Co-founder & CTO | GitLab
Zaporozhets, who lives in Ukraine, cofounded Gitlab in 2011 with Sytse Sijbrandij to build open source tools to help teams of developers collaborate more easily and review and deploy code on the go using features such as wikis and tracking.
He loves a good Martini and a merge request that can be accepted without comments. He is the lead author of GitLab CE and CI. He is also made it to the Forbes list of the 30 most successful people in the world under 30-years-of-age in the Enterprise Technology sector in 2017.
Since its launch and its participation in the famous Y Combinator business incubator, GitLab has taken on more than 140 employees and raised $25.6 million from investors like August Capital, Khosla Ventures and Ashton Kutcher.
Dmitriy’s video greeting:
My name is Dmitriy and I’m CTO and co-founder of Gitlub.
I always startwith a table of contents yeah. I like toknow what will happen nextno surprises. So, what we are going to
I start with an overview of Gitlab. So you know have an idea about the product about the company, then Italked a bit about the growing our teamand then about our Silver Bullet yeah
the way how we handle all this. It’s theteam handbook. Let’s go.
Okay, It’s opensource project right it has more than 2,000 contributors. I started in 2011 and it’s great yeah. It’s popular. So develop also a singleapplication to cover all stages ofdevelopment. What that minds?
Simply it’s software to build softwareyeah if we talk more complex way. It’s a way to host your code to run issue. Tracker to run tests to deploy manydifferent sins what is really important for this conference. Gitlub is afully remote company. Like not a singleoffice now. Gitlub team contains 300people in 40 countries and all of themare full-time remote workers.
Gitlubstarted as a company of two peopleremote from day one. I never met myco-founder in person before. Actually Imet him like a year probably after we started company. It’s really
Hard. But anyway, we grow to ten people intwo years right ten people pretty easy yeah like you. I want newpeople. You like lured him with all theinformation you have in your brain. He’s
shocked and in the master to hisfinance and you hire another one.
Let’s talk about startups.That’s what happens in startups inone year. So now the problem is like Howyou load the knowledge of ten peoplethat you collected over several yearsinto spraying of hundred people in lessthan a year? So one problem yeah we needto scale our knowledge right. Every sinceattend you. I want all other engineers know.
Ever since that we know about howcompany runs policies processes. Everyoneshould be aware of it yeahsecond one. We need to preserve ourknowledge what does that means? It meansand if you have only one Account Managerand they love the company and youhave no idea where your customers datais you’re in trouble yeah. Soeventually we end up documenting everything.It started asdocumenting features for products. Some contribution guides and processes policies and we end up with Gitlub teamHandbook.
It’s a public web page. Youcan access it with your phone it’s thinkabout. It as a Wikipedia for your company. Its central repository like centralpreserve for how you run the company. So that means all the information is storedone place. It’s a single point of truth. If printed it consists of more than1,000 pages of text. So it’s huge. It’sreally huge. It answers any questionabout the company. It’s about structure, about policies about all sort ofthings like for example. How do I take aday off right?
We just go to the handbookyou go day off you get the answer like.Create a calendar event inform your manager and follow this process yeah another question.
How will company pay for my co-working space? You’ll Google for co-working in a handbook you guys answer. Even such things like how I moved to different country right we are allremote we changed our locations.
So Iwant to know like maybe company supportsrelocation right like legal onephysically yeah we’re all free to go. So it really answers any question that any of our employee can be wondering about. Not only onboarding process right.
But a year ago two years ago we have a pretty simple room rule. If something is missing and you ask a question right. Like you were wondering about vacation policy and you went to the slackin like hey guys do you know what our vacation policy? Someone answer to question you must document it in the handbook.
It’s your responsibility moreover. You need to put a link to the handbook now in the slack. So everyone else will search for information in slack. We will find the link to the handbook and you don’t need to repeat the information. Everything is always in draft that’s our idea. Behind handbook there are no releases.
Everyday handbook we still receive 100 changes problem. Everyone in the company has something remove something factor something. One another important feature of the handbook it’s public right.
I can google search. It you can google search. It everyone Google can google search. It’s not only nice for team members. It’s really nice for people who want to work for your company.
We have, we save probably tons of hours of time.Because candidates already know everything about the company. How it works, what our policies are, what our what compensation can they expect?so on everything is there.
So when they go for an interview they don’t waste people’s time asking the same question overall water again.They ask a specific questions another thing. It is great. It improves your attention people who apply to you who read the handbook. They already knew how the company operates, what to expect.
They won’t be disappointed a month later because company was not what they expected it to be. That’s exactly how?It’s right in the handbook and that’s one of the things about the handbook isthat. It’s not what we are going to do. It’s not what we did. It’s what we do right now.
So if you are doing some temporary policy you documented in handbook.You might remove it in a month or in two months. But you must definitely document it if. It’s what you do right now.
I want to finish it with a feedback from team members. Because it shows three nice cases how people love the handbook.
The first one is about our interviewer. I think it’s it was a salesperson. He was asked during the interview: What our policy about H1B a working visa in the United States and he didn’t know it right. We know one of us knows the handbook. Like it’s huge right.
So he just searched in the handbook for visa policy and just shared a link with the candidate. That’s as simple it is and it saved him embarrassment.
He didn’t answer is no. I don’t know I have no idea. I need to ask it’s. It saves time and it just shows your company is more organized. It’s better one another. One was from marketing person they had some troubles with engineering and they wanted to find out. What certain project does and where they can find person responsible for this project?
So they just used Google. They not even went to the handbook. They just used Google like Gitlub engineering projects. Firstly in case to the handbook to the engineering page when we have the list of the projects and people who responsible for them and like section who to talk for what. Those was pretty easy task.
Another ones the last one I really liked it. It was a from female candidate and she told me that she discuss with your friends that is a dangerous to mention parental. Parental leave policy during the interview. Because it’s some questions that can actually affect the decision right.
It’s not yet here you kind of. I kind of not want to ask it. If you really want the job at least that’s that reality. So the good thing about it is that she finds answer is a handbook.
So your question which otherwise would be left unanswered. God you’re an information before evens interview. So she were able to evaluate our company before sent if you get the answer for that important questions. Then she felt really confident right. So that’s few insights on the handbook yeah it just imagines more than one thousand pages of text
I cannot go through all of it.