Dev

Developer conferences need a code of conduct. Here’s ours

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As VentureBeat’s been working on putting together our first developer conference, DevBeat, we’ve been thinking a lot about how to make the show a great experience for all kinds of developers.

Without singling out any specific group, we wanted to be sure that DevBeat would be an event of great diversity and radical inclusion. Right now in our industry, that means we need to set out a code of conduct to prevent any number of misunderstandings or outright violations of decency and/or etiquette.

Our draft of the policy is below. If you think it needs changes (and we’re always working to make it better), let us know in the comments.

For those of you who think we don’t need a code of conduct, we could direct you to a slew of other articles about incidents of discrimination at white guy-dominated conferences. Instead, we’ll ask you to imagine that you’re vulnerable by default, that you stand out in a crowd no matter what you do, and that people aren’t always nice to you. Someone is doing their best to state a common standard of behavior that ensures everyone, including you, gets treated the same. We hope you’ll agree that this makes some sense when you put yourself in “the other’s” shoes.

For our first-ever developer conference, we want to support the equality of devs of all kinds, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, income, or other actual or perceived differences.

We are committed to a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination or harassment. Verbal or physical harassment or intentional exclusion of attendees is not acceptable. When in doubt, please err on the side of respect, dignity, and kindness toward all other attendees.

If bad behavior occurs at DevBeat, we have two options. The first and best is to talk directly to the offender and give them them a chance to apologize for and correct their behavior. The second option, which is necessary for threatening or wildly inappropriate behavior, is to kick the offender out of the conference.

Getting kicked out means you lose your badge, you can’t come back into the building, you can’t participate in any activities, and you won’t get a refund.

No one wants any of that to happen, so let’s celebrate diversity and cultivate an atmosphere of radical inclusion at this conference.


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