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Creating and Escalating Issues

Escalating GitLab issues correctly is an important part of providing quick and accurate customer support. The support team uses the processes and escalation points described on this page when dealing with GitLab issues.

Issue Prioritization

In general, the Product team will prioritize all issues (not just customer requests) based on types of issues and the direction of the product.

The Support Team plays a role in communicating the impact to customers of issues and feature requests. By using appropriate templates, adding labels, and adding relevant information in descriptions and comments, the team can communicate which issues affect customers along with their priority and severity. By participating in the scheduling effort for each release, the Support Team represents an additional voice of the customer in product development.

Additional Context and Notes

Having the Product team comment in the issues directly follows our core value of being transparent and will help customers understand the context around why / when their issues are being resolved, and it provides direct feedback from customers to the Development and Product teams.

Working this way, it is possible that a customer reported issue is not picked up for a while (scheduling first, then time to work on a fix, then schedule for release, etc.). However, the idea is that this is OK because most truly urgent issues will in fact be regressions that don’t have this scheduling problem. If a bug isn't a regression, that means it has existed for more than a month when the customer notes it, and thus we've gone at least a full month without someone reporting the issue as urgent.

Issues are not scheduled for a particular release unless Product adds them to a release milestone and they are assigned to a developer. We aim to be realistic about scheduled deliverables and will avoid scheduling issues that cannot be delivered in a given release.

Adding Comments on Existing Issues

Regardless of the type of issue, please include any relevant information along with a link. Also check that the correct labels have been applied.

Please include the following information to give more context whenever possible:

Adding Labels

Using the appropriate labels is critical to ensuring visibility of issues and to get them on relevant PM's radar.

Required:

Note: The use of ~customer+ is under discussion and may change in the near future. Please refer to sales #302.

Optional, but highly recommended:

Escalate New and Existing Issues

The Support team can directly ping the PM on the issue or in the #product Slack channel (see DevOps Stages) in case this may help with communication. Comments might include asking for an update on behalf of the customer, or discussing the severity or priority especially if it needs to be increased.

Creating Issues

Whenever possible, reproduce the issue and file a public issue with a reference to the ZD link as an additional example.

When reporting a problem, use the Bug template, then fill out as much of the information as possible. Ensure you add labels.

When writing issues, consider adding questions as a comment after creating the issue. For example: "@PM please provide feedback on this issue. Are we interested in fixing/implementing this? How critical do you think it is?"

Avoid Re-opening Closed Issues

If you find an existing closed issue that is the same or similar to the customer problem at hand, you probably should not re-open the closed issue. The closed issue may actually be unrelated. Or maybe the closed issue describes the same problem you see now, but has a different root cause. Even if it's the same identical problem, you probably should not re-open the issue because that issue might have a previous milestone and so now the re-opened issue would have an invalid milestone in the past.

Instead, consider creating a new issue, and mention/link the existing closed issue to it. Let the Product and Engineering teams triage the new issue further and don't worry about creating duplicates.

Maintain confidentiality

If an image, log output, etc. is required for the issue, try to produce your own test image. If you are unable to reproduce the issue and you wish to use the image/information provided by the customer make sure you obtain permission from the customer since the image/information may (inadvertently) include sensitive information like names, group names, user names, or code.

Public issues are always preferred, but if customer logs or other information needs to be included and the customer is willing to share it internally, but not publicly then make the issue confidential.

Information gathering

For the Application and environment information section of issue templates, use:

and

Creating Feature Proposals

As per our Statement of Support, the Support Team will generally ask the customer to create feature requests. Customers can send the link (back) to us to ensure that appropriate labels are added. Team members should also add any additional relevant information as a comment.

If you create a feature proposal, please follow the same process as Creating Issues by using the Feature Proposal template.

Note: GitLab has limited development resources. Additionally, we must think about how widely applicable a feature may be to other users. Requests that are very specific to one company's workflow are likely to be rejected. Even if a feature seems widely applicable, we may leave the feature proposal dormant for some time and see if other users and customers chime in that they are also interested. Features that garner interest from multiple organizations will be considered more rapidly. Of course, there are always exceptions to these 'rules'. This note is meant to set the expectation that feature proposals may not be implemented quickly.

Functional escalation points

Service/Product Escalation Types Escalation Point Assignment
GitLab Bug reports, Feature proposals https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab/issues/new  
GitHost.io Bug reports, Feature proposals https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/githost/issues/new Maintainer of GitHost.io
Omnibus GitLab Bug reports, Feature proposals https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/omnibus-gitlab/issues/new Omnibus GitLab specialist
GitLab Runner Bug reports, Feature proposals https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-runner/new GitLab CI specialist
GitLab Workhorse Bug reports, Feature proposals https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-workhorse/issues/new Maintainer of gitlab-workhorse

See the GitLab team page for assignments

Operational escalation points

Service/Product Escalation Type Escalation Point Assignment
GitLab Infrastructure Anything related to the running of GitLab.com, performance, something breaks https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/infrastructure/issues/new Production Lead/Senior Production Engineer
GitLab.com Support Engineers Anything related to the use of GitLab.com, operations that can't be performed with admin access https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/support/dotcom/dotcom-internal/issues/new Use ~"SE Escalation" label
GitLab Support Any and all questions in relation to providing customer service for GitLab users and customers. https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/support/support-team-meta/issues/new Support Team Lead/Senior Support Engineer

See the GitLab team page for assignments

GitHost.io

Omnibus GitLab

GitLab Runner

GitLab Workhorse

GitLab Infrastructure

General Product Feedback

In the case where general product feedback is received and it is not clear whether it is related to or belongs in an issue, feel free to convey the feedback to the product team as outlined in our Product Feedback section.