Jenkins X & Open Innovation

Jenkins X burst onto the CI/CD scene a couple of years ago - reimagining CI/CD on Kubernetes with pipeline automation, GitOps built-in and and preview environments to help teams collaborate and accelerate their software delivery at any scale. It has been evolving at a breakneck pace, keeping up with the changes in the wider Kubernetes ecosystem.

With the release of Helm 3, Jenkins X Labs nurtured an early experiment to adopt it. On May 15th, the primary sponsor of Jenkins X, CloudBees, shared a post talking about the future direction of Helm 3 and Jenkins X.

Open source projects rise to ubiquity thanks to a virtuous cycle of technology and business adoption. It is a constant challenge to balance these concerns and delineate what is open source and what can be commercialized. In a fast-changing open source and tech landscape, sometimes the line gets drawn in the wrong place.

The Jenkins X community is passionate and vocal and Mauricio Salatino, Salaboy, shared a post strongly expressing his views on the new direction. The post was supported by a Github issue which allowed other community members to also share feedback on this topic. Many of CloudBees founders and leaders are veterans of open source projects. CloudBees is committed to open source. We demonstrate our commitment through deep involvement in open source projects and communities. So we took this feedback very seriously and listened to what the community was telling us.

One line that stood out in Salatino’s post is this: “Jenkins X is unlike any other project that I worked on in the past”. This is significant, especially given how many OSS projects Salatino contributes to. Salatino continues:

“The speed of changes in these projects is unprecedented and keeping up with all of it is a big challenge. Because of this, Jenkins X is more than a solution to a CI/CD problem, it is a shared community learning experience and a research project that pushes the boundaries of best practices for CI/CD in Kubernetes.”

Jenkins X is a solution to a CI/CD problem, but it is more than that. It is a shared community learning experience. It is a research project that pushes the boundaries of best practices for CI/CD in Kubernetes. And the engine that powers all of this is the open source community.

CI/CD right now is going through a renaissance with the onset of microservices, containers and cloud native technologies. The whole space is evolving rapidly. We have seen this earlier this year, with the rise of Tekton which was adopted as the main pipeline engine for Jenkins X. Jenkins X in a year’s time is likely to be very different than it is today. At CloudBees, we believe open source drives innovation, leads to better, more robust technology and benefits everyone.

We are very grateful to Salatino and the wider community for graciously speaking up and giving feedback on how the project should evolve. With this in mind we want to play our part by ensuring Jenkins X future is open and innovative. You may have already noticed some of the changes, such as the open roadmap being discussed. Specifically, on Helm 3 we want this work to resume in the open as a community effort, in the form of a Jenkins X Helm 3 working group. These are just a couple of steps towards that north star of open innovation.

Jenkins X is unlike any other open source project out there, let’s keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible - together and in the open.