May 18, 2024

GitLab Introduces Duo Chat, Expanding its AI Lineup for Developers

GitLab, a leading DevOps platform, has expanded its AI offering with the addition of Duo Chat. Duo Chat, which is now in beta, provides developers with an interactive experience to access existing AI features within GitLab. This latest addition complements GitLab’s earlier AI release, Duo, which includes features such as issue summarization, code suggestions, and vulnerability explanations.

The idea behind Duo Chat is to enhance collaboration and productivity for developers by facilitating conversation with a chatbot. David DeSanto, GitLab’s Chief Product Officer, explained that the company wanted to leverage the benefits of chat capabilities, so they integrated their chat backend with Anthropic’s Claude. This move was driven by the need for a larger context window, as GitLab found that a 100k context window enables better information exchange and retrieval within the chat environment.

GitLab’s strategy for AI integration is cloud-agnostic, and they have established partnerships with notable industry players such as Google, Oracle, and Anthropic. This allows GitLab to leverage the best features and capabilities from each partner, ensuring a robust AI offering for developers.

Currently, Duo Chat offers features like code explanations and code refactoring, with upcoming enhancements planned for test case generation and vulnerability explanations. GitLab’s focus on context becomes apparent during testing, as it became evident that context is vital for optimal results in the chat experience. Unlike some other platforms, GitLab can access all of a user’s code, even if it is not open in the integrated development environment (IDE). This breadth of context and accessible code enables developers to track previous conversations and make informed decisions.

During the closed preview period, GitLab’s team observed that experienced developers preferred accessing AI tools through Duo Chat, rather than relying solely on code suggestions. This was due to the perceived noise caused by excessive suggestions. Senior developers, in particular, gravitated towards code generation in chat, seeking guidance or refactoring suggestions as needed.

GitLab’s continued investment in AI capabilities aims to empower developers with tools that enhance productivity and collaboration. By extending their AI lineup with Duo Chat, GitLab reinforces its commitment to delivering a comprehensive DevOps platform that meets developers’ evolving needs.

With Duo Chat now in beta, developers can expect more efficient code creation, improved code quality, and enhanced collaboration through the interactive AI experience offered by GitLab. As GitLab further refines its AI features and adds more capabilities to Duo Chat, developers can look forward to an even more robust and user-friendly AI-driven development environment.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it