The primary goal of the Technical Writing team is to continuously develop GitLab's product documentation content to meet the evolving needs of all users and administrators.
Documentation is intended to educate readers about features and best practices, and to enable them to efficiently configure, use, and troubleshoot GitLab. To this end, the team also manages the docs.gitlab.com site and related process and tooling.
Our team comprises:
Technical writers partner with anyone in the GitLab community who is concerned with documentation, especially developers, who are typically the first to update docs for the GitLab features that they code.
For more information on documentation at GitLab, see:
The team is broadly responsible for the following at GitLab.
Documentation Site (docs.gitlab.com) including maintaining and enhancing the documentation site’s:
Documentation Process, including:
This work is sorted into the top-level Documentation epics linked above.
The designated technical writer is the go-to person for their assigned stage groups. They collaborate with other team members to plan new documentation, edit existing documentation, review any proposed changes to documentation, suggest changes to the microcopy exposed to users, and generally partner with subject matter experts (SMEs) in all situations where documentation is required.
The backup writer is assigned to cover merge request reviews and urgent matters for the designated tech writer when they are out (vacations, sickness, and any other temporary leave). They can also naturally pair to work together on complex issues when needed.
Note that there are some planned changes to these assignments.
|Dev||Plan||Project Management||Marcin Sędłak-Jakubowski||---|
|Dev||Plan||Portfolio Management||Marcin Sędłak-Jakubowski||---|
|Dev||Create||Source Code||Marcia Ramos||---|
|Dev||Create||Static Site Editor||Marcia Ramos||---|
|Ops||Verify||Continuous Integration||Marcel Amirault||---|
|Secure/Defend||Secure||Static Analysis||Russell Dickenson||---|
|Secure/Defend||Secure||Dynamic Analysis||Russell Dickenson||---|
|Secure/Defend||Secure||Composition Analysis||Nick Gaskill||---|
|Secure/Defend||Secure||Fuzz Testing||Nick Gaskill||---|
|Secure/Defend||Secure||Vulnerability Research||Nick Gaskill||---|
|Ops||Release||Progressive Delivery||Marcel Amirault||---|
|Ops||Release||Release Management||Suzanne Selhorn||---|
|Secure/Defend||Defend||Container Security||Nick Gaskill||---|
|Secure/Defend||Defend||Threat Insights||Nick Gaskill||---|
Technical writers are encouraged to review and improve documentation of other stages but they aren't required to. When contributing to docs they don't own, they must respect the assigned TW's ownership and ensure to request their review and approval when adding significant changes to their docs.
For collaboration in other projects and subjects:
|Subject||Assigned technical writer||Backup|
|Development guidelines (see the section below)||Marcia Ramos||Mike Jang|
|GitLab Docs - frontend||Marcia Ramos||TBA|
|GitLab Docs - backend||Axil||TBA|
|GitLab Runner||Marcel Amirault||Evan Read|
|GitLab Development Kit (GDK)||Evan Read||TBA|
|GitLab Pages Daemon||TBA||TBA|
|GitLab Pages Examples||Axil||TBA|
|Technical writing handbook||Mike Lewis|
The Technical Writer (TW) assigned to Development Guidelines (SME) is Marcia Ramos and her backup TW is Mike Jang. As GitLab grows, it's important to keep high-quality documentation and ensure that the guidelines for contributors are consistent and aligned throughout the organization. Development Guidelines consist of:
gitlab/doc/development/*must be reviewed and approved by the TW assigned to Dev Guidelines.
contentsmust be reviewed and approved by the TW assigned to Dev Guidelines.
For Development Guidelines that may be established in other projects, the assigned TW will help upon request. If a larger project is created with ongoing development, the TW for Dev Guidelines and TW Manager will evaluate with the engineers the necessity of regular reviews.
For content changes specifically related to a particular stage group, the TW assigned to that group can perform the review and then assign the MR to the TW assigned Dev Guidelines for approval/merge.
While the technical writer is onboarding, they will be assigned to shadow groups and then start contributing as trainees, as described below. Veteran technical writers will coach them through the process.
To consult the current assignments, see the onboarding technical writers spreadsheet.
For the first release cycle that begins after the new member start
date, they will shadow (read) their buddy's work in their most active
Stage Group, plus one other stage group/writer decided with the
tech writing manager and the team. Veteran technical writers will
proactively share relevant issues, merge requests, and communications
with their shadows by using a
Slack channel, creating it if it doesn't already exist, and answering questions.
For the second release cycle that begins after the new member's start date, unless the tech writing manager extends the shadowing phase, they will act as a trainee on one or more groups as assigned by the manager. The intent is to take on the group as its technical writer as of the next release. The veteran technical writer who is assigned to that Group will assign substantial parts of the work to the new member for this group, which accounts to roughly half of the groups's reviews of MRs with docs, UI text, and release post content; a small but substantial documentation authoring project; a few minor doc improvement projects/fixes.
For the third release cycle, the onboarding tech writer assumes the full role of technical writer for their assigned group, except that they will not yet have merge rights. The former TW assigned to the group is now the coach, who will review all their work (including reviews they perform of other authors) before merging it or approving it for another maintainer to merge. They may share the burden of these reviews with other technical writers.
Technical writers are assigned for merge request reviews (of both team members and community contributors) according to the stage groups they are assigned.
The technical writing team is given merge rights (through Maintainer access) to GitLab projects as part of their role. Not all developers get Maintainer access. Technical writers should use this privilege responsibly.
As Maintainers, technical writers should limit what they merge to:
In addition, before merging such MRs, technical writers should: