Code of Conduct

Lorenzo has mentioned a Safe Space Policy he adopted for the Talk & Play format recently and proposed we implement it for the OpenTechSchool as well. What are your thoughts?

From my impression we never had any problems with harassment or diversity but a CoC can be a good sign nevertheless. There was a lengthy discussion over at Python Users Berlin going from the Ruby Berlin CoC (not for the faint-hearted.)

I know @charlotte is drafting something up for Hackership currently, maybe we can collaborate or even share a common CoC?


I also wanted to propose that OTS signed the Berlin CoC. Imho, we have been conducting that way anyways for a while (at least in Berlin and the other chapters, I’ve personally been). So, although some might feel it isn’t “necessary”, it also does us no harm to openly say it.

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Yes, Code of Conduct

+1 on signing the Berlin CoC. It is great that we never seem to have had any issues so far, but that does not mean there never will be. Adopting and visibly promoting a CoC will go some way to make sure we don’t have issues and that, should anything ever happen, we can deal with them accordingly. That said, a CoC does not create a “safer space” per se, but it defines some minimum behavior standards towards that end and makes them enforceable. It is a great addition to our values which start where a CoC usually ends.

PS: Having been involved in the unpleasant CoC discussion at the Python UG mailing list that Robert linked to, I am very pleased to see that we don’t recreate that discussion here. :smile: I have never bothered to attend another PUB meeting due to that discussion, and as a person who cares a lot about creating “safer spaces” in tech, that makes me feel confident about my involvement in OTS.


+1 Berlin CoC. Good legalese, neutral, adopted by many groups. I like.

I don’t think we need one, but if you think we do, I’m all for “industry standards”. For instance, if I saw a code of conduct as the one of the Berlin Games meetup too early, I’d think I’d be thrown in a den of Tumblr social justice warriors and in consequence might stay away from it. IMO if legalese is not neutral anymore it becomes thought police, which is the opposite of inclusive.

If you don’t want use/link the Berlin CoC on our Meetup page, I’d be happy to see a nice page with our values and perhaps add something like “we encourage the participation of less represented groups and ask our members to keep a respectful conduct, for everybody to enjoy a diverse and enriching environment”. Maybe add some statistics of women participation in workshops, for instance. Also brief statements by participants. People like facts and positive language. People may regard the legalese as necessary (hence I +1 the Berlin CoC), but it’s evidence that matters in the end (hence the Berlin PUB being ignored by women - lack of positive evidence, paired with “we switch to English when asked”).

In addition, if one puts such harshly detailed CoC as the one of Berlin Games it might give the impression that we’ve had such issues in the past. We haven’t. We are not a one-off event (like the conferences mentioned in the thread) that needs such explicit statements because of lack of track record, but a group with a brilliant history of diversity (at least in Berlin).


@ben: So given the (not very broad, but at least consistent) consensus here about signing the Berlin CoC, what would be the next steps? I suppose the board has to take action, since they are the only one who can sign on behalf of OTS.

After that, I guess we need to include a visible link to the CoC on our website and our page.

I have added the Berlin CoC to our Web site; could someone add it to our Meetup?

(I guess it should also go into whatever kind of new-chapter-guide we have.)

There really is no point in adding the Berlin CoC to our pages before somebody from OTS signed it. Most importantly, we need to provide contact points for CoC violations, which is done as part of signing the CoC.

I think in the OpenTechSchool we have always had a bottom-up approach; the doers have the say is one of our core values. I consider the CoC —and any other decision— effective as soon as it has reached consensus and has been implemented. No formal sign-off required.

I see the following action items (in order of importance):

  • Link the CoC from our Web site. (—robert@, see above)
  • Document the requirement to sign the CoC for new chapters.
  • Link the CoC from our various existing Meetups.
  • Create a CoC escalations list (I propose help@.)
  • Submit a pull request to Berlin CoC referencing us.

hadn’t seen this thread and only heard about the CoC from @ellen in the recent email.
School of MA just signed on to it last friday!
felt good:)

oh thanks for reminder need to add a weblink @robert !

id say add the help@ email, then do the pull request and the other stuff comes later.
too much waiting around – when you get that first part done, the rest will more easily
follow imho ! :slight_smile:

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+1 for the CoC