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2018 in Review: A year of innovation

Kohsuke Kawaguchi
Kohsuke Kawaguchi
December 25, 2018

The end of a year is a great time to step back from the daily grind to look at the big picture.

Year in review

Across the industry, the relentless march toward more automation still continues on. We are writing software faster than ever, but the demand for software seems to be going up even more, and I feel more and more businesses and executives are keenly aware that software and developers are king. At the ground level, every team I meet sees the software delivery automation to be a critical part of their "software factory," and it’s important for them to create and manage them with unhinged flexibility and visibility.

Jenkins continues to play a major role in making this possible, after 14+ years since its birth, and if anything the pace of growth seems to be accelerating. In this dog year industry, that’s truly remarkable. Being a part of this achievement truly makes me proud.

Building Jenkins, being a tool that everyone uses, comes with a great responsibility. So within the Jenkins community, we’ve been hard at work. In fact, 2018 has been the single most innovative year in the history of the whole project across the field, at multiple levels.

  • As we got bigger, we needed better ways to drive initiatives that cut across multiple people. This thinking led to JEPs and SIGs, and 2018 saw these formats getting great traction. After a year of operating them, I think we’ve learnt a lot, and I hope we will continue to improve them based on the learning.

  • These new formats gave rise to new collaborations. For example, Chinese Localization SIG resulted in our WeChat presence and localized website. Platform SIG was instrumental in Java 11 support.

  • I’m also very happy to see new batch of leaders. In fear of missing out some people, I’m not going to list them individually, but we celebrated many of them as Jenkins Ambassadors this fall (and please nominate more for the next year!) Those people who lead key efforts are often people who are new to those roles.

  • Some of the new leaders led other efforts that unlock new contributors. It’s about consciously thinking which segment of our potential contributors we aren’t tapping today and understanding why. Something any business does all the time. Ours resulted in Google Summer of Code and Outreachy participations.

  • Our security process and the pace of fixes have gone up considerably this year again, reflecting our stepping up to the trust our users gave to us. For example, this year we rolled out a telemetry system that informs us to develop better fixes more quickly.

Now, where these community improvements ultimately matter is what impact we are creating to software that you use. On that front, I think we did great in 2018, resulting in what I call "5 super powers":

The not-so-secret sauce of the Jenkins community that threads together all these improvements from user visible changes to the community improvements is our ability to evolve. As I look forward to 2019, no doubt these things I mentioned will evolve, morph, merge, and split as we continue to learn and adopt.

So please, follow @jenkinsci and @jenkinsxio on Twitter to get updates on how we will evolve, and join our community to together build the software that rocks the world. How many open-source projects can say that?

About the author

Kohsuke Kawaguchi

Kohsuke Kawaguchi

Kohsuke is the creator of Jenkins.