Not open source? Gitlab is 10,000% your right decision. It's the clear frontrunner for developer experience and usability.
Updated April 14, 2021

Not open source? Gitlab is 10,000% your right decision. It's the clear frontrunner for developer experience and usability.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Gitlab

I'm using GitLab as part of a full stack engineering team. We have our own company instance of GitLab, and log in with a federated OAauth provider. GitLab. It's solving the problems of:
- Providing secure, stable, and scalable Git hosting.
- Facilitating and running Continuous Integration automation tools.
- Facilitating code reviews on Merge Requests using a Git branching workflow.

At a higher level, this means that GitLab is giving us a toolkit to store and work on our source code.
  • Code review and Merge UI are more intuitive than GitHub.
  • CI is tightly integrated and well exposed in the UI.
  • Overall a stronger product and experience than GitHub if you don't need to be open-source.
  • A feature to mirror GitHub CodeSpaces would be a nice addition.
  • Automatically @mentioning people in Slack when they get assigned to a code review / merge request would be a helpful way to draw their attention.
  • Developer salaries are very expensive, and this tool saves developer time, so I'd estimate at least $1000/month ROI per developer using this tool.
  • The CI interface can do wonders to improve release time and software quality. If you leverage this, there's a strong ROI here.
  • Part of our business relied on secure private source code hosting; GitLab is totally the right choice for that.
It terms of ease of use, product functionality, lack of bugs, developer support, etc.:

GitLab > GitHub > Bitbucket > Self-hosting

Bitbucket is right out, don't bother. Even if you're using Jira or other Atlassian products, you're better of using GitLab and allowing it to integrate with Jira, etc.

GitHub is compelling if you're leveraging a large open-source community. If that's what you're up to then you'll want to be there for the community effects, even if the developer experience is generally worse than GitLab's.
I don't make use of these features personally, I believe our ops team runs them in the background.
We have CI on all of our repositories to various extents. In some cases they merely build and test, in other cases they will do a full deployment if the code is on Master. Having CI tightly integrated with the source code management and branches, like GitLab does, makes it easy to see what CI is running and what results are connected to which change sets. This visibility is key to understanding and fixing when things go wrong, as well as building confidence in the CI environment.

Do you think GitLab delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with GitLab's feature set?

Yes

Did GitLab live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of GitLab go as expected?

I wasn't involved with the implementation phase

Would you buy GitLab again?

Yes

It's a solid product and its only real competition is GitHub. (Don't even consider Atlassian's offering here, GitHub and GitLab are both miles ahead.)
You're going to need hosting for your source code, and Git is likely what you'll use, therefore you have 3 serious choices:

1) Self host. I wouldn't recommend this.
2) GitHub. If your project is open source, you should use GitHub. The experience will be worse than GitLab, except you will be most visible to the open source community. If only part of your project is open source, you might consider hosting your whole project in GitLab and mirroring the open parts to GitHub.
3) GitLab. If you don't need GitHub's open source community, then GitLab is 100% your choice. It has a stronger, less buggy, cleaner, more featureful experience for working on code with a team.

So at the end of the day, you're likely going to be using GitHub or GitLab. Think about their missions:

GitHub: Community First, Developer Experience Second.
GitLab: Developer Experience First, Community Second.

Which one aligns with what you want? For most of you: GitLab. For the Open Source projects, GitHub.