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With decades of experience in Chief Technology, I'm here to provide you with a comprehensive GitLab review. In this evaluation, I'll give you all the information you need to determine whether GitLab is the right DevOps software for your needs.

I'll provide a straightforward and concise approach, concentrating on the core elements without any superfluous marketing language or overblown statements. Let's begin our exploration of the templates offered by GitLab together.

GitLab review screenshot showing powered features
This picture shows GitLab with its powered features.

GitLab Product Overview

GitLab is an all-in-one DevOps platform that streamlines the software development lifecycle, encompassing source code management, CI/CD pipelines, issue tracking, and more, making it an ideal choice for development teams of all sizes.

Its benefits lie in fostering collaboration, efficiency, and traceability throughout the development process.

Furthermore, GitLab addresses common challenges like fragmented toolsets and communication gaps, ensuring a cohesive and agile development environment. Some of its standout features include an integrated container registry, code review, and continuous integration, all within a single platform.


  • Comprehensive Collaboration: GitLab's collaboration tools foster real-time interaction among team members, streamlining communication and enhancing productivity.
  • Robust Version Control: GitLab's version control capabilities ensure secure and efficient management of code repositories, enabling seamless code collaboration.
  • Automated CI/CD: GitLab's automated CI/CD pipelines simplify the software delivery process, reducing manual tasks and accelerating time-to-market.


  • Limited Customization: GitLab's customization options are relatively restricted, which may not fully accommodate the unique workflow needs of some organizations.
  • Learning Curve: GitLab can pose a steep learning curve for new users, particularly those unfamiliar with Git-based version control systems.
  • Resource Intensive: Running GitLab can be resource-intensive, potentially requiring more significant hardware and infrastructure investments compared to lighter-weight solutions.

Expert Opinion

Firstly, after carefully assessing GitLab across various dimensions, I find it to be a compelling choice for many organizations. Its comprehensive feature set, robust version control, and integrated CI/CD pipelines make it stand out as a reliable solution for DevOps teams.

However, GitLab's pricing structure, which can become costly as organizations scale, may deter smaller businesses. Additionally, the initial learning curve might be a challenge for newcomers to the platform. Nevertheless, GitLab's ability to facilitate seamless collaboration, particularly for medium to large enterprises with established DevOps processes, makes it a strong contender in the Chief Technology software arena.

GitLab Review: The Bottom Line

First, GitLab distinguishes itself from similar software through its all-in-one approach to DevOps. Unlike many other tools that provide only specific aspects of the DevOps process, GitLab offers a comprehensive solution encompassing source code management, CI/CD pipelines, issue tracking, and more within a single platform.

Next, this integration simplifies teamwork and improves traceability, diminishing the necessity for various separate tools. What's especially noteworthy in GitLab is its robust version control system, which enables teams to securely oversee and collaborate on code repos.

Moreover, its built-in CI/CD pipelines automate software delivery, saving time and effort. Additionally, GitLab's integrated container registry and code review features are noteworthy, promoting a more efficient development workflow.

GitLab Deep Dive

Product Specifications

  1. Source Code Management - Yes
  2. Version Control - Yes
  3. Continuous Integration (CI) - Yes
  4. Continuous Deployment (CD) - Yes
  5. Issue Tracking - Yes
  6. Project Planning and Management - Yes
  7. Collaboration Tools - Yes
  8. Code Review - Yes
  9. Automated Testing - Yes
  10. Integration with Third-Party Tools - Yes
  11. Release Management - Yes
  12. Deployment Automation - Yes
  13. Monitoring and Logging - Yes
  14. Security Scanning - Yes
  15. Workflow Automation - Yes
  16. Container Registry - Yes
  17. Repository Hosting - Yes
  18. Documentation Management - Yes
  19. Access Control and Permissions - Yes
  20. DevOps Analytics and Reporting - Yes
  21. Scalability - Yes
  22. Customization Options - Yes
  23. Multilingual Support - Yes
  24. Self-Hosted Deployment Option - Yes
  25. Training and Support Services - Yes

This software offers a wide range of features commonly found in Chief Technology software, making it a comprehensive solution for DevOps teams.

