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Product Section Direction - Dev

Last Reviewed: 2020-11-11

MANAGE SECURE PLAN RELEASE PACKAGE DEV OPS CREATE VERIFY CONFIGURE PROTECT MONITOR
Manage
Plan
Create

Our latest group conversation from Sept 15, 2020:

Dev Section Accomplishment, News, and Updates

Section News & Team Member Updates

As part of the broader R&D realignment, we have made the following personnel changes:

  1. Mark Wood will serve as the PM of Gitaly
  2. Christen Dybenko will serve as the PM of Product Planning.
  3. Our Knowledge team has shifted to work on Integrations and are now a part of our Ecosystem team

Important PI Milestones

  1. The Dev PI page now has SMAU and GMAU graphs for all groups

Recent Accomplishments

  1. Group Wiki Launch
  2. Multiple File Snippets
  3. GitPod Integration
  4. Merge Request Analytics Filtering
  5. Provide Minimal Access to a top-level group
  6. Project Access Tokens for GitLab.com

What's Ahead

  1. SHA specific chain of custody report
  2. Default user admin approval
  3. SAML Group Sync
  4. Import Epics from GitLab Group
  5. Merge Request Reviewers

Dev Section Overview

The Dev Section is made up of the Manage, Plan, and Create stages of the DevOps lifecycle. The scope for the Dev section is wide and encompasses a number of analyst categories including Value Stream Management, Project Portfolio Management, Enterprise Agile Planning Tools, Source Code Management, IDEs, Design Management, and even ITSM. It is difficult to truly estimate TAM for the Dev Section, as our scope includes so many components from various industries, but research from IDC indicates the estimated TAM in 2019 is roughly ~$3B, growing to ~$7.5B in 2023 (26.5% CAGR). Alternatively, the Dev product management team has conducted a bottoms up Total Addressable and Servicable Addressible market analysis which estimates GitLab's SAM for Dev to be 19.5B in 2019 growing to 27.5B in 2023. Analysis: Manage Plan Create. NOTE: The large disparity in the TAM/SAM approaches is due to percentage attribution of DevOps revenue. For example, in the IDC report, it specified a certain percentage of Atlassian revenue for DevOps, but in the bottoms up analysis most of Atlassian revenue would have been counted since we looked at all project/portfolio management revenue.

Based on DevOps tool revenue at the end of 2019 and comparing to GitLab annual recurring revenue at the end of FY21 Q3, our estimated market share is approximately 1.8% based on revenue. (Note: this assumes we can attribute 100% of GitLab revenue to Dev stages.) Market share based on source code management is somewhere in the 35% range.

Nearly half of organizations still have not adopted DevOps methodologies, despite data that indicates far higher revenue growth for organizations that do so. Migrating a code base to a modern, Git-backed source control platform like GitLab can often be the first step in a DevOps transformation. As such, we must provide industry-leading solutions in source code and code review, as this is not only the entry into DevOps for our customers, but typically the entry into the GitLab platform. Once a user has begun utilizing repositories and code review features like Merge Requests, they often move “left” and “right” to explore and utilize other capabilities in GitLab, such as CI and project management features.

Per our Stage Monthly Active User data we know that Create and Plan have the highest usage amongst GitLab stages. As such, these stages must focus on security fixes, bug fixes, performance improvements, UX improvements, and depth more than other areas of GitLab.

Other areas, such as Value Stream Management are nascent to both GitLab and the market, and will require more time devoted to executing problem and solution validation discovery.

Within each stage, the listed items in the FY21 plan are in order of priority. The top priority for each stage is:

Is Our Dev Strategy Any Good?

In December of 2019, we released a blog with most of the content on this page and asked readers of the blog for feedback. To solicit the feedback, we asked our users on a scale from 1-5 how likely they were to recommend GitLab to a friend or colleague based on the strategy and the primary reason. 84% of survey particpants responded with a 4 or 5 vote. Here are the full results:

Survey Results

The primary reasons for the numbered score above were:

Who is it for?

We identify the personas the Dev section features are built for. In order to be transparent about personas we support today and personas we aim to support in the future we use the following categorization of personas listed in priority order.

Today

To capitalize on the opportunities listed above, the Dev section has features that make it useful to the following personas today.

  1. 🟩 Sasha - Software Developer
  2. 🟩 Devon - DevOps Engineer
  3. 🟩 Delaney - Development Team Lead
  4. 🟩 Parker - Product Manager
  5. 🟨 Presley - Product Designer
  6. 🟨 Cameron - Compliance Manager
  7. 🟨 Rachel - Release Manager
  8. 🟨 Simone - Software Engineer in Test
  9. 🟨 Allison - Application Ops
  10. 🟨 Priyanka - Platform Engineer
  11. 🟨 Sidney - Systems Administrator

Medium Term (1-2 years)

As we execute our 3-year strategy, our medium term (1-2 year) goal is to provide a single application that enables collaboration between cloud native development and platform teams.

