Let's thank Kohsuke - the Creator of Jenkins!

Let’s thank Kohsuke Kawaguchi, the legendary creator of Jenkins and many other projects in the Java ecosystem! Since the very first Hudson versions in 2004, Kohsuke has led Jenkins with vision and inspired thousands of contributors. He shaped the project vision, built the community and set its direction for the years to come. Kudos to Kohsuke!

How to say thanks? Just write a personalized message and celebrate Jenkins or any other Kohsuke’s projects/achievements. And let us know about your posts!

Jenkins History

The Jenkins project was started in 2004 (originally called Hudson) by Kohsuke Kawaguchi, while he worked for Sun Microsystems. Kohsuke was a developer at Sun and got tired of incurring the wrath of his team every time his code broke the build. He created Jenkins as a way to perform continuous integration – that is, to test his code before he did an actual commit to the repository, to be sure all was well. Once his teammates saw what he was doing, they all wanted to use Jenkins. Kohsuke open sourced it, creating the Jenkins project, and soon Jenkins usage had spread around the world.

Nowadays Jenkins is the most widely adopted solution for continuous delivery, thanks to its extensibility and a vibrant, active community. The Jenkins community offers more than 1,700 plugins that enable Jenkins to integrate with virtually any tool, including all of the best-of-breed solutions used throughout the continuous delivery process. Jenkins continues to grow as the dominant solution for software process automation, continuous integration and continuous delivery and, as of May 2021, there are more than 250,000 active installations and an estimated 2.5 million users around the world.

Kohsuke’s own words

As Kohsuke writes in https://www.jenkins.io/blog/2020/01/23/a-new-chapter-for-kohsuke/:

Jenkins has been an amazing journey that never stopped giving. I have loved it all - especially meeting the users around the world who made Jenkins what it is today. As the creator of the project, at some point I started wondering how to pass the torch to the next leaders, how to get people to step up and drive it forward. Today, thanks to CloudBees and the community, there is a new generation of talented and capable leaders who are passionately driving things forward - and it’s been great to see. Newly elected board members, Jenkins X folks, just to name a few. These new people bring new culture and new code, and altogether it has created a positive jolt that pushed Jenkins out of a local optimum I talked about. They have all my support and respect. In reality, my involvement with Jenkins lately has already been largely symbolic, a little bit like an emperor of Japan or a queen of the UK… Through Jenkins and CloudBees, I was able to push the state of automation forward in software development.

I’m incredibly grateful for the undeserved opportunity and the privilege given to me during this chapter. I was surrounded by wonderful, inspiring, and talented people, from whom I learned a lot. I can only hope that I was able to make a positive impact, and give something back in return to them. I won’t name names, but you know who you are, and we’ll stay in touch.

Talks by Kohsuke about Jenkins

Other posts and community lore


Thanks for your mentorship Kohsuke! It has been a pleasure to work together with you on Jenkins project. This project and the community have changed my career, and I am grateful for that! I’ve Iearnt from you how open source projects work, and how a project can flourish while not competing with others. It has taken me years to understand and internalize some of your words, and I keep learning from you.

And thanks for sharing your vision about Jenkins with me and many other community members. The current Jenkins evolution is very much aligned with the cloud native Jenkins vision, and the community is really shifting gears at the moment. Together with many individual and company contributors, we are building a welcoming community which would be the best place to contribute for everyone, regardless of the background and experience. This community exists thanks to you!

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