The Python Software Foundation has updated its Code of Conduct

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The Python community values members who are accepting, helpful, and respectful: for many years, the Python Software Foundation (PSF) has had an organization-wide Code of Conduct that defines these values, and behaviors that we want to have in our community. The Foundation has also insisted for years that every event that we sponsor have a Code of Conduct in place.

But spaces where our community meets – online, or in person – need a Code of Conduct that does more than just emphasize our values. The PSF’s flagship conference, PyCon US, has had its own Code of Conduct – separate from the PSF Code of Conduct – for many years. The PyCon US Code of Conduct not only highlights our community’s values, but it also identified behaviors that are not acceptable at the conference, explained how to report violations, and included enforcement procedures.

The PSF Board approved a new organization-wide Code of Conduct and enforcement guidelines at the August 2019 board meeting, and reporting guidelines at the September 2019 board meeting, taking effect immediately.

Our new Code of Conduct brings together the statement of values defined in the former PSF Code of Conduct, and enforcement guidelines – proven through our experience at PyCon US – that the PSF can now apply to every space that we oversee.

It saves the PSF from having to enforce two Codes of Conduct: one for PyCon US, and another for our other spaces. In crafting the Code of Conduct, we undertook an intentional effort to account for the unique needs of an international community that spans all seven continents on Earth.

Community members will now know that if they’re participating in an online space, a project, or an event facilitated by the PSF they will be subject to the same Code of Conduct, and will be able to report incidents in the same way.

The process of defining the new Code of Conduct was led by the PSF’s Conduct Working Group, which the PSF established in 2018. The PSF worked with Sage Sharp of Otter Tech to produce the draft of the new Code of Conduct. Sage has previously worked on the Codes of Conduct for Open Source communities including the Data Carpentries, Elastic Search, and GNOME, and previously worked with the PSF on modernizing PyCon US’ Code of Conduct and incident response procedures. 

In the future, the Conduct Working Group will help the Board oversee the reporting and enforcement of Code of Conduct reports, following the enforcement guidelines that accompany the new Code of Conduct.

The Board thanks the Conduct Working Group, and Sage Sharp for their invaluable service in getting our new Code of Conduct in place.

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Christopher Neugebauer
  • Christopher Neugebauer