  1. 🟩 Sasha - Software Developer
  2. 🟩 Devon - DevOps Engineer
  3. 🟩 Delaney - Development Team Lead
  4. 🟩 Parker - Product Manager
  5. 🟩 Presley - Product Designer
  6. 🟩 Cameron - Compliance Manager
  7. 🟩 Simone - Software Engineer in Test
  8. 🟨 Rachel - Release Manager
  9. 🟨 Allison - Application Ops
  10. 🟨 Priyanka - Platform Engineer
  11. 🟨 Sidney - Systems Administrator

3 Year Strategy

In three years, the Dev Section market will:

As a result, in three years, GitLab will:

3 Year Themes

Our direction for the Dev section is to provide the world’s best product creation and management platform. We believe we have a massive opportunity to change how cross-functional, multi-level teams collaborate by providng a solution that breaks down organizational silos and enables maximum value delivery. We want to provide a solution that enables higher-quality products to be quickly iterated upon. We also want to make it effortless for companies to migrate to GitLab. In order to obtain adoption at scale, GitLab has to provide substantially more value than our competitors. Additionally, we believe the majority of value can likely be delivered by substantially fewer features than our competition. The following themes listed below represent how we believe we will deliver this value and is our view of what will be important to the market and to GitLab over the next 3 to 5 years. As such, they will be the cornerstone of our 3-year strategy, and all activities in the 1-year plan should advance GitLab in one or more of these areas.

Efficient and Automated Code Review

Code review should be a delightful experience for all involved in the process. Over time, we expect the code review process to evolve from where it is today to become a more automated process in the future. Along the way, incremental improvements will occur, where developer platforms like GitLab will focus on performance and usability of the code review tools. Code review should be an efficient process, and the easier GitLab can make code review, the more efficient dev teams become. Research has shown that better code review should reduce the number of bugs and increase the amount of higher-quality features an organization can ship. The code review process will continue to provide a venue for developers to learn and collaborate together.

As examples, GitLab will:

Measurement and Increased Efficiency of the Value Stream

Peter Drucker has stated “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Many software development teams have no way of measuring their efficiency, and even if they do, there is not enough feedback, information, or actionable insights to improve the efficiency of their team. Even then, once efficiency is improved, it can be difficult to tell if a team’s performance is good or bad, as there is often no point of comparison. Even the best performing team in an organization could be worse than the competition. Increasing efficiency is paramount to companies increasing their time to value and helping organizations answer “Is my DevOps transformation working?”

We believe efficiency can be improved in two ways. The first way is to reduce cycle times for existing value stream activities. The second is to question and optimize the value stream into higher value-added activities at each step. GitLab’s vision is to help answer both of these questions: “Am I doing things fast enough?” and “Am I doing the right things?” These two questions are intertwined because the faster an organization can ship, the quicker feedback will come in from users, creating a virtuous cycle of shipping things quickly as well as ensuring the things shipped are the right things.

Today, value stream management is largely focused on visualizing the value chain through deployment. GitLab is uniquely positioned to also visualize, track, and measure value chain activities from the strategic initiative level all the way to captured value from an organization's customer. For example, the value created by post launch activities, such as press releases, blog posts, marketing campaigns, and customer engagement should funnel into value stream management; providing the business with insights and data to continuously improve each step of their value chain.

The market for value stream tools has begun to bifurcate into value stream delivery platforms and value stream management platforms. GitLab can solve for both of the use cases of these markets. In order to become a more successful VSMP platform, we'll need to ensure that we provide support for calculating VSM metrics on 3rd party tools, for example, Jira issues.

As examples, GitLab will provide:

DevOps for More Personas

DevOps started with the merging of Development and Operations and has since been augmented to include Security, highlighting DevSecOps as the next trend. There are many other personas that are involved in software development, such as product managers, project managers, product designers, finance, marketing, legal, procurement, etc. These personas will continue to expand until nearly every role at knowledge-work companies touches some facet of the DevOps lifecycle. Over time, organizations will realize that teams who work out of the same platform/set of tools are more efficient and deliver faster business and customer value.

Because of this trend, each persona of the DevOps lifecycle should ultimately be treated as a first-class citizen in GitLab.

