We enable global software organizations and teams to make great decisions with smart feedback loops by delivering speedy, reliable pipelines in a comprehensive CI platform that embodies Operations for All.
In 2022, the Verify stage focused on reliability and scalability of GitLab CI, which was critical for the availability of gitlab.com. This included addressing database performance, security vulnerabilities, performance improvements and relevant technical debt. This ensured GitLab remained secure, compliant and performant, with our SaaS offering that was able to maintain SLAs of gitlab.com.
In 2023, the Verify Pipeline teams will be focused on the following Engineering-led initiatives, in addition to our deliverables for the FY24 Yearlies:
Continuous Integrationcategory, which has the biggest backlog of bugs in Verify. While it may be considered "Maintenance" (no new feature development planned), this work remains critical in ensuring we keep GitLab CI performant and reliable.
Continuous Integrationcategory. The team is also the DRI for CI Data Partitioning and Pipeline speed improvement efforts.
As engineers in Verify we know our customers because we are our customers, and we are constantly striving to make our platform better for everyone. We do this through iteration, dogfooding, and being involved in our open source community. We innovate, we collaborate, and we challenge assumptions to arrive at great results.
We take ownership of the things we build, with a focus on stability and availability. We do this by having a deep technical understanding of the operation and performance characteristics of our platform, and a proactive perspective to future growth.
The Verify stage is made up of 4 groups:
A Job to be Done (JTBD) is a framework, or lens, for viewing products and solutions in terms of the jobs customers are trying to achieve.
Pipeline Authoring and Pipeline Execution are closely related but they also represent different stages in the cycle of a user's interaction with a pipeline. At a very high-level, this image illustrates the main focus of each group and how they can both support a better pipeline experience.
|Caroline Simpson||Fullstack Engineering Manager, Verify:Pipeline Execution|
|Allison Browne||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Execution|
|Senior Backend Engineer||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Execution|
|Hordur Freyr Yngvason||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Execution|
|Jose Ivan Vargas||Senior Frontend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Execution|
|Marius Bobin||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Execution|
|Max Fan||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Execution|
|Panos Kanellidis||Backend Engineer|
|Payton Burdette||Senior Frontend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Execution|
|Tianwen Chen||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Execution|
|Mark Nuzzo||Fullstack Engineering Manager, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Avielle Wolfe||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Briley Sandlin||Senior Frontend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Frédéric Caplette||Staff Frontend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Furkan Ayhan||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Kasia Misirli||Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Laura Montemayor||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Leaminn Ma||Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Nicole Williams||Senior Engineering Manager, Verify:Runner|
|Adrien Kohlbecker||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Arran Walker||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Axel von Bertoldi||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Davis Bickford||Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Georgi Georgiev||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Joe Burnett||Staff Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Miguel Rincon||Staff Frontend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Pedro Pombeiro||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Romuald Atchadé||Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Tomasz Maczukin||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Vladimir Shushlin||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Runner|
|Scott Hampton||Fullstack Engineering Manager, Verify:Pipeline Security|
|Albert Salim||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Security|
|Dmytro Biryukov||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Security|
|Erick Bajao||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Security|
|Maxime Orefice||Senior Backend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Security|
|Miranda Fluharty||Frontend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Security|
|Mireya Andres||Frontend Engineer, Verify:Pipeline Security|
Each group in Verify is encouraged to define their own process based on what works best for them. Individual group processes are described on the pages below:
Welcome to the team! Whether you're joining GitLab as a new hire, transferring internally, or ramping up on the CI domain knowledge to tackle issues in our area, you'll be assigned an onboarding/shadowing buddy so you can have someone to work with as you're getting familiarized with our codebase, our tech stack and general development processes on your Verify team.
Read over this page as a starting point and feel free to set up regular sync or async conversations with your buddy. We recommend setting up weekly touch points, at a minimum, and joining our regular team syncs to learn more about how we work. (Reach out to our Engineering Managers for an invite to those recurring meetings). Please also schedule a few coffee chats to meet some members of our team. You will be assigned a team specific developer onboarding issue (For example, Pipeline Execution Developer onboarding checklist) for you to go through. It contains admin tasks to complete (as a new team member, if relevant), and also links to technical documentation, meeting agendas, and recordings.
