The Code of Conduct is here for you

By Erik Sasha Romijn

Talk Abstract

Many communities now have CoC teams, that deal with violations, reporting, checking speakers, etc.. This talk will give a peek behind the scenes of the work of CoC teams & committees in the Django community, incident handling, and how this leads to a better community for everyone. Including you.

Talk Description

Many open source communities have now adopted Codes of Conduct. Django adopted one in 2013, since then Django Software Foundation has had a Code of Conduct committee. The committee deals with CoC violations on e.g. mailing lists, aggregates reports from conferences, can check speaker lists against CoC reports and provide general advice and support. Django events tend to have their own CoC with their own CoC team.

Not everyone in the wider tech community is fond of Codes of Conduct. However, a lot of this reluctance is rooted in misunderstanding about what this actually entails, and what the committee and teams actually do in both their active and reactive roles.

That’s why this talk will give a peek behind the scenes of the work of the CoC committee and CoC teams, how incidents are actually handled with various real life examples, and how this leads to a better community for everyone. Including you.


I recently became a member of the Django Software Foundation’s CoC committee, have been part of CoC teams at conferences, and beyond that have heard many stories or gave advice in many other occasions. I also want to share some of the very difficult considerations that can apply, which is why decisions are often less straight forward than they may seem for an outsider.

This is a fairly new talk. On other talks I’ve done, people have said:

  • “I think this touched the very core of the complexity of empathy and vulnerability”
  • “I feel safe in this community, and talks like this are one of the main reasons.”
  • “Your talk made me feel so much more welcome and safe at this event.”
  • “As usual, they’re is delivering an amazing talk.”
  • “Great speech, really important and meaningful.”
  • “Awesome, awesome talk.”
  • “Your powerful, courageous and constructive talk added so much to our event.”
  • “From the moment you did your talk, the entire atmosphere of the conference changed for me. It made me feel so much safer, and no conference is complete without having this talk.”
  • “Your talk has saved lives today.”
  • “Literally tearing up because of this talk.”
  • “The most unexpected and wonderful talk of the conference.”
  • “What an utterly astonishing perfect talk!”