At GitLab, developers are highly independent and self-organized individual contributors who work together as a tight team in a remote and agile way.

Most backend developers work on all aspects of GitLab, building features, fixing bugs, and generally improving the application. Some developers specialize and focus on a specific area, such as packaging, performance or GitLab CI. Developers can specialize immediately after joining, or after some time, when they have gained familiarity with many areas of GitLab and find one they would like to focus on.



Ruby experience

For this position, a significant amount of experience with Ruby is a strict requirement.

We would love to hire all great backend developers, regardless of the language they have most experience with, but at this point we are looking for developers who can get up and running within the GitLab code base very quickly and without requiring much training, which limits us to developers with a large amount of existing experience with Ruby, and preferably Rails too.

For a time, we also considered applicants with little or no Ruby and Rails experience for this position, because we realize that programming skills are to a large extent transferable between programming languages, but we are not currently doing that anymore for the reasons described in the merge request that removed the section from this listing that described that policy.

If you think you would be an asset to our engineering team regardless, please see if another position better fits your experiences and interests, or apply using the Open Application.

If you would still prefer to join the backend development team as a Ruby developer, please consider contributing to the open-source GitLab Community Edition. We frequently hire people from the community who have shown through contributions that they have the skills that we are looking for, even if they didn’t have much previous experience with those technologies, and we would gladly review those contributions.

Junior Developers

Junior Developers share the same requirements outlined above, but typically join with less or alternate experience in one of the key areas of Developer expertise (Ruby on Rails, Git, reviewing code). For example, a person with extensive experience in a web framework other than RoR, but with experience on the other areas would typically join as a Junior.

Senior Developers

Senior Developers are experienced developers who meet the following requirements:

  1. Technical skills
    • Write modular, well-tested, and maintainable code
    • Know a domain really well and radiate that knowledge
    • Contribute to one or more complementary projects
    • Take on difficult issues, big or small
  2. Leadership
    • Begin to show architectural perspective
    • Propose new ideas, performing feasibility analyses and scoping the work
    • Capable of leading complicated features, bug fixes, and integrations with limited guidance from leads
    • Should make the entire team more productive through their efforts. This might be through mentoring junior developers, or by improving the team's process, documentation, testing or tooling in a way that helps everyone in the team be more effective.
  3. Code quality
    • Leave code in substantially better shape than before
    • Keep complexity contained as much as possible: if a feature is complex, that's sometimes unavoidable, but Senior Developers show that they can reduce or mitigate complexity in their changes
    • Fix bugs/regressions quickly
    • Monitor overall code quality/build failures
    • Leave tests in better shape than before: faster, more reliable, more comprehensive, etc.
  4. Communication
    • Provide thorough and timely code feedback for peers, leaving minimal work for later reviews / maintainers
    • Able to communicate clearly on technical topics and present ideas to the rest of the team
    • Keep issues up-to-date with progress
    • Help guide other merge requests to completion
  5. Performance and scalability
    • Excellent at writing production-ready code with little assistance
    • Are able to write complex code that can scale with a significant number of users
    • Are able to fix performance issues on with minimal guidance using our existing tools, and improve those tools where needed

Staff Developers

A Senior Developer will be promoted to a Staff Developer when they have demonstrated significant leadership to deliver high-impact projects. This may involve any type of consistent "above and beyond senior level" performance, for example:

  1. Technical Skills
    • Can demonstrate a deep knowledge and experience with multiple technical domains as well as a very good broad knowledge of the entire GitLab technology stack. What Kent Beck refers to as a Paint Drip Person
    • Proactively identifies and reduces technical debt
    • Identifies and reduces scalability issues and performance bottlenecks in the GitLab stack
  2. Leadership
    • Actively contributes to the long-term strategic architectural vision for the company, helping to set the technical direction for GitLab
    • Works across functional groups, engaging stakeholders, gatekeepers, and engineers to deliver major features from idea to production
    • Demonstrates the ability to break a complex problem down into a set of minimum viable changes that can be shipped through a series of short release cycles
  3. Communication
    • Proactively shares knowledge and radiates GitLab technical skills to team members through mentorship, documentation, pairing and other approaches
    • Excellent written and spoken language skills: a staff developer should be able to communicate their ideas efficiently and concisely


We normally don't offer any internships, but if you get a couple of merge requests accepted, we'll interview you for one. This will be a remote internship without supervision; you'll only get feedback on your merge requests. If you want to work on open source and qualify please submit an application. In the cover letter field, please note that you want an internship and link to the accepted merge requests. The merge requests should be of significant value and difficulty, which is at the discretion of the manager. For example, fixing 10 typos isn't as valuable as shipping 2 new features.


The basics of GitLab development can be found in the developer onboarding document.

The handbook details the complete GitLab Workflow.


Annual Compensation

How did we calculate your compensation?

NYC benchmark $87,337
Rent Index --
Hot Market Adjustment --
Level 1.0
Experience 0.8 to 1.2
Contract Type --
Find out how our calculator works. You are also eligible for stock options and other benefits.