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Using inclusive language

When writing code or documentation, we need to be inclusive and aware of the terminology used within our services. Historically, terms such as master/slave have been wide-spread within the technology industry, and are offensive.

The table below provides guidance for replacing offensive and outdated phrases with more inclusive alternatives.

Non-inclusive term Inclusive term
abnormal atypical
blackbox closed box
blackhat hacker unethical hacker
blacklist deny list
blue team cyber defence team
disable deactivate or turn off
dummy value placeholder value
enable activate or turn on
girls (group) team or people
grandfather legacy
grayhat hacker hacktivist
guys (group) team or people
housekeeping cleanup or maintenance
man hours person hours/people hours
man power person power/people power
master/slave primary/secondary
master branch main branch
middleman middle person
mob programming team/group programming
native feature built-in feature
normal typical
pronouns when you don’t know someone’s they, them, theirs or ask them
red team cyber offence team
scrum master scrum coach
webmaster web product owner
white team cyber exercise team
whitebox open box
whitehat hacker ethical hacker
whitelist allow list
whitespace blank or empty space
yellow team DevSecOps team
This page was last reviewed on 24 August 2023. It needs to be reviewed again on 24 November 2023 by the page owner #operations-engineering-alerts .
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