CTO Insights
CTO Insights Podcast
Enhancing Team Output by Cutting Meetings to a Minimum: Insights from GitLab

Enhancing Team Output by Cutting Meetings to a Minimum: Insights from GitLab

Natalia Tepluhina, Principal Engineer at GitLab talks about how their async approach to work benefits the team performance.

Brought to you by Adeva, the go-to place for hiring tech and product consultants.

In this episode, I’m speaking with Natalia Tepluhina, Principal Engineer at GitLab, Vue.js core team member, and Google Developer Expert in Web Technologies. I’ve always been fascinated by Gitlab and the async culture they foster, so I was really looking forward to exploring how working asynchronously might benefit the team's performance. And Natalia had a lot to share on the topic.

The biggest highlight for me is how ruthlessly they eliminate meetings by keeping a disciplined approach toward what makes a meeting material. So much so, that even their planning is done async, not surprisingly using GitLab epics and issues. Definitely a perspective worth getting.

“First of all, an agenda should be filled before the meeting. If there are updates in the agenda, the meeting will happen. If there is nothing on the agenda, the meeting will be canceled because there is nothing to discuss.” - Natalia Tepluhina

Here are all of the topics we discuss in this episode:

  • GitLab’s team structure and work organization.

  • Planning yearly on a very high level, then working on short milestones.

  • Tech debt as a product priority vs. engineering priority.

  • All things async - from planning using issues and epics, to daily standups and team coordination.

  • Ensuring a meeting is worth having by preparing a detailed agenda and discussion points upfront. No agenda, no meeting.

  • Documentation as the foundation of async work.

  • Measuring by results, not hours.

“Stop measuring by hours, start measuring by results. This is where it gets complicated. You have seen this swing to the async work during the COVID times and then swing back to the office. And to me, it looks like we failed at management.” - Natalia Tepluhina

Listen now on Apple and Spotify.

This episode is brought to you by Adeva, a global talent network that connects the world’s best companies with the world’s best tech talent.

Adeva provides access to a global network of top-tier tech and product talent, ready to hit the ground running. With the ability to introduce a candidate within 24 hours and an exceptional 98% success rate on trial engagements, Adeva offers the flexibility for companies to scale their teams up or down as needed.

If you’re looking to expand your team, drive momentum in new projects, or need to backfill a role, Adeva might be the solution you need.

Learn More About Adeva

CTO Insights
CTO Insights Podcast
CTO Insights is a podcast on engineering leadership that brings you insights from senior engineering leaders and experts on creating a culture of high performance.