Issues labelled with
~onboarding are smaller issues to help you get onboarded into the CI feature area. We typically work Kanban, so if there aren't any
~onboarding issues in the current milestone, reach out to the Product Manager and/or Engineering Managers to see which issues you can start on as part of your onboarding period.
In May 2021, we introduced the CI Shadow Program, which we are trialing as a way to onboard existing GitLab team members from other Engineering teams to the CI domain and contribute to CI features.
Onboarding buddies are assigned to new hires to ensure their first few months of onboarding go smoothly. It's recommended that onboarding buddies set up weekly check-ins, whether that's async (such as a Slack DM) or sync (such as recurring coffee chats).
Reviewing Merge Requests
In addition to helping those new hire/transfer through any issues with their set up or assigned tasks, it's recommended that their onboarding buddies add the new hire/transfer as an additional reviewer on any MRs the onboarding buddy has been requested to review. Ideally this takes place after they've been working in Verify for at least 3 months, and as mutually agreed upon between both parties. This step further builds the new hire/transfer's CI knowledge and allows for CI domain expertise to be shared amongst all engineers in Verify.
Similar to our reviewer mentorship programs, the new hire/transfer will review the merge request as if they're being asked to perform the code review. Once complete, they'll assign the MR back to their onboarding buddy. It is expected that the onboarding buddy will also complete the code review, then provide the new hire/transfer feedback about their code review. Ideally this takes place at their next check-in, where notes are captured in a shared Google Doc or a GitLab issue for ease-of-collaboration.
Our API exists in two formats (REST and GraphQL) which should allow the same degree of querying.
In Verify, we are
GraphQL first which means that we will develop new user facing features using
GraphQL by default.
We will refactor older
REST user facing features to support
GraphQL wherever possible.
In some instances, it might make more sense to keep or even develop a new feature using
REST is better at handling files than
GraphQL so it might be better to preserve this functionality in
We allow each team to decide when they think they should go with
REST, but eventually the goal is to have everything in
In the Verify team we lean in to the GitLab mission, "everyone can contribute"!
To help balance this workload out across the groups, we use the
Verify candidate label.
Every issue with this label is a good candidate to be worked on by any group in the Verify stage.
This applies to both frontend and backend issues.
Prioritization is still determined by the Product Manager, such as ensuring any deliverables in the engineer's own group still take priority, but engineers are encouraged to pick work up from this board.
This helps us break down silos, balance the workload, and prevent disruptive re-allocations.
To help with prioritizing within the list of available
Verify candidate issues, it's recommended to reference the issue types in the Product Priorities list, noting any severities applied on the issues as well.
Across Verify we value Transparency, we live our values of Inclusion, and we expect Efficiency by dogfooding using Issue Health Statuses and providing regular updates on active issues. Each team in the Verify Stage will define the cadence of updates and specific defintion of the statuses, but generally the expectation is a weekly update on in progress issues with the following Health Statuses:
These updates are an opportunity for the engineer to add detail to the status and are not expected to provide a justification for why something is behind or will miss a milestone. We encourage blameless problem solving and kindness at all times.
In the Verify stage, we value MR Rate as a shared performance indicator for team collaboration, iteration, customer results. The entire team is responsible for iterative scope in issues. This starts with product management creating a clear problem statement connected to user insights. UX then adds interaction specifications and acceptance criteria to then be considered and weighed by the engineering team. Teams are encouraged to iterate on scope so as to delivery the smallest thing possible.
By considering MR Rate as a measure of throughput, product management is focused on creating decomposed pieces of scope to improve the user experience. This encourages the UX and engineering teammates to provide simpler ways to solve the same problem, ultimately improving the throughput of the entire team.
