan 24, 2023 · 7 min read · Leave a comment
Dave Steer GitLab profile

It’s easy to say that 2023 will be the year of innovation, but with the macroeconomic environment requiring an obsessive eye on cost efficiencies, and in some cases, cost-cutting, exactly how are organizations supposed to stay competitive when it comes to software development and delivery? The answer is clear: Stay focused on supporting your developers. Our two new beta releases help you do just that.

The GitLab Value Streams Dashboard, now available in private beta, ensures that all stakeholders have visibility, early and in real time, into the progress and value delivery metrics associated with software development and delivery. With everyone on the same page, discussions can be had and adjustments made before developers face obstacles or stall out waiting for decision-makers to get up to speed. Developers can also see, at-a-glance, their impact on the idea-to-customer value chain. The goal: Reduce idle time so that developers can spend more time developing and IT leaders can better unlock their transformation results. Keeping the creativity flowing can boost developer happiness and help provide a glide path for software to make its way into the market and add value. 

Our other beta release, GitLab Remote Development, can enable organizations to directly support developers by letting them establish an environment that best suits their needs, including where, when, and how they prefer to work. GitLab Remote Development doesn’t require developers to set up and manage local development environments, which keeps workflow distractions to a minimum. Stripping away location, device, and complex toolchain barriers can maximize developer satisfaction, which can lead to increased ingenuity and productivity.

An overarching aspect of this developer support is that it is available on a single DevSecOps platform so you don’t have to tack on something special to achieve these goals — the tools are all there and ready to be used to create better software faster.

Now, let’s dig deeper into these capabilities and how they will help you support your developers and deliver value to your customers.

GitLab Value Streams Dashboard

In many conversations we have with customers, lack of visibility into metrics for software development value streams comes up as a pain point. Value streams – the process from idea to delivering customer value – should be the epicenter for understanding the progress, blockers, timelines, and costs associated with your development projects. Without this insight, innovation with an eye to cost efficiencies is virtually impossible. It is also difficult to properly support developers through fast, informed decision-making if everyone doesn’t have access to the same real-time data. 

The GitLab Value Streams Dashboard gives stakeholders a bird's-eye view of their teams’ software delivery metrics (such as DORA metrics and flow metrics) for continuous improvement. DevSecOps teams can identify and fix inefficiencies and bottlenecks in their software delivery workflows, which can improve the overall productivity and stability of their development environment. 

"Our team is excited to try out the DORA metrics capabilities available in the private beta for the new Value Streams Dashboard. We look forward to using other widgets as the Value Streams Dashboard matures, which we hope will greatly improve our productivity and efficiency."
Rob Fulwell, Staff Engineer, Conversica

The first iteration of the GitLab Value Streams Dashboard enables teams to continuously improve software delivery workflows by benchmarking key DevOps metrics to help improve productivity, efficiency, scalability, and performance. Tracking and comparing these metrics over a period of time helps teams catch downward trends early, drill down into individual projects/metrics, take remedial actions to maintain their software delivery performance, and track progress of their innovation investments.

Leadership can support developers by using information from the dashboard to cross-pollinate and promote best practices, add resources to projects based on metrics, and eliminate common bottlenecks across projects. 

Roadmap for Value Streams Dashboard

We are just getting started with delivering capabilities in our Value Streams Dashboard. The roadmap includes planned features and functionality that will continue to improve decision-making and operational efficiencies.

Here are some of the capabilities we plan to focus on next:

  1. New visualizations such as overview widgets, top view treemap, and DORA performance score chart
  2. Security and vulnerability benchmarking  to enable executives to better understand an organization’s security exposure 
  3. A new data warehouse that supports fast analytical queries and deep data analysis
  4. Additional business value metrics such as adoption, OKRs, revenue, costs, CSAT that align technical and business goals

Learn more on our direction page.

Join the beta: We welcome your contributions

As we iterate on this new offering, GitLab Premium and Ultimate customers are invited to join our private beta.

We also invite you to learn more about Value Streams Dashboard and follow along on the timeline to General Availability.

GitLab Remote Development

The increasing adoption of reproducible, ephemeral, cloud-based development environments has accelerated software development. But for developers, frequent context-switching between different environments, navigating complex and extensive toolchains, and managing a local development environment can create friction. GitLab Remote Development helps organizations better support developers by enabling them to spend less time managing their development environment and more time contributing high-quality code.

"While a number of stakeholders are critical to successful DevOps, software developers are key for a successful DevOps implementation. Thus, organizations must adequately support developers. This means providing good developer experiences that are not disruptive or intrusive, but that are nonetheless sanctioned by the company, and that remain secure and compliant through automation and abstraction."
Jay Lyman, 451 Research, a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, "Traditional IT teams, leadership stand out as additional DevOps stakeholders – Highlights from VotE: DevOps," January 4, 2023 

The centerpiece of GitLab Remote Development is our newly released Web IDE Beta, now the default web IDE experience on GitLab. The Web IDE makes it possible to securely connect to a remote development environment, run commands in an interactive terminal panel, and get real-time feedback from right inside the Web IDE. Understanding that developer familiarity is important, the Web IDE Beta uses a more powerful VS code interface and is able to handle many of the most frequently performed tasks on the existing Web IDE, including committing changes to multiple files and reviewing merge request diffs.

GitLab Remote Development also creates a more secure development experience by enabling organizations to implement a zero-trust policy that prevents source code and sensitive data from being stored locally across numerous developer devices. In addition, organizations can adhere to compliance requirements by ensuring developers are working with approved environments, libraries, and dependencies. 

It’s interesting to note that we deployed the Web IDE beta turned on as default and currently 99.9% of users have kept it toggled on. I encourage you to learn more about the new Web IDE functionality in our recent blog post. 

Roadmap for Remote Development

As iteration continues on the GitLab remote development experience, the roadmap currently focuses on the following functionality next: 

  1. Provision instances of remote development environments on demand in the customer’s choice of cloud provider.
  2. Allow teams to share complex, multi-repo environments.
  3. Connect from a variety of IDEs, including VS Code, JetBrains, Vim, or the Web IDE.
  4. Ensure an organization’s remote environments conform to its software supply chain security requirements with advanced security tools, authorization, reports, and audit logs.

Learn more on our direction page.

Engage with DevSecOps experts

Want to dig deeper into how to innovate while still keeping an eye on cost efficiencies? Join me for our webcast “GitLab’s DevSecOps Innovations and Predictions for 2023” on Jan. 31 to get expert advice and insights about this era of DevSecOps transformation and the tools and strategies you’ll need to meet this challenge. 

Register today!

Disclaimer: This blog contains information related to upcoming products, features, and functionality. It is important to note that the information in this blog post is for informational purposes only. Please do not rely on this information for purchasing or planning purposes. As with all projects, the items mentioned in this blog and linked pages are subject to change or delay. The development, release, and timing of any products, features, or functionality remain at the sole discretion of GitLab.

Cover image by Skye Studios on Unsplash

“Introducing our GitLab Quarterly blog! We drill down on two beta releases that will help you better support your DevSecOps teams.” – Dave Steer

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