Mixing GitLab personal and work accounts: Enterprise Users

GitLab Enterprise Users seem to have until August 1st to split their personal accounts from work or will be taken over by their orgs.

TL;DR: if you are about to become a GitLab enterprise user, time to split your work from passion.

I’m often asked by other team members just starting on their version control journey, when using the likes of GitHub and GitLab, whether to have separate accounts for work and personal projects, or have a single one for both?

So far my advice has been pretty much along the lines of: “use a single one“, for many reasons, like every service seems to handle email aliases, git+ssh is pain enough with a single account not even multiple, and people generally seem to build their professional and open source contributions under a single persona anyways.

This advice no longer stands, at least for GitLab. I received this email recently, and how their use of Enterprise Users (and SSO Login + domain verification) makes it absolutely necessary to separate work and personal accounts:

I’ve been looking for a blogpost or other announcement, but couldn’t find one, hence the reposting of it here. I definitely gonna scramble a bit to create some new accounts (and keep my preferred username for the personal one).

Enterprise Users and the extra bit affecting them sorta make sense for “Enterprises”, such that:

This means when requested by an Owner in the top-level of a paid group, information can be shared about, and actions can be made on behalf of an enterprise user.

GitLab Docs on Enterprise Users

Enterprises need different things, that’s for sure.

On the other hand, on GitHub I mostly read to the point of Personal accounts

Most people will use one personal account for all their work on, including both open source projects and paid employment.

GitHub Docs on Personal Users

So for one moment thought that “yeah, they do it better”… except reading on to Enterprise Managed Users it’s pretty much like GitLab — with one difference: they seem to indicate that the given enterprise with create new accounts for the those EMUs, rather than take over their accounts. That might make all the difference, how much of a fuff it is.

Either way, this is just a shout-out, and then I scurry off getting some account splitting sorted. The main benefit is really to separate work from non-work, which occasionally does need a bit of forcing function, even if force feels bad for a short time. Just like having separate work and personal laptops, I consider that right thing while a lot of people do find it annoying. Let’s keep learning the “proper”-ish ways of doing this stuff.

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