We believe in a world where everyone can contribute. We believe that all digital products should be open to contributions; from legal documents to movie scripts, and from websites to chip designs.
Allowing everyone to make a proposal is the core of what a DVCS (Distributed Version Control System) such as Git enables. No invite needed: if you can see it, you can contribute.
We think that it is logical that our collaboration tools are a collaborative work themselves. More than 3,000 people from the wider community have contributed to GitLab to make that a reality.
It is GitLab's mission to change all creative work from read-only to read-write so that everyone can contribute.
When everyone can contribute, consumers become contributors and we greatly increase the rate of human progress.
Our mission guides our path, and we live our values along this path.
In summary, our vision is as follows:
GitLab Inc. develops great open source software to enable people to collaborate in this way. GitLab is a single application based on convention over configuration that everyone should be able to afford and adapt. With GitLab, everyone can contribute.
Everyone can contribute to digital products with GitLab, to GitLab itself, and to our organization. There are three ways you can Contribute,
To ensure that everyone can contribute with GitLab we allow anyone to create a proposal, at any time, without setup, and with confidence. Let's analyze that sentence a bit.
We actively welcome contributors to ensure that everyone can contribute to GitLab, the application. We do this by having quality code, tests, documentation, popular frameworks, and offering a comprehensive GitLab Development Kit and a dedicated GitLab Design System. We use GitLab at GitLab Inc., we dogfood it and make it a tool we continue to love. We celebrate contributions by recognizing a Most Valuable Person (MVP) every month. We allow everyone to anticipate, propose, discuss, and contribute features by having everything on a public issue tracker. We ship a new version every month so contributions and feedback are visible fast. To contribute to open source software, people must be empowered to learn programming. That is why we sponsor initiatives such as Rails Girls. There are a few significant, but often overlooked, nuances of the everyone can contribute to GitLab, the application mantra:
A group discussion reiterating the importance of everyone being able to contribute:
To ensure that everyone can contribute to GitLab, the company we have open business processes. This allows all team members to suggest improvements to our handbook. We hire remotely so everyone with an internet connection can come work for us and be judged on results, not presence in an office. We offer equal opportunity for every nationality. We are agnostic to location and create more equality of opportunity in the world. We engage on Hacker News, Twitter, and our blog post comments. And we strive to take decisions guided by our values.
We welcome all contributors in the www-gitlab-com project so that everyone can contribute to about.gitlab.com. GitLab uses about.gitlab.com to share our expertise with the world and believe we can build even greater levels of trust with contributions from our team and community. We strive to provide a great experience for our existing and new community members by reviewing changes and integrating the contributions into our regularly planned updates.
We firmly adhere to laws including trade compliance laws in countries where we do business, and welcome everyone abiding by those legal restrictions to be customers of GitLab. In some circumstances, we may opt to not work with particular organizations, on a case-by-case basis. Some reasons we may choose not to work with certain entities include, but are not limited to:
This policy is in alignment with our mission, contributor and employee code-of-conduct and company values. Here are some links that may give you some background at how we arrived at this customer acceptance policy:
Our mission is "everyone can contribute." This mission is in alignment with our open source roots and the MIT license our open source software is subject to. The MIT License is a free software license that allows users the freedom to run the program as they wish, for any purpose.
GitLab has a contributor code of conduct for how to contribute to GitLab, but there are no restrictions on who can contribute to GitLab. We desire that everyone can contribute, as long as they abide by the code of conduct.
GitLab has a set of values for how GitLab team members strive to conduct themselves. We don’t expect all companies to value collaboration, results, efficiency, diversity, inclusion and transparency in the same way we do. As an open company, “everyone can contribute” is our default and transparency is our check and balance. Transparency means our handbook, issues, merge requests and product roadmap are online for everyone to see and contribute to.
Related topic: At GitLab, we want to avoid an environment where people feel alienated for their religious or political opinions. Therefore, we encourage GitLab team members to refrain from taking positions on specific religious or political issues in public company forums (such as on the GitLab Contribute stage or Slack channels) because it is easy to alienate people that may have a minority opinion. It is acceptable to bring up these topics in social contexts such as coffee chats and real-life meetups with other coworkers, but always be aware of cultural sensitivities, exercise your best judgement, and make sure you stay within the boundaries of our Code of Business Conduct & Ethics. We always encourage discussion and iteration on any company policy, including this one.
We'll also need to adapt with a changing market so that we meet customer needs. Netflix is a great example of this. Everyone knew that video on demand was the future. Netflix, however, started shipping DVDs over mail. They knew that it would get them a database of content that people would want to watch on demand. Timing is everything.
Additionally, we need to ensure that our Platform is open. If a new, better version control technology enters the market, we will need to integrate it into our platform, as it is one component in an integrated DevOps product.
We would like to find more markets where we can repeat the same model.
The desirable characteristics of such markets fall into two stages: category consolidation and creation. They are:
Our goal is to develop this model to be more quantifiable and formulaic, so that we can quickly and easily assess new opportunities.
We acknowledge the risks to achieving our goals. We document them in our biggest risks page.
Our strategy is completely public because transparency is one of our values. We're not afraid of sharing our strategy because, as Peter Drucker said, "Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art."