GitLab hauls in engineers, targets new features at designers

Gitlab Logo
Gitlab Logo

GitLab will more than double its engineering head count this year as its expands its DevOps platform into security and beyond.

The company plans to increase its engineer head count from 200 to 500 this year, CEO Sid Sijbrandij told us at the DevOps Enterprise Summit in London this week. The company’s overall headcount will increase from 450 to 1,000. This comes on the back of a $100m funding round at the end of last year.

One focus for recruitment is security, with the company declaring itself a “DevSecOps” platform with the release of GitLab 12.0 this month. It bought security specialist Gemnasium last year. Its security headcount will increase from four people to 30 by the end of this year, said Sijbrandij.

“Customers have bought a lot of security tools but most of them are not being used for all their different projects,” Sijbrandij said. “And if they’re being used they’re used at the end of the DevOps cycle.” This inevitably led to later feedback and remediation projects being held up, he said

As for the rest of the feature set, the company also plans to step up its focus on designers and project managers – it has pitched itself as a collaboration platform in the past.

Sibraji said “We’re working on features…where you not only do your coding in GitLab, but can do design, give comments on specific parts.” The first fruits of this effort should appear next month, he said.

As well as recruiting engineers, it would look to take on further sales people he said. “Customers get much more leverage out of their investment in GitLab if they replace a couple of tools. That’s a couple of people to get on the same page, and there sales is essential.”

Of course, one way to quickly add functionality is to buy it in. Sid said the company was not adverse to further acquisitions, and it has a page on its website for prospective acquisitions targets. However, its maximum offer is $1m, which some ambitious coders might find a little underwhelming.

“We are open to acquisitions,” he said. “But when we acquire a company we need them to shut down the product they’ve built and start recreating that product inside GitLab.”

“It tends to be companies that built a great product but didn’t get the distribution,” he said. It was hard for erstwhile founders to have to rebuild, he said, but most of the time this rarely took more than a matter of weeks. “And this is a chance to get your product out to a great many thousands of organisations and millions of users.”