Code of Conduct

STL Tech is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

This code of conduct applies to all STL Tech spaces, including the STL Tech Slack and Github Repositories, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the the incident response team.

Some STL Tech spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Harassment includes:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like *hug* or *backrub*) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

STL Tech prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. the incident response team will not act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

Reporting

If you are being harassed by a member of STL Tech, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the the incident response team (contact information below). If the person who is harassing you is on the team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respond as promptly as we can.

This code of conduct applies to STL Tech spaces, but if you are being harassed by a member of STL Tech outside our spaces, we still want to know about it. We will take all good-faith reports of harassment by STL Tech members, especially the leadership team, seriously. This includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that took place at any point in time. The abuse team reserves the right to exclude people from STL Tech based on their past behavior, including behavior outside STL Tech spaces and behavior towards people who are not in STL Tech.

In order to protect volunteers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.

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 STL Tech members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

Consequences

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

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

Contacts

the incident response team can be reached by directly messaging anyone on the list below:

  • Rebecca Skinner (@rebecca.skinner)
  • Becca Stevens (@beccastevens)
  • Tristan Blease (@thetristan)

Source

This anti-harassment policy is based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Geek Feminism community.

Slack

Most of the interaction in STL Tech happens on Slack. We invite you to join us!

You can ask any current STL Tech member for an invitation, or use our self-inviter tool located at slack.stltech.org. See you soon!

Please familiarize yourself with the Code of Conduct and Member Handbook linked from the front page before joining.

Member Handbook

The goal of the St. Louis Tech Slack is to create a space for discussions that will help members grow personally and professionally, create new connections between those members, and showcase the best things about the tech community in St. Louis.

This is the member handbook, a living guide to the ins and outs of the Slack. If you have additions or changes, please submit a PR on GitHub.

Channels

We have a lot of channels on the STL Tech Slack! Join whatever you like (and don’t forget /list-private and /join-private for channels you need to be a member of to see conversations in.) Here are the channels that likely won’t change, and which everyone should know about:

  • #announce: Community-wide announcements, mostly about administration of the Slack and to announce new channels. Low volume. (and… you can’t leave! Mua ha ha ha ha!)
  • #everything: The widest-ranging channel. For everything not specifically covered by another channel. If this gets too noisy, you can leave it.
  • #meta: discussion about the Slack. This is a good place to ask questions (is there a channel for X? How do we do Y here?)
  • #events: event postings. This is mostly RSS feeds from meetup.com with local tech events. It’s good for discovering new groups! (note: If you have an event to announce, go ahead and do it here. We don’t do event announcements in the announce channel since nobody can opt out of it.)
  • #jobs: the job board. Please restrict this to primarily job postings
  • #careers: more general disucssion about careers (resumés, job hunting, et cetera.)

If you want to make a new channel, read the rest of this guide and then do it. If you have any questions, please ask in #meta. Please let us know about the new channel so we can announce it for you.

Slash Commands

Some useful slash commands (entered by typing /, then the command name in the chat box.)

  • /admin [message]: send a message to the admin team. This does not mean that you will go on record as having said something, but the moderation team will see who sent it. We treat all reports as private by default.
  • /status [:emoji:] [message]: set your status. This is how people get emoji next to their names.
  • /giphy [text]: search for reaction GIFs. We have our Giphy integration set to only allow G-rated GIFs and to allow you to preview the result before posting, so it’s fairly safe to use.
  • /list-private: list private (no-preview-before-join) channels. These are private for various reasons, ask in #meta if you’re curious.

Some commands live on a Heroku dyno that may take a little bit to spin up, so you may have to retry. Unfortunately, this includes /admin. If you get persistent errors, please message an admin directly so we can go boop it after we help you.

Do These Things

Here are a few things we especially like to see in the community. The moderation team keeps these as standards for behavior which we compare members against.

You can help! If you see a discussion getting off track or flamey, please call out the behavior (note: the /behavior/ not the /person/.) If you’re uncomfortable doing that, please contact a member of the moderation team by using the /admin command.

On the other side, if you see someone being especially great about these things, tell them! They’ll surely appreciate you noticing, and it makes everyone’s day better. And, again, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this personally let an moderator know and we’ll be happy to deliver the good news without mentioning the source.

Show Kindness and Respect

While the Slack is used by quite a few usergroups to organize in-person events, the majority of communication among members is text-based. This has the potential to lose a lot of tone and nuance that you’d get in a face-to-face discussion! When you’re chatting, please be aware of that. Go out of your way to be kind, and to make sure that the people you’re talking to are not being made to feel uncomfortable.

