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There’s a samurai if you look closely

There’s a samurai if you look closely

Behavior is a tricky topic. What might be considered normal in one culture, might be considered rude in some other one.

Culture is your operating system — Terence McKenna

What does this have to do with a conference like React Finland? We will have attendees with varied cultural backgrounds. To get most out of a conference, you should feel safe. For this reason, many conferences implement a code of conduct (CoC).

A CoC exists to:

  1. Make sure there are boundaries for acceptable behavior.
  2. Allow the organizers to handle violations related to this behavior.

The bigger question is, what’s acceptable behavior. Where to draw the limits?

Perhaps the question is a red herring. A CoC is more about providing a release valve. If people feel they are being harassed, there should be a mechanism to help deal with it. Then dialogue can begin and everyone involved can learn about what went wrong.

So Which CoC to Choose?#

We still haven’t chosen a CoC for React Finland. Multiple options exist and I’ve listed a few below:

Personally, I would rather stick with something simple that’s straight to the point. I would phrase it like this: “If you feel you are being harassed or observe what might be construed as such, contact the organizers.”

Would that be enough or should we pick a heavier such as one linked above? How can we guarantee people spend their time studying the details when a simple guideline might do the same trick?