As examples, GitLab will provide:

Enterprise Compliance

Most enterprise customers have custom requirements that need to be implemented inside of GitLab. Examples of these are controls that spans systems such as permissions, approvals, compliance, governance, workflows, and requirements mapping. It is our belief these needs will exist for many years to come, and we will need to incorporate these to truly become a complete DevOps platform that serves enterprise segments. We will strive to do this in ways that are modern and, where possible, adhere to a “convention over configuration” approach.

Additionally, compliance, auditing, and surfacing evidence of security/compliance posture to auditors will become more important as more GDPR-like legislation is enacted and passed into law. GitLab should make it easy to not only surface and deliver evidence for GitLab controls (i.e. who has access to GitLab, who did what on what group, etc.), but also to track and manage compliance requirements for various legislation our customers may be bound to for the applications they create inside of GitLab.

As examples, GitLab will provide:

Project to Product

Product Managers often struggle with answering the question, "Is the product or feature I just launched successful?" There are many sensing mechanisms to help answer this question, including revenue, users, customer feedback, NPS, etc., but no product currently helps product managers exhaustively manage the product development lifecycle from end-to-end. Many products assist with planning, delivery of code, and deployment, but feedback and iteration are equally as important to product managers as shipping the first iteration. Getting the first iteration out is traditionally celebrated, but is only one of many steps to true product development lifecycle management.

Imagine an experience where product managers can log in and view the "health" of their entire portfolio on one dashboard. It is clear which features have the most value to customers (and by extension to the business) as measured by key metrics, assisting PMs with priortization activities. PMs can quickly identify features or products within their portfolio that need more attention and drill into them, identifying the correct next action to take, whether it's iteration on the feature or perhaps sunsetting it. PMs can quickly create an issue for the next iteration, version control features, view security incidents, respond to customer feedback, drill down into analytics, control A/B tests of the feature, and even interact with users of the feature or product directly by creating ad-hoc surveys or questions for users to answer. Additionally, the experience should allow for ROI analysis and tracking of the ROI after capital has been expended.

Within three years, project management tools will begin evolving to provide this experience and help PMs answer tough product questions. These tools will also assist with measuring and predicting value to the organization before a feature is prioritized by the PM. The ideal solution most likely uses data science, natural language processing (NPL), machine learning, and predictive analytics to assist product managers with decisions both before and after a feature is launched.

As examples, GitLab will provide:

Remote Development

Local dev environments can be tricky to set up and often require hours to troubleshoot to set up development kits. Even when successfully configured, the "works on my machine" problem can arise as there are likely many differences between production and local environments.

We believe remote development will become a more popular development paradigm over the next few years and will manifest itself in this way: devs will code in places they are comfortable, such as local IDEs and will run code in Kubernetes environments that their IDE is connected to. Okteto is an interesting tool that is solving for this right now.

GitLab is uniquely positioned to serve as a remote development environment as we have a tight integration with Kubernetes as well as a VSCode Plugin in addition to an in-app editing experience in our Web IDE.

As examples, GitLab will provide:

1 Year Plan: What’s Next for Dev

Please see the categories page for a more detailed look at Dev's plan by exploring Direction links in areas of interest. This page will highight direction themes for both one year and three year timelines.

Manage

Primary Personas Served:

  1. Delaney - Development Team Lead
  2. Cameron - Compliance Manager
  3. Sasha - Software Developer

1. Enterprise readiness: GitLab must be seen as a platform that enterprises can use out of the box for both GitLab.com and self-managed deployments. We're doing this by focusing on improvements in several key areas:

Growth driver: Initial purchase

2. Providing a great import experience: Few instances start from scratch - for most, one of the earliest tasks for a GitLab administrator is importing information from outside the application. We'll win by creating easy paths to adopt and fall in love with GitLab:

Growth driver: Initial purchase

3. Actionable analytics: We've made great improvements over the first half of 2020 by releasing code review analytics, value stream analytics customization and filtering, and adding lead time and cycle time. One of our top focuses right now is working dogfooding our analytics features. This means we want our GitLab organization to use (and enjoy using) the analytics features inside of GitLab. We'll start by providing better throughput metrics and will continue by iterating on other existing analytics features as well.

Growth driver: Retention

Plan

Primary Personas Served:

  1. Delaney - Development Team Lead
  2. Parker - Product Manager
  3. Sasha - Software Developer

1. Support for better Agile Planning: GitLab users are able to assign a single milestone to an issue; however, many Agile methodologies require multiple timeboxes in order to support the process. For example, a story can be assigned to a longer term milestone, while also being part of a one week sprint. In GitLab 13.2 we released our MVC of Iterations in order to allow users the ability to timebox with Milestones and a separate timebox for an Iteration. We'll continue to iterate on this functionality by providing better reporting and insights in the way of burn up and burn down charts, reports, metrics based on time/weight, and progress indicators for each iteration. Additionally, we're currently taking a look at how groups and projects work together and how they can be improved to have a significantly better planning and sharing model inside of GitLab. We'll also be looking at how to enforce workflows and provide custom fields in GitLab for organizations that are looking to migrate to GitLab Plan from legacy tools.

