Community Advocacy

Finding the Community Advocates

On this page

Community Advocate Resources

Role of Community Advocacy


The goal of community advocacy is to grow the number of active GitLab contributors. We do this by increasing conversion in the contributor journey.


  1. Order, expense, and read the Art of Community by Jono Bacon (Added to CA Bootcamp)
  2. Finish Features in one yaml
  3. Add diversity events to event list mentioning that we sponsor it but don't attend
  4. Reinstate the webstore with Art if not done already
  5. Have discount codes that are easily distributed by team members (maybe ChatOps?)
  6. Sent the MVP a quirky gift
  7. Sent every major contributor a personalized gift
  8. Host online sessions for code and docs contributors
  9. Start keeping track of our core contributors
  10. Do the rest of the contributor journey


  1. GitLab has 1000's of active core contributors
  2. Being a core contributor is a very rewarding experience
  3. There are 10's of active GitLab/ConvDev meet-ups
  4. 100's of talks per year given at conferences and meetups
  5. Our most active core contributors come to our summits
  6. 100's of people contribute to the code and docs every month
  7. We use software that helps us to keep track of core contributors (can be forum, Highrise, software made for advocacy, or a custom Rails app)
  8. There is a core contributors page organized per region with the same information as the team page and what they contributed, where they work (if they have a linkedin profile), and a button to sent them an email via a form.
  9. We measure and optimize every step of the contributor journey

Respond to Every Community Question About GitLab Asked Online

Community Interaction Archetypes

Stability Complaints

Feature Requests

General Questions / Issues with .com

Bug Reports


Special Types

Notes / Remarks


The #mentions-of-gitlab chat channel tracks mentions of GitLab across multiple sources. This allows us to respond to user requests across various platforms.

We currently track the following sources for GitLab mentions:

  1. Product Hunt
  2. Hacker News
  3. Reddit
  4. YouTube

These mentions get piped to the Slack channel by

All comments on our blog posts and any mention of GitLab on Lobsters also gets funneled to this channel using zapier.

Specific channels

Respond to the GitLab community across the following channels in a timely manner:

Hacker News

Respond to GitLab mentions on HackerNews. These get piped into the #mentions-of-gitlab chat channel.

When responding to a post about GitLab on HackerNews:


All the comments from our blog are handled by Disqus. There's an integration with ZenDesk in place which pipes posts to ZenDesk as tickets.

Go through the tickets per-post, see if all comments have received responses, respond if any need responses, then mark all the relevant tickets as Solved.

You should also monitor the #docs-comments and #mentions-of-gitlab channels and mark every post with a :white_check_mark: to show it's been reviewed and handled.


Tweets that mention @GitLab, or @GitLabStatus will create a ticket in Zendesk, and show up in the "Twitter" view. All responses should be sent from Zendesk.

If a tweet is responded to from TweetDeck, this risks duplicate responses. Responding from Zendesk also enables us to track our response times vs. our internal SLA.

Reply to almost all tweets, following the social media guidelines, and the guidelines on representing GitLab on Twitter regardless of whether the tweet is of a technical nature or not. Follow up with the support team if the issue is too complex to handle.


When resolving Twitter tickets you should:

  1. Use Play mode in the Twitter view. The default Twitter view will sort tickets by created date (ascending).
  2. Not skip any tickets
  3. Assign the ticket to yourself or ask in the appropriate chat channel if you don't know how to answer it
  4. Not cross assign tickets


Usage of Likes

Use "Likes" on Twitter for promoting positive feedback about our product since we direct users there when we want to show that people really love the product. Avoid using it for anything else.

Direct Messages

We have DMs disabled, but they can be used if we DM a user first. This should only be used when the user needs to communicate with us privately (e.g. to give a mailing address).

Mailing List

Respond to questions on the GitLab Mailing List.

community@ email

Respond to an email sent to our community@ address.


Messages sent to our Facebook page also feed into ZenDesk.

GitLab Forum

Questions from the GitLab Forum flow into ZenDesk, but can only be responded to from within the Forum environment.

Stack Overflow

The Stack Overflow tagged questions that relate to GitLab flow into Zendesk, but can only be responded to from within Stack Overflow.

