Code of Conduct

Madison+ Ruby is a community conference intended for networking and collaboration in the developer community.

We value the participation of each member of the Ruby community and want all attendees to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Accordingly, all attendees are expected to show respect and courtesy to other attendees throughout the conference and at all conference events.

To make clear what is expected, all staff, attendees, speakers, exhibitors, organizers, and volunteers at any Madison+ Ruby event are required to conform to the following Code of Conduct, as set forth by the Ruby Software Foundation. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.


Members of the Ruby community are open, considerate, and respectful. Behaviors that reinforce these values contribute to a positive environment, and include:

  • Being open. Members of the community are open to collaboration, whether it’s on PEPs, patches, problems, or otherwise.
  • Focusing on what is best for the community. We’re respectful of the processes set forth in the community, and we work within them.
  • Acknowledging time and effort. We’re respectful of the volunteer efforts that permeate the Ruby community. We’re thoughtful when addressing the efforts of others, keeping in mind that often times the labor was completed simply for the good of the community.
  • Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences. We’re receptive to constructive comments and criticism, as the experiences and skill sets of other members contribute to the whole of our efforts.
  • Showing empathy towards other community members. We’re attentive in our communications, whether in person or online, and we’re tactful when approaching differing views.
  • Being considerate. Members of the community are considerate of their peers – other Ruby users.
  • Being respectful. We’re respectful of others, their positions, their skills, their commitments, and their efforts.
  • Gracefully accepting constructive criticism. When we disagree, we are courteous in raising our issues.
  • Using welcoming and inclusive language. We’re accepting of all who wish to take part in our activities, fostering an environment where anyone can participate and everyone can make a difference.


Every member of our community has the right to have their identity respected. The Ruby community is dedicated to providing a positive experience for everyone, regardless of age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion (or lack thereof), education, or socio-economic status.


Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:

  • Harassment of any participants in any form
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Logging or taking screenshots of online activity for harassment purposes
  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or electronic address, without explicit permission
  • Violent threats or language directed against another person
  • Incitement of violence or harassment towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm
  • Creating additional online accounts in order to harass another person or circumvent a ban
  • Sexual language and imagery in online communities or in any conference venue, including talks
  • Insults, put downs, or jokes that are based upon stereotypes, that are exclusionary, or that hold others up for ridicule
  • Excessive swearing
  • Unwelcome sexual attention or advances
  • Unwelcome physical contact, including simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
  • Sustained disruption of online community discussions, in-person presentations, or other in-person events
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
  • Other conduct that is inappropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds

Community members asked to stop any inappropriate behavior are expected to comply immediately.


No weapons are allowed at Madison+ Ruby events. Weapons include but are not limited to explosives (including fireworks), guns, and large knives such as those used for hunting or display, as well as any other item used for the purpose of causing injury or harm to others. Anyone seen in possession of one of these items will be asked to leave immediately, and will only be allowed to return without the weapon.


If a participant engages in behavior that violates this code of conduct, the Ruby community Code of Conduct team may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the community and community events with no refund of event tickets. The full list of consequences for inappropriate behavior is listed in the Enforcement Procedures.

Thank you for helping make this a welcoming, friendly community for everyone.


Madison+ Ruby EVENTS

This Code of Conduct applies to the following people at Madison+ Ruby Events:

  • staff
  • Madison+ Ruby
  • speakers
  • panelists
  • tutorial or workshop leaders
  • poster presenters
  • people invited to meetings or summits
  • exhibitors
  • organizers
  • volunteers
  • all attendees

The Code of Conduct applies in official venue event spaces, including:

  • exhibit hall or vendor tabling area
  • panel and presentation rooms
  • hackathon or sprint rooms
  • tutorial or workshop rooms
  • poster session rooms
  • summit or meeting rooms
  • staff areas
  • con suite
  • meal areas
  • party suites
  • walkways, hallways, elevators, and stairs that connect any of the above spaces

The Code of Conduct applies to interactions with official event accounts on social media spaces and phone applications, including:

  • comments made on official conference phone apps
  • comments made on event video hosting services
  • comments made on the official event hashtag or panel hashtags

Event organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.