Growth driver: Initial purchase & Expansion

2. Best in class planning boards: GitLab has an opportunity to re-design board-based workflows for product development teams. Our boards need to evolve to be a primary interface, an experience where:

Growth driver: Retention with a transition to initial purchase

3. Enhancing Portfolio and Group Roadmaps: Provide easy-to-use roadmaps at the portfolio, project, and epic level that allow users across the organization to see how work is progressing and identify dependencies and blockers. Organize and prioritize work though dynamic roadmaps in real time. Our current roadmap product works fine for epics, but only provides basic functionality. Roadmaps need to include all the necessary information to assess and react to your development plans (milestones, progress, timeboxes, dependencies, etc.) as well as interactivity to adjust epics and have these changes saved. Helping our customers to identify key blockers and their critical path will help them become more efficient and get more value out of GitLab.

Growth driver: Expansion

4. Strategic Planning with Initatives and Epics: Provide an enhanced portfolio management experience allowing customers to start planning from the top; creating strategic initiatives, projects, and epics while laying them out on a roadmap prior to issues and milestones being created. We'll enable users to manage strategic initiatives, assign work, measure impact, and allocate resources to each initiative to help deliver tangible business results.

Growth driver: Expansion

5. Requirements Management: Many regulated customers desire to use GitLab for requirements mapping, dependencies, and process management in order to move off of legacy tooling. Tying requirements to code, tests, or manually satisfying them and providing the audit trail is especially important and we can make create an amazing experience inside of GitLab for this. In the near future we'll be focusing on importing and exporting requirements into and out of GitLab.

Growth driver: Initial purchase

Create

Primary Personas Served:

  1. Delaney - Development Team Lead
  2. Sasha - Software Developer
  3. Devon - DevOps Engineer
  4. Presley - Product Designer

Git availability and performance

Growth driver: Initial purchase

Git is a critical component in the deployment process when practicing Continuous Deployment. As such, service degradations or outages that prevent access to Git cannot be tolerated. Making Git storage fault tolerance and high performance at massive scale is of the utmost importance, and secondarily, improve the handling of extreme read pressures exerted by highly parallelized CI loads that cause performance degradations.

Enhanced code review experience

Growth driver: Retention

In FY21, we must focus code review to be more performant and intelligent. We will do this by investing in performance improvements, adding additional code review functionality such as jump to definition, identifying references, displaying function documentation and type signatures, and adding support for first-class reviewers. Code review should be an "IDE like" experience. Additionally, we should invest in enhancing language specific experiences such as improving syntax highlighting and webpacks. The Merge Request is a point of unification in the product and provides experiences for pipeline results, security scans, code review, discussions, and branching. As such, it's incredibly important that we care about the UX, performance, and usability of this object. We recently added functionality to comment on multiple lines in a diff and in Q2 have a product OKR to prioritize UX work for merge requests. We'll also begin investing in a code review experience right inside of VS Code to keep developers in flow.

Unifying our editing experiences

Growth Driver: Expansion

In 2021, our focus for our editors will be on setting up the right architectures for long term success and unifying editing in several places inside the application. Features that are added in one place, such as the static site editor, should also propagate into other editing experiences, such as the issue/MR description and wikis.

Better integrations

Growth Driver: Initial Purchase

While GitLab is a complete DevOps platform delivered as a single application, we realize that many other tools are used to aid in the product development process and that in certain situations, these tools cannot be replaced. In early 2020, the Ecosystem team moved into the Dev section and is focused on "mass integration" at the Instance and Group level in addition to better integration with popular tools on the market such as Jira, Confluence, Slack, ServiceNow, and Datadog.

Themes that cross all Dev stages

Performance and availability: We must invest in the performance, stability, and availability of our application. We will do this by focusing on application limits, diff load times, and ensuring availability is top of mind.

Growth driver: Retention

What we're not currently focusing on

Choosing to invest in the above areas in 2020 means we will choose not to:

Stages & Categories

Manage

Learn more about our vision for the Manage stage.

Plan

Learn more about our vision for the Plan stage.

Create

Learn more about our vision for the Create stage.

What's Next

13.7 (2020-12-22)

Manage

Plan

Create

13.8 (2021-01-22)

Manage

Plan

Create

13.9 (2021-02-22)

Manage

Plan

Create

13.10 (2021-03-22)

Manage

Plan

Create

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