This document explains the workflow for anyone working with issues in GitLab Inc. For the workflow that applies to everyone please see PROCESS.md.
Products at GitLab are built using the GitLab Flow.
If you notice that the tests for the
master branch of GitLab CE or EE are failing (red) or broken (green as a false positive), fixing this takes priority over everything else development related, since everything we do while tests are broken may break existing functionality, or introduce new bugs and security issues.
Create an issue, post about it in
#development so that other developers are aware of the problem and can help. If the problem cannot be fixed by you within a few hours,
@mention the relevant Engineering Leads and CTO in the issue and on Slack, so that resources can be assigned to fix it as quickly as possible.
If you find or are alerted of a security issue, major or small, fixing this takes priority over everything else development related.
Create a confidential issue mentioning the Security and the relevant Engineering Leads, as well as the VP of Engineering, and post about it in
For general guidelines about issues and merge requests, be sure to read the GitLab Workflow.
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.
Labels are described 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:
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.
Product Managers are responsible for scheduling all issues in their respective product areas, including features, bugs, and tech debt. Product managers work closely with the UX Lead and Engineering Leads as part of scheduling. The UX Lead and Engineering Leads are responsible for resource planning and allocation in their respective teams. (Product Managers are not responsible for these activities.)
Product Managers are responsible for balancing priorities in scheduling with input from all GitLab stakeholders.
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.
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.
To request scheduling an issue, ask the responsible product manager
We have many 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.
There is an informal scheduling process discussion in the #scheduling Slack channel. Anyone can join and suggest improvements to our scheduling process.
Teams (Product, UX, Engineering) continually work on issues according to their respective workflows. There is no specified process whereby a particular resource should be working on a set of issues in a given time period. However, there are specific deadlines that should inform team workflows and prioritization. Suppose we are talking about milestone
m that will be shipped in month
M (on the 22nd). We have the following deadlines:
M-1, 4th: Release scope is established. In-scope issues marked with milestone
missues are updated with docs starter blurb. Release post (WIP merge request) created with
missues and docs starter blurbs.
M-1, 8th(or next business day): Kickoff call with WIP release post.
M, 7th: Completed
missues with docs have been merged into master. Unstarted or unfinished
missues are de-scoped from
mbeing removed from them.
M, 22nd: Release shipped to production. Release post published.
Refer to release post due dates for additional deadlines.
Note that release timelines are overlapping. For example, when a release is shipped to production on the 22nd, the scope for the following release has already been established earlier in that same month.
An in-scope issue already has a docs starter blurb (written by the PM) by the time engineers start development. Engineers should create and merge in the updated docs as part of completing an issue by the 7th. PMs revise the starter docs blurbs in the release post appropriately before the release post is published.
Refer to Feature freeze on the 7th for the release on the 22nd for further timeline details of code releases, including major/minor version releases, as well as patch releases.