Since April 2023, code changes to Verify code require approval from a Verify maintainer since Continuous Integration platform overall is a critical GitLab feature. In order to track quality of the approval process we ask Verify maintainers to apply one of the following labels to a merge request changing Verify code:
~"verify-review::impacted"for merge requests where the maintainer was able to identify near miss bugs, inefficiencies and tech debt.
~"verify-review::not impacted"for merge requests where the change was trivial or no issues were found by the Verify maintainer.
The following members of other functional teams are our stable counterparts:
|Darren Eastman||Senior Product Manager, Verify:Runner|
|Dov Hershkovitch||Senior Product Manager, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Jocelyn Eillis||Senior Product Manager, Verify:Pipeline Security|
|Marcel Amirault||Technical Writer, Verify (Pipeline Execution, Pipeline Authoring)|
|Dominic Couture||Staff Security Engineer, Application Security, Verify (Pipeline Execution, Pipeline Authoring, Runner, Testing), Release (Release)|
|Senior Software Engineer in Test||Senior Software Engineer in Test, Verify:Pipeline Authoring|
|Zeff Morgan||Senior Software Engineer in Test, Verify:Runner|
|Jackie Porter||Director of Product Management, Verify & Package|
In FY24, we are instituting quarterly async work weeks in Verify that start on the first Monday of the month for the quarter. Some of the benefits include reducing time spent in sync meetings, allowing for more focus, which aligns with our async-first communication and our Diversity and Inclusion value to bias towards more async communication. However, this doesn't preclude us from having any meetings, and it's up to meeting facilitators to decide accordingly. Exceptions might include: high priority issues and initiatives, social calls, coffee catch-ups. This also does not mean that you should not default to async-first at other times. Having regularly scheduled async weeks ensures that our processes do not become depending on synchronous meetings.
|FY24-Q1||2023-03-20 to 2022-03-24|
|FY24-Q2||2023-05-01 to 2023-05-05|
|FY24-Q3||2023-08-07 to 2023-08-11|
|FY24-Q4||2023-11-06 to 2023-11-10|
As of June 2022, async issue updates are created weekly at the stage level and for each of the groups within the stage, following the Ops section process of async updates. Contributions will be added by Principal+ Engineers, Engineering Managers, and the Senior Engineering Manager of the Verify stage.
Every two weeks the Verify Engineering Update Newsletter is set out to an opt-in subscriber list. The purpose of the email is to share recent highlights from the Verify stage so folks will have a better idea of what is happening on other teams, and provide new opportunities for learning and collaboration.
Everyone is welcome to sign up or view previous issue on the newsletter page.
Each issue of the newsletter is planned using individual issues linked in the newsletter epic. Content is generally contributed by managers, but everyone is encouraged to contribute topics for the newsletter.
Verify Technical Discussions is a Zoom meeting hosted monthly by the team members in the Verify stage. Everyone is invited, however paricipation from the Verify stage members is especially encouraged.
During the meeting we discuss a variety of technical aspects related to the Verify stage roadmap. Folks are also encouraged to challenges they're facing working on problems in the CI domain.
Everyone can add their points to the agenda document.
Below you can find a table with links to recordings of Verify Technical Discussions and Technical Deep Dives.
The Verify Technical Discussions are automatically recorded and added to Google Drive (internal).
|2021-01-21||Technical Discussions - Pipeline Editor and database storage||Recording|
|2021-01-07||Technical Discussions - Next iteration of CI/CD Pipeline DAG||Recording|
|2020-12-10||Technical Deep Dive - Observability at GitLab with demos||Recording|
|2020-11-19||Technical Deep Dive - Cloud Native Build Logs feature overview||Recording|
|2020-05-08||Technical Deep Dive - Using Prometheus with GitLab Compose Kit||Recording|
The Product Manager, Engineering Manager(s), and Designer for each group are responsible for triaging and scheduling feature proposals and bugs as part of the Weekly Triage Report. Product Managers schedule issues by assigning them to a Milestone or the Backlog. For bug triage, Engineering Managers and Product Managers work together to ensure that the correct
priority labels have been applied. Since Product Managers are the DRIs for prioritization, they will validate and/or apply the initial
priority label to bugs. Engineering Managers are responsible for adding or updating the
severity labels for bugs listed in the triage report, and to help Product Management with understanding the criticality and technical feasibility of the bug, as needed.