Feature Overview

  1. Source Code Management and Version Control: GitLab's source code management and version control system provide a robust foundation for collaborative coding. It stands out with its Git-based approach, allowing teams to track changes efficiently and maintain a clear history of their codebase.
  2. Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD): GitLab's CI/CD pipelines automate the testing and deployment process, ensuring rapid and reliable software delivery. What sets it apart is its native integration, making CI/CD setup and management seamless.
  3. Issue Tracking: GitLab's issue-tracking capabilities enable teams to manage tasks, bugs, and feature requests effectively. Its standout feature is its tight integration with source code, allowing for quick issue referencing and resolution.
  4. Project Planning and Management: GitLab offers project planning tools like boards and milestones to help teams organize and prioritize work. It distinguishes itself with its agile project management features, allowing teams to adapt to changing requirements effortlessly.
  5. Collaboration Tools: GitLab provides collaboration features such as merge requests, comments, and notifications to facilitate team communication. Its real-time collaboration stands out, fostering efficient code reviews and discussions.
  6. Code Review: GitLab's code review capabilities enhance code quality through peer review and feedback. Its standout feature is its in-line commenting system, making code review more visual and actionable.
  7. Automated Testing: GitLab's integration with various testing frameworks streamlines the testing process. It excels in the ease of setting up automated testing and integrating it into the CI/CD pipeline.
  8. Integration with Third-Party Tools: GitLab's extensive integration options allow teams to connect with other tools and services seamlessly. Its flexibility in accommodating various integrations is a key strength.

Standout Functionality

  1. Built-in Container Registry: GitLab's integrated container registry is a unique feature that simplifies the management of Docker containers and container images within the same platform. This eliminates the need for third-party container registries, streamlining the DevOps process and reducing complexity.
  2. Auto DevOps: GitLab's Auto DevOps feature automates much of the DevOps pipeline setup and configuration, making it exceptionally user-friendly and accessible. It differentiates itself by providing a straightforward way for users to implement best practices in CI/CD, security, and monitoring without requiring extensive expertise in these areas.
  3. GitLab Pages: GitLab Pages is a standout functionality that allows users to easily create and host static websites directly from their GitLab repositories. This unique feature simplifies web hosting and deployment, particularly useful for showcasing project documentation, personal portfolios, or other static content associated with development projects.
GitLab review screenshot showing merge request changes as a patch file
In this picture, GitLab shows merge request changes as a patch file.


  1. Native Integrations: GitLab provides out-of-the-box integrations with popular tools such as Slack, Jira, and Kubernetes. These integrations enable teams to seamlessly connect their development and collaboration workflows, ensuring real-time communication and efficient issue tracking.
  2. API Access: GitLab offers a robust REST API that allows users to interact programmatically with the platform. This API grants access to features like managing repositories, issues, merge requests, and user authentication, enabling extensive customization and automation of GitLab's functionalities.
  3. Add-Ons (GitLab Marketplace): GitLab's Marketplace offers a variety of add-ons, extensions, and integrations developed by both GitLab and the community. These add-ons extend the platform's capabilities in areas like security scanning, continuous integration, and project management. For example, the "GitLab Runner" add-on enhances CI/CD capabilities by enabling runners on different platforms for parallelized testing and deployment.

GitLab Pricing

Free Tier: GitLab offers a free plan, which is ideal for small teams and individual developers. It includes essential features like source code management, CI/CD, and issue tracking at no cost.

Bronze Tier: The Bronze tier is priced at $4/user/month and extends the free plan with features such as code review and an integrated container registry. This tier is suitable for startups and small teams looking for basic DevOps capabilities.

Silver Tier: Priced at $19/user/month, the Silver tier is designed for larger teams and offers advanced collaboration and project management features. It includes functionalities like epics, reporting, and compliance management.

Gold Tier: Priced at $99/user/month, the Gold tier is tailored for organizations seeking enterprise-level support and security, offering snippets like SAML Single Sign-On (SSO), portfolio management, and performance indicators.

Ultimate Tier: GitLab's Ultimate tier offers customizable pricing tailored to specific enterprise requirements, with advanced features such as geo-replication, priority support, and 24/7 incident response. Pricing varies depending on the organization's needs.

