TL;DR - GitLab makes an egregious billing mistake, refuses to fix it, and tells a GitLab evangelist to go pound salt. If you purchase it, examine the order closely.
So, a little background on me: I started at a software company years ago in an IT position. Our traditional software development toolchain was overly complicated for my liking, so I set up GitLab.
I did so well with it that I became my company’s first DevOps Engineer, and I got dev teams to make the switch. Not only did I present on GitLab at work, I took my GitLab evangelism on the road to enthusiasts in the area - I.E. the local Linux User Group.
Not long ago, I ordered some GitLab licenses since more people wanted to use it. I asked to go from 57 to 75 licenses. Instead, GitLab put the order in wrong and added 75 licenses, bringing us to 132 total.
About this time, I was pulled to a critically-important project that was way behind schedule and told not to work on anything else. When I got enough breathing room to switch back, our account manager acted like she couldn’t care less. The most I ever got was “I’ll be sure to look into it” or “I’m still looking into it”.
The process dragged on for weeks. I had to nag her over and over again for updates until she finally told me that GitLab’s billing department had decided… not to give me a refund because it had been too long . How convenient, especially after dragging out the process for so long.
I complained about this, asked for a new account manager, and got what I requested. Our new account manager took my concerns to the GitLab crew again… and got told once again that not only would we not receive a refund, GitLab wasn’t going to offer us any sort of compensation or credit whatsoever.
We’re a software company as well, and we would never treat loyal customers this way - especially not our power users. I’ve built my DevOps career around GitLab and encouraged others to do the same. That GitLab could be so tone-deaf over a problem that was clearly their fault speaks volumes to how the company has changed.
I’m grateful for what GitLab has provided. It’s still a good product, even if I’m gravely concerned about its future. But I’m hanging up my GitLab evangelist hat. A few of my company’s senior developers are interested in GitLab alternatives, and I’ve given the thumbs-up to do a proof-of-concept with one of them later this year.
If you choose to use GitLab in your organization, check your bills carefully.