With PyCon 2018 approaching, I’m excited to share some work that the PyCon staff, volunteers, and Python Software Foundation have undertaken in preparation!
The Python community and thus the PyCon community is always evolving and growing. In light of this it is crucial that we periodically reconsider and adjust the way that we interact within these communities.
In 2012 PyCon adopted a Code of Conduct to foster a more welcoming environment at the conference and provide policies and procedures for addressing violations. Each year since, changes have been adopted to work towards our goal of an enjoyable and fulfilling conference for all attendees.
For 2018, we took a larger step and worked with a third party expert from Otter Tech to reevaluate and improve our Code of Conduct, reporting procedures, and staff response procedures. Sage from Otter Tech came with a resounding recommendation from North Bay Python organizers.
In this post, I’d like to summarize the changes we’re bringing this year. If you have any questions or concerns please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.
Staff and Volunteer Incident Response Training
The first undertaking was to ensure that the PyCon Staff and volunteers are better equipped to respond to any incident that may arise during the event. Volunteer incident responders, Python Software Foundation board members, and the PyCon staff agreed to take part in training ahead of the event; this training included a mixture of classroom instruction and role playing.
In addition, an orientation session will be held on site at PyCon ahead of the conference to reinforce and prepare our team.
Procedures and Guides
We also worked to update and overhaul our Attendee Procedure For Reporting Code of Conduct Incidents and Staff Procedure For Incident Response. These documents codify and make clear the expectations, responsibilities, and timelines for all parties involved in an incident.
In addition, a complete Incident Response Guide was prepared for volunteers and staff to ensure that the resources they need to best respond are available, that protocols and procedures are clearly stated, and that they understand the specific roles of our entire team in supporting attendees who report an incident.
Code of Conduct
The changes this year are the biggest update to our Code of Conduct since its introduction. Drawing heavily on the experience and collective work of the community at large, we included language and themes from Contributor Covenant, Django Project Code of Conduct, Rust Code of Conduct, Citizen Code of Conduct, and Affect Conf Code of Conduct.
In totality, the refreshed document better represents and protects the full diversity of our community. It is our goal that we can do everything possible to make PyCon welcoming to every person.
Conflicts of Interest
New this year is also a neutral third-party as part of our Lead Incident Response team. In the past the Chair of PyCon and Director of Operations for the Python Software Foundation acted as the only decision makers.
With the intent of ensuring that a conflict of interest does not arise in handling a report, we’ve asked Sage of Otter Tech to be on site for PyCon 2018 to participate in any incident response.
Finally, we revamped how people can report incidents when our Code of Conduct has been violated. In the past, there were multiple phone numbers and email addresses made available for reporting.
To reduce this confusion, and once again drawing from the community, we’ll be deploying PyCascade’s coc-hotline application to offer a single number for people to reach one of our lead responders via telephone or SMS, and to keep track of our response. We’ve also rolled out a single email address that will notify all lead responders.
In the event that an attendee has any reason to know who they will reach, individual contacts for the lead incident responders will still be made available.