Ease of Use

Regarding the user interface, GitLab typically delivers a user-friendly encounter with a straightforward layout. The onboarding process proceeds smoothly, featuring clear prompts and guides to assist users in configuring their projects and repositories. The tool's user interface promotes intuitive navigation, thanks to a well-structured menu system that facilitates easy access to various features.

Customer Support

In addition, GitLab offers a fairly robust customer support system. They provide multiple channels for assistance, including a well-maintained documentation library, webinars, and tutorials. These resources can be particularly helpful for users seeking self-help or looking to troubleshoot common issues independently.

GitLab Use Case

Who would be a good fit for GitLab?

GitLab is an ideal fit for organizations that operate in dynamic software development environments, particularly those looking for comprehensive DevOps solutions.

Organizations of diverse scales can find value in GitLab review. Small startups and businesses favor its budget-friendly entry-level plans, while medium-sized and large enterprises appreciate its scalability and advanced capabilities in the code review process.

GitLab is adaptable to different team sizes and structures, accommodating cross-functional teams, be they small, closely-knit groups or larger, distributed teams, and remaining flexible for the incorporation of new features.

Who would be a bad fit for GitLab?

GitLab may not be the best fit for organizations with limited resources, especially those looking for a bare-bones solution. Small businesses or individual developers seeking a simplistic version control system without the extensive features of GitLab review might find it overwhelming.

Moreover, organizations with deeply entrenched workflows and toolsets, especially those heavily invested in other DevOps platforms, may face challenges when attempting to transition to GitLab. Migrating established processes and integrations can be complex and disruptive.

GitLab review screenshot showing selected code explanation.
This picture shows GitLab and the selected code explanation.

GitLab FAQs

What is GitLab software?

GitLab is an integrated DevOps platform that provides a range of tools for software development, including source code management, CI/CD pipelines, issue tracking, and collaboration features.

Is there a free version of the GitLab?

Yes, GitLab offers a free tier with basic features suitable for small teams and individual developers.

Can I self-host the GitLab?

Yes, GitLab can be self-hosted on your own infrastructure for greater control over your DevOps environment.

What are the key features of GitLab?

GitLab includes features such as source code management, continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD), issue tracking, code review, collaboration tools, and more.

Does GitLab offer integrations with other tools?

Yes, GitLab provides native integrations with various tools and services, as well as an API for custom integrations.

How is GitLab priced?

GitLab offers tiered pricing based on the number of users and the features required. Pricing starts with a free tier and includes options for different team sizes and needs.

What kind of support does GitLab provide?

GitLab offers a range of support resources, including documentation, webinars, tutorials, email support, and live chat. They also have premium support options for higher-tier plans.

Is GitLab suitable for enterprise-level organizations?

Yes, GitLab offers enterprise-level features, security, and support, making it a viable choice for large and complex organizations.

Alternatives to GitLab

  • Jenkins: Often compared to GitLab, Jenkins is a popular open-source automation server that excels in continuous integration and can be highly customized to suit specific workflows and needs.
  • Bitbucket: Bitbucket is a Git-based code hosting and collaboration platform frequently compared to GitLab review. It offers robust features for version control, CI/CD, and team collaboration, with a particular focus on seamless integration with Jira for issue tracking.
  • GitHub: GitHub is one of the most widely used platforms for version control and collaborative software development. It's often compared to GitLab due to its extensive community, marketplace, and strong emphasis on open-source projects.

If you are interested in another alternative, explore this list on DevOps Tools.

GitLab Company Overview & History

GitLab is a leading DevOps platform that provides a comprehensive set of tools for the entire software development lifecycle. It caters to a diverse range of companies, with notable users including Siemens, SpaceX, and Goldman Sachs. GitLab operates as a privately held company with headquarters in San Francisco, California.

However, the company has progressively broadened its leadership ensemble, including prominent board members like Mark Pundsack. GitLab's mission is to enable everyone to contribute, emphasizing collaboration and transparency in the software development process.


In conclusion, GitLab review stands out as a robust and versatile DevOps platform. Its extensive feature set, including source code management, CI/CD, issue tracking, and more, caters to a wide range of organizations, from startups to large enterprises.

If you've had hands-on experience with GitLab or any other Chief Technology software, we encourage you to share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below. Your comments and experiences can offer valuable perspectives for others who are delving into this platform and its main branch.

Paulo Gardini Miguel
By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.