Code of Conduct

Open Source Camp is a community of hackers. A welcoming community. A community that appreciates and encourages open inquiry. A community that celebrates bending rules. If you are a hacker, please come join us!

We want this community to be fun, safe, and welcoming for every attendee. Because we all come from different backgrounds, we want to be concrete about what sorts of behaviors jeopardize the warmth of our community and are therefore unacceptable. This code of conduct applies to all OSCamp spaces, including our mailing lists and any related social events.

Social Rules

An important part of removing obstacles to a great community is having a small set of social rules. The Recurse Center’s manual does a great job defining these, so we’ve forked parts for this section.

The rules are intended to be lightweight, and to make more explicit certain social norms that are normally implicit. Most of our social rules really boil down to “don’t be a jerk” or “don’t be annoying.” Of course, almost nobody sets out to be a jerk or annoying, so telling people not to be jerks isn’t a very productive strategy. That’s why our social rules are designed to curtail specific behavior we’ve found to be destructive to a supportive, productive, and fun learning environment.

No feigning surprise. The first rule means you shouldn’t act surprised when people say they don’t know something. This applies to both technical things (“What?! I can’t believe you don’t know what the stack is!”) and non-technical things (“You don’t know who RMS is?!”). Feigning surprise has absolutely no social or educational benefit. When people feign surprise, it’s usually to make them feel better about themselves and others feel worse. And even when that’s not the intention, it’s almost always the effect.

No well-actually’s. A well-actually happens when someone says something that’s almost - but not entirely - correct, and you say, “well, actually…” and then give a minor correction. This is especially annoying when the correction has no bearing on the actual conversation. This doesn’t mean we aren’t about truth-seeking or that we don’t care about being precise. Almost all well-actually’s in our experience are about grandstanding, not truth-seeking.

No subtle -isms. Our last social rule bans subtle racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other kinds of bias. This one is different from the rest, because it covers a class of behaviors instead of one very specific pattern.

Subtle -isms are small things that make others feel uncomfortable, things that we all sometimes do by mistake. For example, saying “It’s so easy my grandmother could do it” is a subtle -ism. Like the other three social rules, this one is often accidentally broken. Like the other three, it’s not a big deal to mess up – you just apologize and move on.

If you see a subtle -ism at OSCamp, you can point it out to the relevant person, either publicly or privately, or you can ask one of the organizers to say something. After this, we ask that all further discussion move off of public channels. If you are a third party, and you don’t see what could be biased about the comment that was made, feel free to talk to the organizers. Please don’t say, “Comment X wasn’t homophobic!” Similarly, please don’t pile on to someone who made a mistake. The “subtle” in “subtle -isms” means that it’s probably not obvious to everyone right away what was wrong with the comment.


OSCamp does not tolerate harassment in any form.

Harassment includes (but is not limited to) offensive comments related to gender, gender identity, gender presentation, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact or unwelcome sexual attention.


If you are being harassed in a OSCamp space, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please announce the organizers immediately (either contact one of us directly, or send us an email at [email protected]). You do not need to be the target of harassment to speak up. Making OSCamp the best possible community is everyone’s responsibility.

If an incident is reported during an event, the organizers will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of OSCamp members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all OSCamp spaces and events and identification of the participant as a harasser to other OSCamp members or the general public.