After you create an account on Stack Overflow (if you don't already have one), you should start by answering a few simple questions in an area you're familiar with (a language, web framework, development platform, API, etc.) or in the GitLab tag(s) if you feel comfortable. The goal is to get enough "Reputation" and have access to a few more features.

Consider offering some of your Reputation using bounties if a question is particularly advanced and you don't believe you can answer yourself, and the question seems deserving of an answer (e.g. if it has lots of upvotes).


Respond to mentions of GitLab on Reddit, especially ones in the GitLab Subreddit.


Repond to comments made on the GitLab Youtube Channel.


Respond to questions about GitLab on Quora, especially the ones that appear in the GitLab Topic channel.

Involving Experts

When responding to community messages, you should always strive to involve a resident GitLab expert on the subject if possible.

This gives:

Please ping the expert in the relevant channel (e.g. in #frontend if it's a frontend question) with:

@expert_username [LINK TO COMMUNITY COMMENT]

And add an internal note with the link of the Slack message to the associated Zendesk ticket. If there is no Zendesk ticket related to the mention (e.g.a HackerNews mention) track it in the #devrel channel.

When trying to figure out who has expertise on what segment of the product, the handbook Product page has a section called "Who to talk to for what". The team page can also be useful.

Can You Please Respond to This?

You got a link to this because we'd like you to respond to the mentioned community comment. We want to make sure we give the best answer possible by connecting the wider community with our experts and expose you to more community feedback.

When responding to community mentions, you should check out the social media guidelines.

If you can't respond to the linked comment, that's OK, but please quickly let the person who pinged you know so they can ping someone else.

Release Post Calendar Planning

Block off your calendar to anticipate for release posts. They occur regularly every 22nd in the month, just like each GitLab release.

MVP Appreciation Gifts

  1. Determine MVP after merge window closes, see #release-mvp channel.
  2. Find MVP's contact information
    • An email address is usually stored in git commit data
    • A user might have email or twitter info on their profile
  3. Email MVP a congratulations, ask for MVP's address to send gift, as well as any other relevant information (e.g. shirt size).
  4. Investigate the MVP's interests
    • If the MVP doesn't have a notable presence on social media, you may choose to ask them directly or otherwise send swag instead.
  5. Choose a suitable gift (up to 200$ USD)
  6. Send the gift
    • The MVP should ideally have the gift 48h before the post goes live, though shipping to persons outside the United States can take longer and usually won't make it in time.
  7. Verify shipment status
    • Make sure that it was sent
    • Make sure that it arrived
  8. Mention the MVP gift in the release post
    • Make sure there's a picture of the gift in the release post if one is available

Good Custom Swag Providers

Provider Website URL Example Pricing Note
CustomInk CustomInk T-Shirt Pricing  
RageOn RageOn Product Pricing  

Handling the #swag channel

Handle swag requests made in the #swag channel.


Here's the process for requesting a swag gift for a contributor/user/customer:

Request templates:

NOTE: If you don't specify which swag to send, we'll send a standard package (T-Shirt + 2 stickers) NOTE: Please keep a single swag request confined to one message to avoid clutter


NOTE: Please keep in mind the list of countries we do not do business in.

Diversity Sponsorship

NOTE: Please keep in mind the list of countries we do not do business in.

Email Templates


Thank you so much for applying, considering GitLab as a sponsor and hosting such an awesome event!

We'll gladly sponsor it! You should send an invoice to Accounts Payable ( along with sending this MR link LINK in the body of the email for verification purposes.

Your Name

Thank you so much for considering GitLab as a sponsor.

Unfortunately we're able to extend the diversity sponsorship grant only to events whose primary focus is promoting diversity (inclusion of underrepresented groups) in tech.

This says nothing bad about your event; it's awesome! We're just looking for a different profile of events to sponsor.

Your Name

Sample Daily Workflow

  1. ZenDesk:
    1. Go through the recommended Disqus view
    2. Go through the recommended Twitter view
    3. Go through the recommended Facebook view
  2. Go through the GitLab Forum, answering all relevant tickets
  3. Go through StackOverflow GitLab tagged questions, answering them
  4. Go through the GitLab Subreddit, answering all relevant tickets
  5. Handle ToDos
  6. Rinse and Repeat ↻