Friday, September 2, 2016

Safety at conferences

European Testing Conference 2017 takes place in Helsinki, Finland on February 8.-10th 2017. Check also our web pages

There's an item on the organizers to-do list that did not get done for the 2016 edition a Code of Conduct.

The reason why it is still on the to-do list is twofold. One is that it is easy to believe that this conference will reflect the values of its organizers. Another is that instead of copying a common code of conduct, we feel we have special needs. 

The code of conduct we want could be summed up as Don't be a jerk. We would like everyone to feel safe and included. And we recognize that with a special mix of testers and developers, and our history of separation it is easy to make someone not feel safe. We will have differences of backgrounds and opinions. We hope to work on those in spirit of dialog and aim of understanding the other over winning an argument. 
Testers say things that offend developers. "Developers can't be trusted with testing". "What developers do is only checking". And Developers say things that offend testers "You're not needed unless you become programmers too". "Why didn't you find that bug, testing is your responsibility".
We want to start this conference from the premise that we are all valuable. Testing is too important to be left only for testers - it's everyone's business. We need diverse views to make feedback make more sense in the world of software development. 

When there is any reason to feel unsafe at European Testing Conference, we hope people would approach us and we're committed to take things seriously. And we recognize that even we are not immune to offending people with out actions even with a good intent. 

We have work to do on this one. Creating a safe learning space is something we all do together. 

A Community Marketing Experiment