This Code of Conduct applies to the following online spaces:

  • The Madison+ Ruby site
  • Any other online space administered by Madison+ Ruby

This Code of Conduct applies to the following people in official Madison+ Ruby online spaces:

  • admins of the online space
  • maintainers
  • reviewers
  • contributors
  • all community members

The Madison+ Ruby Code of Conduct work group will receive and evaluate incident reports from the online communities listed above. The Madison+ Ruby Code of Conduct work group will work with online community administrators/moderators to suggest actions to take in response to a report. In cases where the administrators/moderators disagree on the suggested resolution for a report, the Madison+ Ruby Code of Conduct work group may choose to notify the Ruby Software Foundation Code of Conduct work group.


If you believe that someone is violating the code of conduct, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the event staff immediately. They can be reached by emailing which is monitored by Jim Remsik and Joyce Hu

In case of a conflict of interest, you can individually contact:

  • Jim Remsik

    • CEO, Flagrant
  • Joyce Hu

    • Operations, Flagrant

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist any attendee to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.


Procedure For Reporting Code of Conduct Incidents

Enforcement Procedures


This Code of Conduct is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


This Code of Conduct was forked from the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers, which is under a Creative Commons Zero license.

Additional new language and modifications were created by Sage Sharp of Otter Tech.

Language was incorporated from the following Codes of Conduct:

Code of Conduct Enforcement Procedures

This document summarizes the procedures the Madison+ Ruby staff uses to enforce the Code of Conduct.

Summary of processes

When the work group receives a report of a possible Code of Conduct violation, it will:

  1. Acknowledge the receipt of the report.
  2. Evaluate conflicts of interest.
  3. Call a meeting of Code of Conduct responders who do not have a conflict of interest.
  4. Evaluate the reported incident.
  5. Propose a behavioral modification plan.
  6. Propose consequences for the reported behavior.
  7. Vote on a behavioral modification plan and consequences for the reported person.
  8. Contact online community administrators/moderators to approve the behavioral modification plan and consequences.
  9. Follow up with the reported person.
  10. Decide further responses.
  11. Follow up with the reporter.

Acknowledge the report

Reporters should receive an emailed acknowledgment of the receipt of their report within 24 hours.

Conflict of interest policy

Examples of conflicts of interest include:

  • The reporter or reported person is your manager
  • You have a romantic or platonic relationship with either the reporter or the reported person. It’s fine to participate if they are an acquaintance.
  • The reporter or reported person is your metamour. (This is a term used in the poly community; the short definition is here, and a longer description is here).
  • The reporter or reported person is your family member
  • The reporter or reported person is your direct client
  • The reporter or reported person is someone you work closely with. This could be someone on your team or someone who works on the same project as you.
  • The reporter or reported person is a maintainer who regularly reviews your contributions

Committee members do not need to state why they have a conflict of interest, only that one exists. Other work group members should not ask why the person has a conflict of interest.

Anyone who has a conflict of interest will remove themselves from the discussion of the incident, and recuse themselves from voting on a response to the report.

Evaluating a report


  • Is this a Code of Conduct violation? Is this behavior on our list of inappropriate behavior? Is it borderline inappropriate behavior? Does it violate our community norms?
  • Did this occur in a space that is within our Code of Conduct’s scope? If the incident occurred outside the community, but a community member’s mental health or physical safety may be negatively impacted if no action is taken, the incident may be in scope. Private conversations in community spaces are also in scope.


  • Did this incident occur in a private conversation or in a public space? Incidents that all community members can see will have more negative impact.
  • Does this behavior negatively impact a marginalized group in our community? Is the reporter a person from a marginalized group in our community? How is the reporter being negatively impacted by the reported person’s behavior? Are members of the marginalized group likely to disengage with the community if no action was taken on this report?
  • Does this incident involve a community leader? Community members often look up to community leaders to set the standard of acceptable behavior.