While SLOs for resolving bugs are tied to severities, it is up to Product Management to set priorities for the group with an appropriate target resolution time. For example, criteria such as the volume of
severity::2 level bugs may make it appropriate for the Product Manager to adjust the priority accordingly to reflect the expected time to resolution.
In the Verify Stage, we aim to solve new availability, security, performance issues within the SLO of the assigned severity. These types of issues are the top priority followed by bugs and technical debt according to our severity SLO chart.
Availability and performance issues (commonly referred to as infradev) are also triaged in the Infra/Dev Triage Board.
We believe in supporting our open source community. We aim to support two main measure of success:
Each team in the Verify Stage follows roughly the same process to ensure the community is effectively supported and free to add features or fixes to the product. How we manage the Community Contribution MRs is spread across three main areas: processing the contributions, reviewing the contributions, and merging the contributions.
Code contributions to Verify typically occur in three flavors:
Contributions from both free and paid users are equally important and will follow our GitLab Contribution Guidelines. We strive to make this process as frictionless as possible between our users and the Engineering teams in Verify, especially during the reviewing of contributions.
Once a contribution has been created, the Engineering Manager assigns an engineer to manage and review with the Community Contributor. Reviewing contributions will follow the definition of done, style guidelines, and other practices of development. As the DRI of the review, the assigned Verify engineer will work with Community Contributor to resolve any outstanding items. The MR is then passed to a Maintainer with relevant domain expertise for final review prior to being merged.
Our partners are an important part of our ecosystem at GitLab. These contributions should be reviewed with the same GitLab Contribution Guidelines as community MR contributions, and aligns with the Verify contribution guidelines for working in the Verify areas of the codebase.
The Maintainer of the codebase will be the DRI of merging the contribution into the Verify product.
For issues that are refined, they are considered priority for review and merging. Refined issues are defined as issues in
workflow::ready for development, with
direction labels, and either have technical proposals or are weighted. Issues that are not labeled with
workflow::ready for development and
direction labels are considered non-refined and are lower priority for review, and therefore have longer merge SLOs. SLOs for these two types of issues are defined in the table below:
|Types of issues & users||Time Frame for Review SLO||Time frame for Merge SLO|
|All users contributing to refined issues or bugs of severity S2 or S1||30 days||The next release (60 days)|
|Paying users from non-refined issues or bugs of severity S3||60 days||Within the next 3 releases (approx one quarter or 90 days)|
|Non-paying users from non-refined issues or bugs of severity S4||90 days||Anything outside the next 3 releases (more than one quarter or 120 days).|
In order to prevent the inflow of Community Contributions overwhelming engineers on the team and impacting their ability to work on planned issues, there is a WIP limit of 5 assigned Community Contribution MRs per reviewing engineer. This helps limit the amount of context switching a single engineer is doing and prevents them from being overwhelmed with reviews.
In the event of escalations or high priority tasks that come up, we will adopt a follow-the-sun rotation to ensure that the task is completed as quickly as possible. Examples of these urgent tasks include (but are not limited to): critical customer fixes, high severity security issues or corrective actions related to a high severity incident, with this level of urgency to be confirmed by the team's leadership (e.g. Engineering Manager and Product Manager). The follow-the-sun rotation requires an engineer to focus on that task within their working hours, then transitions to the next engineer once they come online, and engineers will arrange handoff of work to one another as needed (for example, when collaborating on an MR together as the contributor and reviewer, respectively). This effort can also be a cross-stage effort, which involves collaboration amongst engineers across Verify stage groups.
As part of our GitLab values, we strive to be inclusive to those in regions with fewer employees. As a result, there is no expectation that people are expected to continuously work outside of their regular business hours. In the event we have limited people available in certain regions (such as APAC), we should look to escalate outside of the Verify stage to maintain focus on the escalated effort, by reaching out to engineers or other SMEs, and have managers help with this escalation path as needed.