Contributor and Development Docs

Learn the processes and technical information needed for contributing to GitLab.

This content is intended for members of the GitLab Team as well as community contributors. Content specific to the GitLab Team should instead be included in the Handbook.

For information on using GitLab to work on your own software projects, see the GitLab user documentation.

For information on working with the GitLab APIs, see the API documentation.

For information about how to install, configure, update, and upgrade your own GitLab instance, see the administration documentation.

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Processes

Must-reads:

Complementary reads:

Development guidelines review

When you submit a change to the GitLab development guidelines, who you ask for reviews depends on the level of change.

Not all changes require extensive review. For example, MRs that don’t change the content’s meaning or function can be reviewed, approved, and merged by any maintainer or Technical Writer. These can include:

  • Typo fixes.
  • Clarifying links, such as to external programming language documentation.
  • Changes to comply with the Documentation Style Guide that don’t change the intent of the documentation page.

Specific changes

If the MR proposes changes that are limited to a particular stage, group, or team, request a review and approval from an experienced GitLab Team Member in that group. For example, if you’re documenting a new internal API used exclusively by a given group, request an engineering review from one of the group’s members.

After the engineering review is complete, assign the MR to the Technical Writer associated with the stage and group in the modified documentation page’s metadata.

If you have questions or need further input, request a review from the Technical Writer assigned to the Development Guidelines.

Broader changes

Some changes affect more than one group. For example:

In these cases, use the following workflow:

  1. Request a peer review from a member of your team.
  2. Request a review and approval of an Engineering Manager (EM) or Staff Engineer who’s responsible for the area in question:

    You can skip this step for MRs authored by EMs or Staff Engineers responsible for their area.

    If there are several affected groups, you may need approvals at the EM/Staff Engineer level from each affected area.

  3. After completing the reviews, consult with the EM/Staff Engineer author / approver of the MR.

    If this is a significant change across multiple areas, request final review and approval from the VP of Development, the DRI for Development Guidelines, @clefelhocz1.

  4. After all approvals are complete, assign the merge request to the Technical Writer for Development Guidelines for final content review and merge. The Technical Writer may ask for additional approvals as previously suggested before merging the MR.

Reviewer values

Introduced in GitLab 14.1.

As a reviewer or as a reviewee, make sure to familiarize yourself with the reviewer values we strive for at GitLab.

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See database guidelines.

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Other GitLab Development Kit (GDK) guides