We were very pleased and surprised to see this article pop up (thanks, agilob!) as well as this one, this one, and this one that all arrived on the Hacker News front page in the space of about a weekend. There were also many kind comments left by users, which is always great to see. We’re excited to have a lot of loyal fans (many of whom are also contributors).
While there’s no magic formula for getting people to like you, we think that some of it has to do with the values embedded in your company culture. Your company culture not only defines how your organization works together but it also defines how your team interacts with the outside world. It dictates the underlying philosophies for how you treat employees, customers, partners, suppliers, etc. A great company culture can help you attact great talent and earn respect from your customers and partners. At GitLab, we take our culture very seriously and we are constantly working to maintain it as we grow.
This post outlines the principles that we think make it easier for people to become fans. Naturally, every company culture is unique so these are our thoughts on what works for us. We think there may be some learnings here for your company as well. We could also learn from your culture so please comment on this post with what works for your company or team.
Please note that while we think of ourselves as an open source company it would be more accurate to call it an open core company since we ship both the open source GitLab Community Edition and the close source GitLab Enterprise Edition. Thanks to paxcoder for pointing this out on Hacker News.
[GitLab] began as a labor of love from [Dmitriy Zaporozhets] and [Valery Sizov], who built the first version together in 2011. Like many open source authors, they were only able to work on the project part time. [Sid Sijbrandij] joined forces a year later and created [GitLab.com], the first SaaS offering and first experiment with monetization.
In the past two years we’ve gone from a team of 10 people to a team of 90+, spread across 26 countries. As a remote-only company, there is a stronger need to document and broadly share our policies and procedures.
In this post we’re explaining the reasons why having an open source Handbook works for us, and how it can help you, whether you’re working at or running a company of your own.