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Plan:Certify Backend Team

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Plan:Certify backend team

The Plan:Certify backend team works on the backend part of GitLab's Certify category in the Plan stage.

For more details about the vision for this area of the product, see the Plan stage page.

Team members

This team is currently shared between Plan:Portfolio Management and Plan:Certify. See that page for details.

Stable counterparts

Person Role
Annabel Dunstone Gray Product Designer, Plan
Donald Cook Frontend Engineering Manager, Plan
Fatih Acet Senior Frontend Engineer, Plan
Kushal Pandya Senior Frontend Engineer, Plan & Geo
Winnie Hellmann Senior Frontend Engineer, Plan and Intern Backend Engineer, Plan
Amarbayar Amarsanaa Senior Site Reliability Engineer, Create, Plan, Monitor
Rajat Jain Frontend Engineer, Plan
Scott Stern Frontend Engineer, Plan
Coung Ngo Frontend Engineer, Plan
Walmyr Lima e Silva Filho Senior Test Automation Engineer, Plan
Michal Wasilewski Site Reliability Engineer, Create & Plan
Holly Reynolds Senior Product Designer, Plan
Alexis Ginsberg Senior Product Designer, Plan
Mark Wood Senior Product Manager, Plan:Certify
Russell Dickenson Senior Technical Writer, Plan


See the Plan stage page and the Plan:Project Management backend team page.

Capacity Planning

We use a lightweight system of issue weighting to help with capacity planning, with the knowledge that things take longer than you think. These weights are used for capacity planning and the main focus is on making sure the overall sum of the weights is reasonable.

It's OK if an issue takes longer than the weight indicates. The weights are intended to be used in aggregate, and what takes one person a day might take another person a week, depending on their level of background knowledge about the issue. That's explicitly OK and expected.

These weights we use are:

Weight Meaning
1 Trivial, does not need any testing
2 Small, needs some testing but nothing involved
3 Medium, will take some time and collaboration
5 Large, will take a major portion of the milestone to finish

Anything larger than 5 should be broken down if possible.

We look at recent releases and upcoming availability to determine the weight available for a release.

Planning rotation

To assign weights to issues in a future milestone, we ask two team members to take the lead each month. They can still ask questions - of each other, of the rest of the team, of the stable counterparts, or anyone else - but they are the initial. This is currently shared across the three Plan backend teams: Project Management, Portfolio Management, and Certify, so people will be asked to weight some issues outside of their immediate team.

We will assess whether or not we want to scope this down to invididual teams in January CY20.

To weight issues, they should:

  1. Look through the issues on the upcoming milestone and those in ~workflow::"planning breakdown", filtered by Weight:None.
  2. For those they understand, they add a weight. If possible, they also add a short comment explaining why they added that weight, what parts of the code they think this would involve, and any risks or edge cases we'll need to consider.
  3. Timebox the issue weighting overall, and for each issue. The process is intended to be lightweight. If something isn't clear what weight it is, they should ask for clarification on the scope of the issue.
  4. If two people disagree on the weight of an issue, even after explaining their perceptions of the scope, we use the higher weight.
  5. Start adding weights around a week before the weights for a milestone are due. Finishing earlier is better than finishing later.

The rotation for upcoming releases is:

Release Weights due Engineer Engineer
12.3 2019-08-07 Felipe Cardozo Heinrich Lee Yu
12.4 2019-09-07 Charlie Ablett Mario de la Ossa
12.5 2019-10-13 Brett Walker Alexandru Croitor
12.6 2019-11-13 Jarka Košanová Patrick Derichs
12.7 2019-12-13 Jan Provaznik Eugenia Grieff

Requirements Management

It is often necessary to specify behaviors for a system or application. Requirements Management is a process by which these behaviors would be captured so that there is a clearly defined scope of work.

Category Strategy - Requirements Management

Learning Resources

Customer Requests and Discussion

Short Form

Long Form