Code of Conduct

ACCU is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and actively encourages diversity and promotes inclusion and accessibility at our events.

We value the participation of each member of the software development community and want all participants to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. We note that participants are well intentioned and do not mean to cause any offence, the code of conduct aims to support with providing information to allow participants to demonstrate respect and courtesy to all others at all times.

To make clear what is expected, all participants, speakers, exhibitors, organisers, and volunteers at any ACCU conference are required to conform to the following Code of Conduct. Organisers will ensure that it is enforced throughout the event.

Thank you for helping make this a welcoming, friendly event for all.

The Short Version

ACCU is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone.

All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual or discriminatory language and imagery is not appropriate for any of the conference sessions or activities.

Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants. Behave professionally. Remember that any discriminatory (as in sexist, racist, etc.) or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for ACCU.

Attenders violating these rules may be asked to leave the conference without a refund at the sole discretion of the conference organisers.

The Long Version

Every attendee, speaker, exhibitor, organiser, and volunteer at any ACCU conference is expected to be considerate of each other and contribute to a welcoming collaborative, positive, and healthy event in which everyone can successfully and meaningfully participate and contribute. To facilitate this, we ask everyone participating in the ACCU conference:

  • To be supportive of each other, both proactively and responsively. Offer to help if you see someone struggling or otherwise in need of assistance (taking care not to be patronising or disrespectful). If someone approaches you looking for help or support, be generous with your time and knowledge. If you can’t assist, let them know when you will be able to help or direct them to someone else who may be of assistance.

  • To be inclusive. Avoid slang or idioms that might not translate across cultures or be deliberate in explaining them in order to share and represent the attendees’ diverse cultures and languages. Speak plainly and avoid acronyms and jargon that not everyone may understand. Be an ally to individuals when you see a need.

  • To be collaborative. Involve all individuals in any relevant activities including during talks, workshops and mixers/networking.

  • To be kind. Be polite and friendly in all forms of communication both in person and online.

Harassment includes offensive communication related to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, differently abled, neurodiversity, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants will be asked to stop any harassing behaviour and will be expected to comply immediately.

Exhibitors and sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. Exhibitors, exhibitor staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised images, activities, other material or create a sexualised environment.

If a participant engages in behaviour that violates this code of conduct, the conference organisers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

We have provided further information on Unacceptable/ non-inclusive behaviours below.

ACCU is committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment for all. Discrimination and harassment are expressly prohibited. Furthermore, any behaviour or language that is unwelcoming—whether or not it rises to the level of harassment—is also strongly discouraged.

We ask everyone participating in the ACCU conference to be mindful of the following:

  • Avoid demonstrating surprise if a fellow attendee or speaker isn’t familiar with something. Instead, believe in the value of all experiences and ideas whether an individual is new to the industry or conference or is a veteran. Remember all questions are great questions! So please don’t act surprised when people aren’t familiar with a tool, person, place or process. This applies to both technical (“What?! I can’t believe you don’t know what the stack is!”) and non-technical things (“You don’t know who XYZ is?!”).

  • Try to refrain from correcting people if it’s not necessary. For example, saying “well actually” -this tends to happen when someone says something that’s almost – but not entirely – correct, and you say, “well, actually…” and give a minor correction. This can sometimes happen as part of our effort to let others save face, but most “well-actually” aren’t crucial to the overall conversation. If it’s critical to add your correction, use language that leaves room for the idea that you might be wrong or missing some context, too.

  • Be aware of exclusionary language. Be careful in the words that you choose, even if it’s as small as choosing “hey, everyone or hey folks” over “hey, guys.” Sexist, racist, ableist, and other exclusionary jokes are not appropriate and will not be tolerated under any circumstance. Any language that is unwelcoming—whether or not it rises to the level of harassment—is also strongly discouraged.

  • Avoid subtle -isms. Much exclusionary behaviour takes the form of subtle -isms, or microaggressions – small things that make others feel unwelcome. For example, saying “It’s so easy my grandmother could do it” is a subtle -ism with tones of both sexism and ageism. Regardless of intent, these comments can have a significant demeaning impact. If you see a subtle -ism, you can point it out to the relevant person, either publicly or privately, or you can ask a conference committee team member to say something.

  • Please don’t say - “Comment X wasn’t sexist!” or “That’s not what they meant. You’re being too sensitive.” Similarly, please don’t pile on someone who made a mistake. It’s not a big deal to mess up – just apologise and move on. The same goes for tone policing or responding negatively to the emotion behind a person’s message while ignoring its content (telling someone who is discussing an issue that makes them upset to “calm down” instead of responding to their concerns is an example of tone policing).

  • Lastly, none of us are perfect. All of us will from time to time fail to live up to our very high standards. What matters isn’t having a perfect track record but owning up to our mistakes and committing to a clear and persistent effort to improve. If you are approached as having (consciously or otherwise) acted in a way that might make an individual or community feel unwelcome, listen with an open mind and avoid becoming defensive. Remember that if someone offers you feedback, it likely took a great deal of courage for them to do so. The best way to respect that courage is to acknowledge your mistake, apologise, and move on — with a renewed commitment to do better.

Reporting Harassment

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, you should contact one of the organising staff or a member of the conference committee. Please see these reporting guidelines.

Contact details will be made available shortly before the conference.

Reports of harassment will be dealt with according to these guidelines.

This document is derived from PyCon UK 2016 Code of Conduct which was derived from PyCon US’s Code of Conduct, which was forked from the example policy on the Geek Feminism Wiki.

This document is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution

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