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Plan Team

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Plan Team

The Plan team works on the backend part of GitLab for the Plan stage. Among other things, this means working on GitLab's issue tracker, portfolio management features, integration with external trackers, Markdown rendering, and email notifications.

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

From an engineering perspective, we are also responsible for the code backing our GraphQL API. This does not mean we own everything about the API - each team is responsible for implementing its own resources in GraphQL - but we are responsible for the overall stewardship of this API.

Team members

Person Role
Sean McGivern Engineering Manager, Plan
Felipe Artur Backend Engineer, Plan
Jarka Košanová Backend Engineer, Plan
Brett Walker Senior Backend Engineer, Plan
Jan Provaznik Senior Backend Engineer, Plan
Mario de la Ossa Backend Engineer, Plan
Patrick Derichs Backend Engineer, Plan
Heinrich Lee Yu Backend Engineer, Plan
Alexandru Croitor Backend Engineer, Plan
Charlie Ablett Senior Backend Engineer, Plan
Eugenia Grieff Backend Engineer, Plan

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 Frontend Engineer, Plan
Constance Okoghenun Frontend Engineer, Plan
Amarbayar Amarsanaa Senior Site Reliability Engineer, Create, Plan, Monitor
Rajat Jain Frontend Engineer, Plan
M.H. Frontend Engineer, Plan
Walmyr Lima e Silva Filho Senior Test Automation Engineer, Plan
Michal Wasilewski Site Reliability Engineer, Create & Plan
Alexis Ginsberg Senior Product Designer, Plan
New Vacancy - Eric Brinkman (Interim) Senior Product Manager, Plan:Team Planning
New Vacancy - Eric Brinkman (Interim) Senior Product Manager, Plan:Enterprise Planning
New Vacancy - Eric Brinkman (Interim) Senior (or Intermediate) Product Manager, Plan:Certify
V.S. Content Editor, Plan

Hiring chart

This chart shows the progress we're making on hiring. Check out our jobs page for current openings.


In general, we use the standard GitLab engineering workflow. To get in touch with the Plan team, it's best to create an issue in the relevant project (typically GitLab CE) and add the ~Plan label, along with any other appropriate labels. Then, feel free to ping the relevant Product Manager and/or Engineering Manager as listed above.

For more urgent items, feel free to use #g_plan on Slack.

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 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.

Picking something to work on

The Plan backend board always shows work in the current release, with the left column being items that are:

  1. In priority order, with priorities set from the Product Manager.
  2. Not assigned to anyone in the Plan backend team. (They may be assigned to people from other teams; for instance, if an issue needs backend, frontend, and UX work, then the frontend and UX parts may already be assigned.)

It's OK to not take the top item if you are not confident you can solve it, but please post in #g_plan if that's the case, as this probably means the issue should be better specified.

Team meetings

Most of our team meetings are recorded and publicly available on Youtube in the Plan team playlist.


The Plan team conducts monthly retrospectives in GitLab issues. These include the backend team, plus any people from frontend, UX, and PM who have worked with that team during the release being retrospected.

These are confidential during the initial discussion, then made public in time for each month's GitLab retrospective. For more information, see team retrospectives.

The retrospective issue is created by a scheduled pipeline in the async-retrospectives project. For more information on how it works, see that project's README.

Group Conversations

Our Group Conversations are public, published through GitLab Pages. For more information, see the Group Conversations handbook page. These are shared with the rest of the Plan stage group.

The source repository for these updates is group-conversations. The README contains more information on how they are built.

Working on unscheduled issues

Everyone at GitLab has the freedom to manage their work as they see fit, because we measure results, not hours. Part of this is the opportunity to work on items that aren't scheduled as part of the regular monthly release. This is mostly a reiteration of items elsewhere in the handbook, and it is here to make those explicit:

  1. We expect people to be managers of one, and we use GitLab ourselves. If you see something that you think is important, you can request for it to be scheduled, or you can work on a proposal yourself, as long as you keep your other tasks in mind.
  2. From time to time, there are events that GitLabbers can participate in, like the issue bash and content hack days. Anyone is welcome to participate in these.
  3. If you feel like you want to have some specific time set aside, but aren't interested in the topics of an existing event, feel free to treat the third Friday of the month as an open work day, as in the Distribution team's open work day model.

When you pick something to work on, please:

  1. Follow the standard workflow and assign it to yourself.
  2. Share it in #g_plan - if not even more widely (like in #development or #backend).