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Toward an inclusive language in IT 次

ranb2002 profile image Benjamin Rancourt Originally published at on 2 min read

Last month, the Human Resources Department at my work (Universit矇 de Sherbrooke) announced that it would launch a new information campaign against discrimination in the coming weeks.

It got me thinking on how my department, the Information Technology Department, could get involved and add its grain of salt to this campaign. So I remembered that last year, a lot of big compagnies (like Twitter and GitHub) had started replacing some terms that were not really correct in 2020, like the words master and slave.

At that time, I was not really paying attention to these actions as they did not seem to echo in Quebec, but I still added a mental note to myself that I should read more on that subject when I had the chance.

So I decided to take the necessary time to familiarize myself more on this subject and I quickly ask my general manager if we could take advantage of this new campaign to make our colleagues aware of these terms and start replacing some of these words with more inclusive terms.

Understandably in the COVID-19 context, I have no news yet on my proposal. 仄儭 But, I will personally start using more inclusive terms and gradually replace non-inclusive words in my personal projects from now on.

I have therefore chosen to replace the following terms that I frequently encounter on a weekly basis:

  • whitelist / blacklist allowlist / denylist
  • [Database] master / slave primary / replica
  • [Git] master main

Therefore, for my colleagues, do not be surprised if I use (and stick to) these words!

I know it is only a small step, but we have to start somewhere, right? If you are interested in learning more about inclusive language , I recommend reading the excellent article How to Use & Promote Inclusive Language at Your Organization by Caroline Forsey at HubSpot.

Have you personally started to use a more inclusive language?

Psst! If you have Git >= 2.28 , you can now configure it to create the initial branch with an alternate name instead of master with the following Bash command: git config --global init.defaultBranch main.

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