Group Conversations

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Over the years, GitLab has had Functional Group Updates, which are regular updates from a group at GitLab. For examples please see recent dates in a search for them.

We are evolving FGUs to no longer be updates, but to be conversations, and will now be calling them "Group Conversations". The slides and trainings included below are still relevant but should be considered the starting point for a great conversation with other team members around the work that your group is doing. All team members at GitLab should be feel comfortable and encouraged to join these conversations, not just as a listener to the content, but as a participant in the conversation.


If you are unable to attend the Group Conversation, don't let that hold you back! Watch the latest Group Conversation in the Google Drive folder found in the description of each update. If you have questions or a discussion to start, bring it to the #group-conversation Slack channel! Make sure to @tag the presenter!

Make it worthwhile

  1. Aim for 5-10 minutes of presentation with a maximum of 12 minutes. After 12 minutes of presentation, participants should remind the speaker to stop presenting ('As stated in the handbook the value of an Group Conversation is the conversation and questions, can we wrap up the presentation sinced it already went over the aim of 10 minutes?').
  2. Please focus on the discussion during the call, not the slide content. The benfit of the call is the conversation, not the presentation.
  3. Do not read the contents of your slides. We already read what is on them before you even bring them into view. Everyone is able to read the slide content so the value is in the conversation and questions. Leave time for questions, the presentation is there as warmup to get questions, questions will have the things people care about that you overlooked, they are the most important part of the Group Conversation.
  4. Save time and ensure asynchronous communication by writing information on the slides. Many people will not be able to participate in Group Conversation, either live or recorded, but can read trough the slides.
  5. It is not the end of the world if a call ends after 5 minutes, we aim for results, not for time spend.
  6. Don't do a countdown when you're asking for questions, people will not ask one. Just end the call or even better say: we'll not end the call before getting at least one question.
  7. People need to be on time for the company call, end no later than :29 and preferably at :25.
  8. If there are more questions or a need for longer conversation, mention on what chat channel the conversation can continue or link to a relevant issue.


  1. Please see the above paragraph about making it worthwhile.
  2. We'll use Zoom for now, will switch to YouTube Live later.
  3. Use this slide deck as template to your presentation. Presentations should allow editing (preferred) or commenting from everyone at GitLab.
  4. Make sure to add the link of the presentation to the GitLab Team Meetings Calendar invite at least 24 hours before the call takes place. This allows team members to see the presentation, to click links, have random access during the presentation, and to quickly scan the presentation if they missed it. Please also add who the speaker will be to the presentation and the invite. To do this, go to the GitLab Team Meetings calendar, find the event, click on more details and edit the description. People Ops will ping the appropriate team member at the 24-hour mark if the event hasn't been updated yet.
  5. Reduce distractions for yourself and the attendees by:
    • having the presentation open in its own new browser window, and only sharing that window in Zoom.
    • switching off notifications (from Slack, email, etc.). On Mac, in the notification center in the upper right hand corner, click on Notifications, select Do Not Disturb (sometimes you need to scroll up to see the option).
  6. All calls are published on YouTube, with the exception of Finance, Sales, Security, Channel, and Partnerships. Every call is reviewed prior to publishing to make sure no internal information is shared externally.
  7. Right now everyone at GitLab the company is invited to each call, we'll invite the wider community later.
  8. Attendance is optional.
    • Please add the link to your Group Conversation recordings folder in Google Drive to the invite. This enables team members to easily review the recording afterward.
  9. The conversation is also announced on and the recording linked from our company call agenda.
  10. Tone should be informal, like explain to a friend what happened in the group last month, it shouldn't require a lot of presentation.
  11. You can invite someone in the team to give the update, it doesn't need to be the team lead, but the team lead is responsible that it is given.
  12. Calls are 5 times a week 30 minutes before the company call, 8:00 to 8:25am Pacific.
  13. Calls are scheduled by an EA.
  14. If you need to reschedule, please switch your presenting day with another Group Conversation leader. If you've agreed to switch do the following:
    • Go to the GitLab Team calendar invite
    • Update the date of your and the other invite to be switched
    • Choose to send an update to the invitees
    • If prompted with the questions to update 1 or all events, choose to only update this event
  15. The call is recorded automatically, and all calls are transferred every hour to a Google Drive folder called "GitLab Videos", which is accessible to all users with a e-mail account.
  16. Video recordings will be published on our blog so contributors, users, and customers can see it. We're aiming to publish a blog post once a week of that weeks' recordings with the matching slides in one go.
  17. People tend to spend at least an hour to prepare their update, you write down everything people should know and present only for a few minutes.
  18. Slides with a lot of text that can be read on their own with lots of links are appreciated.
  19. There are three layers of content in a presentation:
    • Data, this is the contents the slide.
    • Take away, this is the title of the slide, so use: 'migration 10 days ahead of schedule', instead of 'migration schedule estimates', the combined titles of your slides should a good summary.
    • Feelings, the is the verbal and non-verbal communication in the video feed, how you feel about the take away, 'I'm proud of the band for picking up the pace'.

Group Conversation Training

In this video our CEO, Sid gives our team tips and tricks for their FGU. This still applies to Group Conversations.

Template for the blog post

For instructions on how to create a blog post, please see our Blog Handbook.

Please copy the code block below and paste it into a blog post with the file name

title: "GitLab's Functional Group Updates - MMM DD-DD" # replace "MMM" with the current month, and "DD-DD" with the date range
author: Name Surname
author_twitter: twitter-username
categories: Functional Group Updates
image_title: '/images/blogimages/functional-group-update-blog-cover.jpg'
description: "The Functional Groups at GitLab give an update on what they've been working on"

<!-- beginning of the intro - leave it as is -->

Every day from Monday to Thursday, right before our [GitLab Company call](/handbook/#company-call), a different Group initiates a [conversation](/handbook/people-operations/group-conversations/) with our team.

The format of these calls is simple and short where attendees have access to the presentation content and presenters can either give a quick presentation or jump straight into the agenda and answering questions.

<!-- more -->

## Recordings

All of the updates are recorded using [Zoom]( at the time of the call. All the recordings will be uploaded to our YouTube account and made public, with the exception of the Sales and Finance updates.

<!-- end of the intro -->

<!-- beginning of the FG block - repeat as many times as necessary (copy and paste the entire block) -->


### XXX Team

[Presentation slides](link-to-slides-deck)

<figure class="video_container">
  <iframe src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true"> </iframe>

<!-- end of the FG block -->

<!-- beginning of the FG block - repeat as many times as necessary (copy and paste the entire block) -->


### XXX Team

[Presentation slides](link-to-slides-deck)

<figure class="video_container">
  <iframe src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true"> </iframe>

<!-- end of the FG block -->


Questions? Leave a comment below or tweet [@GitLab](! Would you like to join us? Check out our [job openings](/jobs/)!

Uploading and Editing the Videos

Group Conversation XXX-Team Date

Presentation - [Input your presentation's URL and check if its set to view only for anyone with the link if using Google Slides]

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Want to know more about our free /gitlab-com/

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Questions?? - /company/contact/


There is a rotating schedule:

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

Week 5:

Week 6:

Week 7:

Week 8:


A possible agenda for the call is:

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Concerns
  3. Stalled/need help
  4. Plans
  5. Questions and discussions live or in chat