Team Besprechung

GitLab for RTLZWEI

We’ve been accompanying our client RTLZWEI for a decade in its transformation towards digital television. Over the years, the innovative German TV channel has implemented numerous developments for various TV formats and projects – which we host. This year, through the implementation of GitLab as a central code hosting tool and code versioning system (CVS), we achieved significant improvements and cost savings for RTLZWEI. Read on for the details! 

Our reasons for choosing GitLab as a code hosting tool and code versioning system 

Our client’s demand of consolidating tools used by their developers, coupled with the need to avoid unnecessary expenses, made a tool switch advisable. 

After a thorough analysis of the current state, we recommended a switch from Codefresh and Bitbucket to GitLab—a migration that was truly substantial in its scope. Solid analytical-architectural planning, strategic thinking, and consulting skills were required. 

RTLZWEI opted for our proposal. 

Migration with planning and structure but without downtime 

Essentially, we achieved two core tasks: migrating the entire code base from Bitbucket to GitLab and migrating the CI/CD pipelines from the existing Codefresh syntax to the new GitLab CI/CD language. We didn’t set a cut-off date for implementation because we didn’t want to disrupt the ongoing work of RTLZWEI’s developers. Voilà! All changes went smoothly thanks to code mirroring, pull mirroring, and good collaboration between developers and DevOps engineers, without any downtime. 

This reconciled the employees with our system work because creating entirely new accounts was unnecessary. We ensured integration and structure, defining access. People only had to accept minimal constraints during the implementation phase of the new system. Essentially, despite the complexity of our work, they could continue their work undisturbed in their usual workflow. 

Nice synergistic effect: Collaborative improvements 

Having considerable GitLab expertise in-house, we were able to recommend to RTLZWEI an advantageous synergy: we created a unified platform for code management, CI/CD pipelines, and were able to integrate RTLZWEI’s planned systems into the new CI/CD system thanks to GitLab’s extensive functionalities. 

Discovering new features and possibilities of GitLab in discourse 

It’s not always straightforward for us to grasp the overall picture of our clients' complex challenges right at the start of a project. Hence, with RTLZWEI, we agreed on regular tech talks and workshops from the outset. These proved extremely worthwhile because, through dialogue, we jointly identified new features and possibilities of GitLab that contribute to efficiency and security within the company today. The continuous collaboration between DevOps engineers and developers, coupled with active involvement from our client’s management, helped RTLZWEI continuously improve its developments and increase team satisfaction. 

Empowering customer training on GitLab 

Apart from technological improvements, we aim to empower our customers in the DevOps realm. Only when we understand what our client wants, and our client understands exactly what we do, can we succeed together. 

We coordinated the migration and conducted accompanying training. With transparency and openness in knowledge transfer, we ensured that teams could fully utilize GitLab’s range of functions and implement standardized workflows. 

To embed the new knowledge, we involved representatives from all teams who had previous experience with code versioning systems. Upon completion of the migration, each RTLZWEI team had a trained member who had written pipelines for their own team. 

Looking ahead with GitLab 

The seamless integration into existing systems like Active Directory and Jira, along with consistent advice and support provided to the teams by Simon, contributed to a smooth transition for all employees, and the benefits of GitLab were quickly felt. 

With a functional system in place, RTL ZWEI now focuses on fully leveraging GitLab’s features, particularly in the realm of code security and analysis. We continue our continuous consultancy and support regarding the utilization of GitLab’s new capabilities. This ensures that RTLZWEI consistently benefits from the implemented changes and can successfully pursue its goals in the future. 

Take away? 

As of today, we’re pleased that our actions have genuinely contributed to the productivity and innovation capacity of the company. As ops, we’ve opened up a common context for RTLZWEI’s devs that supports their corporate goals. Moreover, RTLZWEI is now saving licensing fees for Bitbucket and Codefresh. The usability comfort for employees has increased with the streamlining of workspaces. We’ve ensured standardization. 

A big thank you to RTLZWEI for your trust. 

Foto: Thank you, Campaign Creators!