This document explains the workflow for anyone working with issues in GitLab Inc. For the workflow that applies to everyone please see PROCESS.md.
Table of contents
Products at GitLab are built using the GitLab Flow.
For larger issues or issues that contain many different moving parts, you'll be likely working in a team. This team will typically consist of a backend developer, a frontend developer, a UX designer and a product manager.
Start working on things with the highest priority in the current milestone. The priority of items are defined under labels in the repository, but you are able to sort by priority.
After sorting by priority, choose something that you’re able to tackle and falls under your responsibility. That means that if you’re a frontend developer, you work on something with the label
To filter very precisely, you could filter all issues for:
Use this link to quickly set the above parameters. You'll still need to filter by the label for your own team.
If you’re in doubt about what to work on, ask your lead. They will be able to tell you.
See the guidelines in our Contribution guide.
GitLab.com is a very large instance of GitLab Enterprise Edition. It runs release candidates for new releases, and sees a lot of issues because of the amount of traffic it gets. There are several internal tools available for developers at GitLab to get data about what's happening in the production system:
To allow for asynchronous issue handling, we use milestones and labels. Leads and product managers handle most of the scheduling into milestones. Labelling is a task for everyone.
Most issues will have labels for at least one of the following:
container registry, etc.)
If you come across an issue that has none of these, you can always add the team and type, and often also the subject.
All labels, their meaning and priority are defined on the labels page.
Team labels specify what team is responsible for this issue. Assigning a team label makes sure issues get the attention of the appropriate people.
The current team labels are
UX. The descriptions on the labels page explain what falls under the responsibility of each team.
Team labels are always colored aqua, and are capitalized so that they show up as the first label for any issue.
container registry, etc.)
Subject labels are labels that define what area or feature of GitLab this issue hits. They are not always necessary, but very convenient. If you are an expert in a particular area, it makes it easier to find issues to work on.
Examples of subject labels are
Subject labels are always colored blue and all-lowercase.
Type labels are very important. They define what kind of issue this is. Every issue should have one or more. Examples of types are:
Examples of type labels are
A number of type labels have a priority assigned to them, which automatically makes them float to the top, depending on their importance.
Type labels are always lowercase, but can have any color, besides blue (which is already reserved for subject labels). The descriptions on the labels page explain what falls under each type label.
Priority labels help us clearly communicate expectations of the work for the release. There are two levels of priority labels:
Deliverable: Issues that are expected to be delivered in this milestone.
Stretch: Issues that are a stretch goal for delivering in this milestone. If these issues are not done in the current release, they will strongly be considered for the next release.
Work with your lead if you feel that there are too many
Deliverable issues scheduled for the current release.
Accepting Merge Requests)
Issues that are beneficial to our users, 'nice to haves', that we currently do not have the capacity for or want to give the priority to, are labeled as
Accepting Merge Requests, so the community can make a contribution.
Community contributors can submit merge requests for any issue they want, but
Accepting Merge Requests label has a special meaning. It points to changes that we already agreed on, are well-defined, and are likely to get accepted by a merge request endboss. We want to avoid a situation when a contributor picks an
Accepting Merge Requests issue and then their merge request gets closed, because we realize that it does not fit our vision and or we want to solve it in a different way.
We add the
Accepting Merge Requests label to:
Accepting Merge Requests label, we try to estimate the weight of the issue. We use issue weight to let contributors know how difficult the issue is. Additionally:
Accepting Merge Requestsissues with weight < 5 as suitable for people that have never contributed to GitLab before on the Up For Grabs campaign
Accepting Merge Requestsissues with weight 1
Of course, the weight is only an estimate, but you (as a person familiar with GitLab codebase) are more likely to estimate correctly than a potential contributor who is new to GitLab. However, if you are unable to provide an estimate, it is better to leave the issue without weight, so we do not make a false promise that the issue is suitable for new contributors.
GitLab Inc has to be selective in working on particular issues. We have a limited capacity to work on new things. Therefore, we have to schedule issues carefully. This is done primarily by product and engineering managers.
Each issue that is scheduled should meet most of these criteria:
Direction issues are the big, prioritized new features for each release. They are limited to a small number per release so that we have plenty of capacity to work on other important issues, bug fixes, etc.
Issues that are not scheduled for a future milestone, but we are committed to doing, are put in the Backlog milestone.
If you want to schedule an
Accepting Merge Requests issue, please remove the label first.
Any scheduled issue should have a team label assigned, and at least one type label.
Only fleshed-out issues can be scheduled. If an issue is vague or has unclear requirements, we can not schedule it.
To request a scheduling of an issue, ask the responsible lead. You can find the leads on the team page, and in the descriptions of the team labels. For (major) feature requests, ask the relevant product manager. Right now this is either Mark (for CI) or Job.
We have much more requests for great features than we have capacity to work on. There is a good chance we’ll not be able to work on something. Make sure the appropriate labels (such as
customer) are applied so every issue is given the priority it deserves.
Engineering and product schedule (establish scope of) which issues are to be worked on in the following milestone. In particular:
There is an informal scheduling process discussion in the #scheduling Slack channel. Anyone can join and suggest improvements to our scheduling process.