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Code of Conduct

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for participants within the Code Fellows community, as well as steps for reporting unacceptable behavior. We are committed to providing a welcoming and inspiring community for all, and expect our code of conduct to be honored by staff, students, and guests.

Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be immediately removed from any current classes, refunded according to the terms of their student contract, and banned from the community.

Community Goal: Be Kind

Our community of staff, instructors, students, and alumni strives to be kind. This is the guiding principle for conducting oneself within the Code Fellows community (in-person and in all virtual spaces).

While kindness can be generally understood, we recognize that kindness in a professional setting means (but is not limited to):

  • Be welcoming: Small friendly gestures go a long way. We strive to be a community who welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. We actively seek to welcome, support, and include folks of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, color, immigration status, social and economic class, neurotypicality, educational or technical level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, body type, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability (known as The Community).
  • Be considerate: Your words and actions will affect colleagues, so take those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we’re a worldwide community, so you might not be communicating in someone else’s primary language. Your work will be used by other people and you in turn will depend on the work of others.
  • Be respectful: Not all of us will agree all of the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community lacking psychological safety, where people feel uncomfortable or threatened, is not a productive one. Your treatment of others shall not negatively impact other's ability to learn. Choose patience, and provide others the space needed to think and speak, giving the benefit of the doubt.
  • Give attribution, engage honestly: Since the quality of our work often depends on the contributions of others, we strive to give proper attribution to all sources used, including AI tools like chatbots and code generators, web articles, and Q&A sites (like Stack Overflow). As members of the community, we agree to represent ourselves truthfully, to only claim work that is our own, properly attribute collaborations, and engage earnestly and honestly in all assignments.
  • Be careful in the words that we choose: We are a community of learning professionals and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others both within the community and beyond the community. Do not insult, minimize, marginalize, or put down other participants, cultures, or sub-cultures. Contribute positively to the learning environment.
  • Be a professional: Practice the use of professional behavior and language when interacting with the community. Your actions are a reflection of your character, and should positively reflect a high level of professional integrity. Avoid the use of slang, innuendo, and profanity.
  • Try to understand why we disagree: Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. It is human to err; focus on exercising healthy conflict resolution techniques whenever possible.
  • Harassment and exclusionary behavior aren’t acceptable.



We encourage an open-source work ethic, and we solve problems collaboratively. Plagiarized submissions lack meaningful original effort, omit citing source material, and/or don't have permission of the original author.

Proper attribution includes a description of what content was used or what help was given. This might look like:

  • The prompts you used when working with AI chatbots
  • Description of where you used AI tools that generate code or any text that's a part of your submission
  • A link back to the original source material or ideas
  • Any group members you collaborated with (their submissions should also reference you)

This belongs in a section titled "Attributions" of the assignment README file or other documentation.

Please note: an online code repository that has no license is presumed to be closed source and should not be used as a reference. Please include a license file in your own publicly published code.


Plagiarism is the re-use of someone else's work (eg: any code, writing, assignment solution, etc), without the permission or license of the author. Claiming someone else's work as your own is disrespectful to the author and to your learning process. "Cargo culting," or utilizing the techniques of another or AI-generated material, without applying your own thinking, is also considered plagiarism.

Violating the terms of a license in a professional setting can result in lawsuits and endanger businesses. Doing so in the classroom can result in loss of assignment points, bad references from instructors, removal from all Code Fellows courses, and community bans. Consequences will depend on severity and are at the discretion of the conduct review panel.


We share a common understanding of what constitutes harassment, as it applies to a professional setting. We explicitly honor diversity in The Community. We will not tolerate discrimination of any sort.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Offensive comments or "jokes" at the expense of others, or demeaning who they are or their background
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment
  • Deliberate misgendering or deadnaming: This includes persistently using a pronoun that does not correctly reflect a person’s gender identity—you must address people by the name they give you when not addressing them by their username or handle
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (e.g., textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop
  • Threats of violence, both physical and psychological
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person 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, including gratuitous or off-topic sexual language, images, or behavior
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others, or excessive teasing after a request to stop
  • 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 others from intentional abuse
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication
  • Sabotage of someone else's work or intentionally hindering someone else's performance

We encourage everyone to participate, and are committed to building a community for all. We seek to treat everyone both as fairly and equitably as possible. Whenever a participant has made a mistake, we expect them to take responsibility for it. If someone has been harmed or offended, it is our responsibility to listen carefully and respectfully, and to do our best to right the wrong.


Here are some guidelines on acceptable conduct:

  • A mutual high-five is most welcome, as both parties are opting in. Avoid surprise hugs, back rubs, and general one-directional physical contact.
  • If someone solicits feedback, focus on the material. Do not comment on physical appearance.
  • In a learning environment, you'll find you have knowledge or insight someone else has not yet attained. Do not make others feel bad for not yet learning what you may find obvious. Avoid statements like "You haven't heard of Foo library?!?!" or, "Uh, obviously, you should just concat the strings."
  • Our community constitutes people from a wide array of backgrounds. This is a great strength. Talk to people about their backgrounds and histories as a learner and a listener. "Tell me more about that," is a better option than, "Well, that's not what I experienced."
  • Keep track of sources that help you with your assignment, whether from AI tools, Stack Overflow, blogs, Google searches, online tutorials, or elsewhere. If you'd like to use code or material you didn't create originally, at least retype the relevant portions yourself, and directly reference the original source in your project's README or documentation files.

Reporting Issues

Our community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We work to protect the psychological and physical safety of all members. If you experience or witness unacceptable behavior constituting a code of conduct violation or have any other code of conduct concerns, please report it by contacting us via, or email the Campus Director. All reports will be handled with discretion. In your report please include:

  • Your contact information.
  • Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there are additional witnesses, please include them as well.
  • Your account of what occurred and if you believe the incident is ongoing. If there is a publicly available record (e.g. Slack channel, a mailing list archive or a public IRC logger), please include a link, reference, or screenshot.
  • Any additional information that may be helpful.

After filing a report, a representative will contact you personally, review the incident, follow up with any additional questions, and make a decision as to how to respond. The response team has broad latitude to remove an offending student from class, or offer a warning, depending on the severity of the offense. No more than 1 warning will be given; a second offense will result in release from class, a refund according to the student contract, and a community ban.

If the person who is harassing you is part of the response team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. If the complaint originates from a member of the response team, a different member of the response team will handle it. We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse.

Attribution & Acknowledgements

We all stand on the shoulders of giants across many open source communities. We’d like to thank the communities and projects that established codes of conduct and diversity statements as our inspiration, like Todo Group, Python, Contributor Covenant, Geek Feminism, and Citizen Code of Conduct.


Code of conduct for the Code Fellows community







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