Sid Sijbrandij is the Co-founder and CEO of GitLab — an all-remote company and complete DevOps platform. As a company, they have their eyes set on taking the company public to IPO and they’re very outspoken about their culture, open handbook, and how they work as an all-remote company. We talk through where Sid came from, the early days of GitLab, why IPO vs a private sale (like GitHub), what it means to put “family and friends first, work second,” how we should view work, and his biggest fear — the company failing.
To answer the question in the headline:
- I find the GitLab UI to be cleaner in general and easier to find my way around. However, this is purely a matter of taste and probably not a strong reason to move.
- I also like how GitLab is open source. I am far from an open source zealot, but I do prefer to write and use open source software. While Github is full of Open Source projects, Github itself is proprietary. In contrast, Gitlab has a well-supported open source version.
- The project import feature worked very well, so it was trivially easy to move the code, branches and issues over.
The author goes on to describe why GitLab’s project management workflow works well for him.
A year ago, Business Insider said “You may never have heard of GitLab…” as part of their announcement of their Oct. 2017 raise of $30 Million (no valuation was provided then). This year, Microsoft changed that by putting this market on high alert with their acquisition of GitHub for a whopping $7.5 Billion.
…over 100,000 code repositories were moved to his platform from GitHub following the news of the Microsoft acquisition.
Sid said “the deal served as a ‘wake-up call’ to developers, giving them the impetus to look at competing platforms” — like GitLab. The deal also served as a wake up call to those who had been investing or wanted to invest in GitLab and bring the money to them…Sid was quoted on TechCrunch saying:
…GitLab’s original plan was to raise a new funding round at a valuation over $1 billion early next year. But since Iconiq came along with an offer that pretty much matched what the company set out to achieve in a few months anyway, the team decided to go ahead and raise the round now.
What’s interesting is that I can recall a time when GitLab was known in developer circles simply as a straight up, open source, GitHub clone. Continued development, great leadership, and a $1.1 Billion valuation later…they have been cemented as a serious GitHub contender.
A deep dive into the process of turning the idea for an integrated web IDE into a reality. Looks like a great start!
No other details were shared in this tweet, but this image from the stage of WWDC says all it needs to.
More than 2,000 people tweeted about #movingtogitlab. We imported over 100,000 repositories, and we’ve seen a 7x increase in orders. We went live on Bloomberg TV. And on top of that, Apple announced an Xcode integration with GitLab.
Here’s an interesting exchange between Emily Chang and Sid Sijbrandij on Bloomberg Technology:
Emily: I spoke with Satya Nadella earlier today, and he said “he promises to put developers first.” Do you not believe him, or do you think it’s not possible for a company with so many objectives to really put developers first?
Sid: I believe him. Microsoft has shown that it is the new Microsoft, and they’ve done great. The new CEO, Nat Friedman, shows he really understands developers. So I believe him when he says they are going to be good maintainers of GitHub.
Emily: So, then what’s so bad about GitHub?
Sid: There’s nothing bad about GitHub.
Emily: What’s so much better about GitLab?
Sid: It’s a fundamentally different product. It’s open core, so a lot of it is open source. You can host it yourself. But second and I think most importantly, it’s not just code hosting. With GitHub you host your code. GitLab is the entire DevOps lifecycle. So all the way from planning something to rolling it out, container registries, monitoring — all in a single product. That allows you to get the whole organization on the same page. And that’s why people are flocking to it.
They go on to talk about being a sustainable business, financials, etc.