Skip to main content

PyCon 2019 Code of Conduct Transparency Report

PyCon 2019 Transparency Report

The PyCon Code of Conduct sets standards for how our community interacts with others during the conference. A Code of Conduct without appropriate reporting and response procedures is difficult to enforce transparently, and furthermore a lack of transparency in the outcomes of Code of Conduct incidents leaves the community without knowledge of how or if the organizers worked to resolve incidents.
In our efforts to continue to improve how PyCon handles CoC incidents, staff, volunteers and community members participated in a CoC training prior to PyCon 2019. In having more people trained we provided a more thorough process for reporting and responses.
With that in mind, we have prepared the following to help the community understand what kind of incidents we received reports about and how the PyCon staff responded.



This year, PyCon Staff and Incident Responders were notified of 11 incidents. For summary purposes we categorized each report using a tenant of our standards and expectations of attendees.
13 incidents were reported this year, and 10 were considered to be potential PyCon Code of Conduct matters:
  • Two related to unwelcome sexual attention or advancement
  • Two related to content, written or verbal presentations
  • Five related to other conduct that is inappropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds
  • One related to privacy


Of the 10 potential PyCon Code of Conduct matters:
  • Eight were resolved on-site
  • One was resolved post-conference
  • One is still awaiting resolution

Summary of Reported Incidents

  • A presenter displayed publicly released classified materials on screen during a public presentation. An attendee with security clearance noted that this required a disclosure to their employer and other steps per policy. PyCon contacted the presenter and asked that a disclaimer be made before displaying similar material in the future so that those with clearances can choose to leave if necessary.
  • An attendee reported repeated advances and unwanted sexual attention from another attendee. PyCon has not resolved the incident and is awaiting confirmation from the reporter to do so.
  • An attendee with an impairment asked a question at a presentation regarding that impairment. The attendee felt dismissed by the presenter’s response, this was compounded by the presenter serving as a non-expert contributor to research. The PyCon programming committee is considering an enhanced vetting process for presentations addressing medical and disability research.
  • An attendee reported concerns with the way that crowd control was handled and the behavior of volunteers at a talk that was at capacity. PyCon updated crowd control procedures on site for the remainder of the conference and will incorporate and iterate on these improvements moving forward.
  • An attendee reported personal attacks posted to a blog during the conference by one community member against another community member, both in attendance at PyCon. PyCon’s incident response team determined that this was not a Code of Conduct violation within their purview, but indicated the manners in which it was not within the broader Python community guidelines.
  • Prior to the conference, a volunteer reported inappropriate behavior by another volunteer during meetings leading up to PyCon. As this behavior had been previously reported and addressed, PyCon has removed the volunteer from their position.
  • An attendee reported concerns about recordings of tutorials including pans and zooms around the room during breaks. PyCon is working to implement and improve photo policies on site and will instruct future tutorial videographers to pause the recording during breaks.
  • An attendee reported an incident of sexual assault at another Python conference. PyCon’s incident response team escalated this matter to the Python Software Foundation board.
  • Several attendees of a breakout event reported an interaction between an attendee of the event and a presenter that led to the attendee verbally lashing out and leaving the room. PyCon’s incident response team conferred these reports to the organizers of the event. For future breakout events, PyCon will invite organizers to attend Code of Conduct incident response trainings to better equip them to address situations as they arise.
  • An attendee reported seeing another attendees phone displaying sexual imagery. PyCon contacted the second attendee to remind them to be cognizant of what apps they open and what content you view in the PyCon public space.
  • Several attendees reported feeling uncomfortable around an attendee who was consistently wearing a hat intentionally reminiscent of a hat with charged political meaning. The attendee was asked to remove their hat.
  • An organizer for an Open Space reported being concerned that an attendee that was disruptive at PyCon 2018 would return. The attendee did not attend PyCon 2019.
  • A presenter reported feeling uncomfortable with personal correspondence they received from an attendee in the lead up to PyCon and requested that the attendee be asked not to attend their presentation. PyCon’s incident response team deemed the correspondence to be unwanted sexual attention and asked that the attendee not go to the presentation. The attendee said they would not, and PyCon’s incident response team confirmed that they did not attend the presentation or make any additional attempts to contact the presenter at PyCon.