About the Code of Conduct

Why have a Code of Conduct?

Online communities include people from many different backgrounds. The LouisvilleTech.org team are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexuality, or similar personal characteristic.

The first goal of the Code of Conduct is to specify a baseline standard of behavior so that people with different social values and communication styles can talk about technology and programming effectively, productively, and respectfully.

The second goal is to provide a mechanism for resolving conflicts in the community when they arise.

The third goal of the Code of Conduct is to make our community welcoming to people from different backgrounds. Diversity is critical to the project; for LouisvilleTech.org to be successful, it needs contributors and users from all backgrounds.

With that said, a healthy community must allow for disagreement and debate. The Code of Conduct is not a mechanism for people to silence others with whom they disagree.

Where does the Code of Conduct apply?

If you participate in or contribute to LouisvilleTech.org in any way, you are encouraged to follow the Code of Conduct while doing so.

Explicit enforcement of the Code of Conduct applies to the official LouisvilleTech.org website and Slack team chat (“LouisvilleTech.org spaces”):

LouisvilleTech.org values

These are the values to which people in the LouisvilleTech.org community should aspire.

  • Be friendly and welcoming
  • Be patient
    • Remember that people have varying communication styles and that not everyone is using their native language. (Meaning and tone can be lost in translation.)
  • Be thoughtful
    • Productive communication requires effort. Think about how your words will be interpreted.
    • Remember that sometimes it is best to refrain entirely from commenting.
  • Be respectful
    • In particular, respect differences of opinion.
  • Be charitable
    • Interpret the arguments of others in good faith, do not seek to disagree.
    • When we do disagree, try to understand why.
    • Be very careful when discussing potentially offensive or sensitive issues; Stay polite and avoid escalations.
  • Avoid destructive behavior:
    • Unconstructive criticism: don't merely decry the current state of affairs; offer—or at least solicit—suggestions as to how things may be improved.
    • Snarking (pithy, unproductive, sniping comments)
    • Microaggressions: brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral and environmental indignities that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative slights and insults to a person or group.

People are complicated. You should expect to be misunderstood and to misunderstand others; when this inevitably occurs, resist the urge to be defensive or assign blame. Try not to take offense where no offense was intended. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Even if the intent was to provoke, do not rise to it. It is the responsibility of all parties to de-escalate conflict when it arises.

Unwelcome behavior

These actions are explicitly forbidden in LouisvilleTech.org spaces:

  • Insulting, demeaning, hateful, or threatening remarks. Personal attacks.
  • Discrimination based on age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexuality, or similar personal characteristic.
  • Bullying or systematic harassment.
  • Unwelcome sexual advances.
  • Incitement to any of these.

Moderation

The LouisvilleTech.org spaces are not free speech venues; they are for discussion about technology and programming. These spaces have moderators. The goal of the moderators is to facilitate civil discussion about technology and programming.

When using the official LouisvilleTech.org spaces you should act in the spirit of “human values”. If you conduct yourself in a way that is explicitly forbidden by the CoC, you will be warned and asked to stop. If you do not stop, you will be removed from our community spaces temporarily. Repeated, wilful breaches of the CoC will result in a permanent ban.

Moderators are held to a higher standard than other community members. If a moderator creates an inappropriate situation, they should expect less leeway than others, and should expect to be removed from their position if they cannot adhere to the CoC.

Complaints about moderator actions must be handled using the reporting process below.

Reporting issues

The Code of Conduct Working Group is a group of people that represent the LouisvilleTech.org community. They are responsible for handling conduct-related issues. Their purpose is to de-escalate conflicts and try to resolve issues to the satisfaction of all parties. They are:

  • Polina Abramov, @shpolina on Slack
  • Austyn Hill, @thelilacllama on Slack
  • Eric Lathrop, @ericlathrop on Slack

If you encounter a conduct-related issue, you should report it to the Working Group using the process described below. Do not post about the issue publicly or try to rally sentiment against a particular individual or group.

  • Report issues to members of the Working Group on the LouisvilleTech.org Slack by sending a Direct Message.
    • Reports are confidential within the Working Group.
    • Should you choose to remain anonymous then the Working Group cannot notify you of the outcome of your report.
    • You may contact a member of the group directly if you do not feel comfortable contacting the group as a whole. That member will then raise the issue with the Working Group as a whole, preserving the privacy of the reporter (if desired).
    • If your report concerns a member of the Working Group they will be recused from Working Group discussions of the report.
    • The Working Group will strive to handle reports with discretion and sensitivity, to protect the privacy of the involved parties, and to avoid conflicts of interest.
  • You should receive a response within 48 hours (likely sooner). (Should you choose to contact a single Working Group member, it may take longer to receive a response.)
  • The Working Group will meet to review the incident and determine what happened.
    • With the permission of person reporting the incident, the Working Group may reach out to other community members for more context.
  • The Working Group will reach a decision as to how to act. These may include:
    • Nothing.
    • A request for a private or public apology.
    • A private or public warning.
    • An imposed vacation (for instance, asking someone to abstain for a week from a mailing list or IRC).
    • A permanent or temporary ban from some or all LouisvilleTech.org spaces.
  • The Working Group will reach out to the original reporter to let them know the decision.
  • Appeals to the decision may be made to the Working Group, or to any of its members directly.

Note that the goal of the Code of Conduct and the Working Group is to resolve conflicts in the most harmonious way possible. We hope that in most cases issues may be resolved through polite discussion and mutual agreement. Bannings and other forceful measures are to be employed only as a last resort.

Changes to the Code of Conduct (including to the members of the Working Group) should be proposed using github issues.

Summary

  • Treat everyone with respect and kindness.
  • Be thoughtful in how you communicate.
  • Don’t be destructive or inflammatory.
  • If you encounter an issue, please contact someone from LouisvilleTech.org.

Acknowledgements

Parts of this document were derived from the Code of Conduct documents of the Go, Django, FreeBSD, and Rust projects.