DevRespectOps: Removing Harmful Language from Jenkins and CloudBees CI

Written by: Jake Leon
3 min read

This post was written by Senior Product Managers Jake Leon and Runxia Ye.

“Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.” -Cesar Chavez 

Language is the principal method of human communication. As you know, the IT industry has its share of offensive terminology that has been around for decades like whitelist (now allowlist), blacklist (now denylist), master (now controller or built-in, depending on the context), and slave (now agent). Of course, more people are now beginning to recognize that these terms are not okay. In the August 12, 2020 update, the Jenkins project concluded that the new term for master would be controller, as in “Jenkins controller.” CloudBees shared our thoughts on other terms to replace as well, including the terms above. In fact, CloudBees had begun to make wholesale changes in our materials four years earlier. Thus, in concert with the Jenkins community, we have made big strides in eradicating these terms from our products and from Jenkins. But our collective work is not done.

For more information on this topic, watch this session from DevOps World 2021 with Sara Gawlinski, Thierry Wasylczenko, and Angélique Jard: DevRespectOps: Removing Harmful Language from Jenkins and CloudBees CI

What We’ve Done and What We Will Do

We are proud to say, in our latest release of CloudBees CI (2.319.1.5), we have removed the deprecated terminology from the browser UI, documentation, and help text within CloudBees Continuous Integration (CI), Event Listener/Logs, and CloudBees Assurance Program plugins—and we have made various contributions to Jenkins that retain this new standard of terminology. Just like the nature of our software, we are continuously looking to improve and uphold CloudBees values and culture. Those values and culture are ones of inclusion, respect, and transparency. Our Bees collaborate globally and we want our engagements, products, website, and marketing materials to reflect who we are as a company and the world around us. The diversity of ethnicity, gender identity, culture, and experience brings new, different, and often much better ideas that lead to greater innovation. 

With the changes we have made already, we have helped assure compatibility, stability, and functionality for our users. Changes that create significant risk to those topics are rarely visible to users and are frequently API or source code level changes. These changes unfortunately cannot happen overnight. We will continue to address and resolve these more complicated changes thoughtfully and thoroughly—and in lockstep with the Jenkins community, as we have in the past—to ensure the best possible experience for all of our users.

Looking to the Future

We are proud of the work we have done, but we know that there is still more work to do. We understand that changing the terms and some code doesn’t solve the greater problems in our society, but it is our responsibility to do our part. We are committed to using inclusive language and we will continue to look for ways we can be better. We look forward to tackling this work together. 

We welcome you to contribute to the open source effort and make suggestions or call out other terms that we should be aware of and modify. As a starting point, we invite you to read this documentation and ask any questions in this community post

Stay up to date

We'll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time, we promise.