This can be really difficult! Check out the #interpersonal channel for discussions and tips on how to manage these interactions.

Have Constructive Discussions

We want you to be able to learn new things and grow by being a part of the STL Tech community. Part of this is making sure that discussions stay on-track and constructive. Channel titles are pretty loose labels for the discussions that take place inside them, but the discussions themselves should stay on topic.

A tip: it’s fine if you want to discuss controversial topics, as long as they’re relevant and don’t devolve into flamewars and bickering. Try having these kinds of discussions in a Slack thread. Other people can opt in to the discussion instead of it taking over a channel, and they tend to lead to better conversations about difficult topics.

Keep it Relevant

This is the St. Louis Tech Slack. Things that are most relevant to the group are about either life in St. Louis or the tech industry. Sometimes topics are both at once, which is great! Everyone here is connected to the local tech scene in some way, be it as a programmer, consultant, recruiter, or student. This creates a huge range of topics that are relevant to the group, and some that aren’t. Examples may help:

  • Good topics: questions and discussions about specific programming languages and techniques, organizing local usergroups, the way people in various social groups take part in the tech scene, and “soft skills”.
  • Slightly tangential, but OK: where to get lunch and other topics that are relevant to living in St. Louis, but not necessarily about technical topics.
  • Probably not: current events and politics (especially partisan politics), dating advice, how to properly raise cattle… topics that are neither related to tech nor about living in St. Louis.

That said, we’re more concerned about making sure people are well supported here than we are in strictly enforcing topics. So if you want to start a discussion or create a channel, please do! If you’re in doubt or have questions, ask in #meta or DM a moderator or admin directly.

Be Welcoming

New members join frequently. Make sure they feel welcome and supported when they show up. If they’re your coworkers or friends, please introduce them (if they’re comfortable) in #everything. If you’re new, feel free to introduce yourself!

Please Don’t Do These Things

We’ve found these things particularly counterproductive to achieving the goals of the community:

  • Sexual humor and innuendo: regardless of your personal feelings, these kinds of humor make other people feel uncomfortable. Please keep your conversation about the equivalent of a PG rating.
  • Trolling and Flaming: deliberately getting a rise out of someone does not make conversation better.
  • Personal attacks: this is covered in the Code of Conduct (linked below) but briefly: name calling, outing, and deliberately insensitive remarks are not OK in this community.

A good guideline: would what you’re about to say be appropriate for a mixed-company professional conversation? Would you say it in a user group or conference talk? If the answer is “no”, it’s probably not suitable here either.

We’re also big fans of the the Recurse Center’s social rules. Specifically: no feigning surprise, no well-actually’s, no back-seat driving, and no subtle -isms.

In addition to the above, please read Code of Conduct. The behaviors listed there are used as bright lines for moderation and removal.

Finally, the STL Tech community is not a place for hate speech or hate groups. If you’re a member of such a group (Nazis, the KKK, et cetera), please don’t join. If we find you, we will remove you.

Consequences

Ultimately, the moderation team has to decide how to handle violations on a per-incident basis. Things like intentional outing will be dealt with swiftly and severely, whereas a conversation getting a little heated is less of an issue. We’re humans too, not robots. That said, here are some things we might do, in rough order of severity:

  • private messages: most moderation takes place in private messages. These usually just reminders about having constructive conversations. If they’re more than that we will try to make it extremely clear. It’s helpful if you acknowledge so we know you’ve seen it, but we’ll assume you have even if you don’t.
  • de-escalating a heated conversation: “please step back for a while, we can discuss this later after everyone has a chance to cool off.” If you see a message like this in a channel, that’s your cue to back down so we don’t have to go any further down this list.
  • channel kick: asking one or more people to voluntarily leave a channel for a short time or doing the same via admin tools. Usually used when someone refuses to step back from a heated conversation or for trolls.
  • ban: asking someone to log off completely or doing the same via admin tools.

The Moderation Team

The moderation team is here to help you and to guide conversation towards good places. If you have any problems, use the /admin command and someone will respond soon.

  • Rebecca Skinner (@rebecca.skinner) - Admin
  • Becca Stevens (@beccastevens) - Moderator
  • Tristan Blease (@thetristan) - Moderator

Moderators are chosen by the admins for being helpful in community spaces.