Technology communities almost by definition need to be open, welcoming, diverse, and inclusive to do the most good for the most amount of people. Yet without adequate checks and balances technology communities have an unfortunate track record to be anything but – especially for people on the wrong side of power dynamics such as women and minorities.
Adopting a well-developed Open-Source Code of Conduct such as the Contributor Covenant is a key tool in countering this problem. In this introductory session we will cover what Open-Source Codes of Conduct are, what they seek to accomplish, what makes a good one and why you should adopt one in your project, community, event, group or even company.
Why You Should Adopt an
Open-Source Code of Conduct
Jakarta EE Ambassador, Author, Blogger, Speaker
Why Do I Care?
You are maybe qualified to work at 7-Eleven
You can always go back to your country
You’ve never worked with women, have you?
It worries me someone like you is in a position of authority
What’s that weird smell?
You are too aggressive, calm down
You are a liar
You are a cheat
You are making us look bad
You are too smart for your own good
You hate Jews, don’t you?
You are obviously full of hate
You need to earn your place around here
Your English is pretty good You don’t understand our culture
You are overreacting
I didn't mean it that way How can you spin it like that?
You are the enemy
Don’t be so sensitive
You don’t smile enough
Are most Muslims terrorists?
You can’t block me!
You talk a lot of nonsense
Lighten up, it was just a joke
You think you are better than us?
Where are you really from?
You need to be more friendly You are not qualified to have an opinion
Don’t be so dramatic
You need to be more like a real person
Who are you to criticize us?
You are too ambitious
Don’t take it personally
Nope, It Isn’t Just Me...
Why Should You Care?
• Increasing openness
• Diverse perspectives
• Untapped potential
• Expanding community
• Broadening reach
• Ethical imperative
The Underlying Factors
• Anonymity, remoteness and a sense of “alternative reality”
• A feeling of anarchy, empowerment and impunity
• Cliques, tribalism and exclusion
• An entitled notion of “utopian meritocracy” and equality
• Deliberate and subconscious stereotyping, bias, prejudice and
• Ignorance of social context, inequities, isolation and
disproportionate negative emotional impact
Equity, Justice, Order and Codes of Conduct
An Effective Code of Conduct
• Clear and simple
• Concrete principles and objectives
• Sufficiently detailed and includes examples
• Resources to seek clarification
• Reporting and enforcement details
• Prominently placed
Exploring by Example
Not Just for Open-Source Projects
• Communities and groups
• Conferences and events
• Codes of Conduct are very important in advancing diversity and inclusion
• There are existing examples and best practices to leverage
• It has much wider applicability than simply open-source projects
• The Contributor Covenant
• Open-Source Guide for Codes of Conduct
• Diversity in Open-Source Software