Inclusive naming - Catherine Kiiru - She Code Africa Contributhon 2022

Hi there! my name is Catherine kiiru and this is my recap from participating in the Jenkins Inclusive naming project.


The She Code Africa contributhon program pairs people with open source organizations to work on a number of projects for two months. I joined the Jenkins project to replace outdated terminologies with more inclusive terms in a number of plugins.

In a nutshell:

These are my results from reviewing the Jenkins plugins as part of the inclusive naming project:

  • 91 Plugins reviewed
  • 82 plugins that don’t require changes
  • 1 pull request merged (see link below)
  • 8 pull requests pending reviews

Image source: token-macro-plugin

About me

I am a frontend developer, technical writer and open source enthusiast. I gain an interest in open source from seeing the impact it’s had in my peers and online community. Before joining the tech community, I was a digital marketing specialist, having developed and implemented marketing campaigns.

My interest in tech grew from my role in marketing because I wanted to work on the software that I marketed. Since starting my journey into tech, I have created web applications with JavaScript, React, Node.JS, volunteered in various tech communities and have also applied my communication skills into technical writing.


An issue I encountered was merging m a commit into the wrong target branch. This was corrected swiftly with the help on the Jenkins team, Mark Waite, Angélique Jard and Bruno Verachten. The image below demonstrates the merging conflict and the correction I made. I did not encounter any other (major) challenge. See this link to view the issue and correction I made.

Experience I gained

By now I firmly believe that open source is a fantastic gateway to transitioning into tech, while also helping the source organization resolve issues, and achieve their objectives. It’s essentially a win-win experience for everyone involved.

After participating in the She Code Africa contributhon program, I am confident in contributing to open source projects, working in distributed and diverse teams. Other areas I’ve learnt include:

  • The contributing workflow i.e how to do a pull request, clone, fork, proposing and committing changes.
  • Making changes and committing them without compromising the master branch.
  • Reviewing pull requests and committing suggestions made by the plugin maintainers.
  • The git and CLI workflows

Areas of Improvement
Going forward, She Code Africa could create an induction program where contributors are assigned to the source organizations, to continue working on the projects they started. This will ensure both parties continue to add onto the contributhon experience beyond the 2 months.

Next Steps

My experience at the She Code Africa contributhon program has given me the confidence to launch my efforts into the open source community.

Specifically, within the two months of participating in the She Code Africa Contributhon I have:

  • Hosted a Twitter space with 427 listeners to talk about Open Source. I will continue to host meetups and events around open source.
  • Applied and got accepted as a volunteer into the Open Source Africa Nairobi chapter.
  • Joined Aviyel, a platform for hosting open source start ups. Though this platform, I will build and add features into the products hosted in Aviyel.

My next step is to scale my efforts into the initiatives above, and continue contributing to the Jenkins plugins beyond the inclusive naming initiative.

I also want to grow the open source community in Kenya, and give more confidence to people looking to create or contribute to open source.