  • Does this incident include sexual harassment?
  • Does this pose a safety risk? Does the behavior put a person’s physical safety at risk? Will this incident severely negatively impact someone’s mental health?
  • Is there a risk of this behavior being repeated? Does the reported person understand why their behavior was inappropriate? Is there an established pattern of behavior from past reports?

Reports which involve higher risk or higher impact may face more severe consequences than reports which involve lower risk or lower impact.

Propose a behavioral modification plan

The event staff will determine a concrete behavioral modification plan that ensures the inappropriate behavior is not repeated. The event staff will also discuss what actions may need to be taken if the reported person does not agree to the behavioral modification plan.

What follows are examples of possible behavioral modification plans for incidents that occur in online spaces under the scope of this Code of Conduct. This behavioral modification list is not inclusive, and the event staff reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary.

  • Requiring that the reported person not use specific language
  • Requiring that the reported person not join in on specific types of discussions
  • Requiring that the reported person not send private messages to a community member
  • Requiring that the reported person not join specific communication channels
  • Removing the reported person from administrator or moderator rights to community infrastructure
  • Removing a volunteer from their duties and responsibilities
  • Removing a person from leadership of relevant organizations
  • Removing a person from membership of relevant organizations

Propose consequences

What follows are examples of possible consequences to an incident report. This consequences list is not inclusive, and the event staff reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary.

Possible private responses to an incident include:

  • Nothing, if the behavior was determined to not be a Code of Conduct violation
  • A verbal or emailed warning
  • A final warning
  • Temporarily removing the reported person from the online community
  • Permanently removing the reported person from the online community
  • Publishing an account of the incident

Follow up with the reported person

The event staff will work with online community administrators/moderators to draft a response to the reported person. The email should contain:

  • A description of the person’s behavior in neutral language
  • The negative impact of that behavior
  • A concrete behavioral modification plan
  • Any consequences of their behavior

The work group should not state who reported this incident. They should attempt to anonymize any identifying information from the report. The reported person should be discouraged from contacting the reporter to discuss the report. If they wish to apologize to the reporter, the work group can accept the apology on behalf of the reporter.

Decide further responses

If the reported person provides additional context, the event staff may need to re-evaluate the behavioral modification plan and consequences.

Follow up with the reporter

A person who makes a report should receive a follow up email stating what action was taken in response to the report. If the work group decided no response was needed, they should provide an email explaining why it was not a Code of Conduct violation. Reports that are not made in good faith (such as “reverse sexism” or “reverse racism”) may receive no response.

The follow up email should be sent no later than one week after the receipt of the report. If deliberation or follow up with the reported person takes longer than one week, the work group should send a status email to the reporter.


Madison+ Ruby Procedures for Reporting Code of Conduct Incidents

If you believe someone is in physical danger, including from themselves, the most important thing is to get that person help. Please contact the appropriate crisis number, non-emergency number, or police number. If you are a Madison+ Ruby attendee, you can consult with a volunteer or staff member to help find an appropriate number.

If you believe someone has violated the Madison+ Ruby Code of Conduct, we encourage you to report it. If you are unsure whether the incident is a violation, or whether the space where it happened is covered by the Code of Conduct, we encourage you to still report it. We are fine with receiving reports where we decide to take no action for the sake of creating a safer space.

If you find that you need to make a report, and you cannot find the appropriate Code of Conduct reporting contact, you may report to the Madison+ Ruby Code of Conduct email alias below. Madison+ Ruby event staff will handle your report. If this happens, please also mention that you could not find specific reporting information so that we can improve.

General reporting procedure:

The best way to contact the Madison+ Ruby Code of Conduct event staff is by email at The members of the Madison+ Ruby event staff who monitor this account are:

  • Jim Remsik
  • Jen Remsik
  • Joyce Hu

In the event of a conflict of interest, you may directly contact any of the lead incident responders:

  • Jim Remsik

    • CEO, Flagrant
  • Jen Remsik

    • Director of People, Flagrant
  • Joyce Hu

    • Operations, Flagrant


When you make a report via email or phone, please include:

  • Your contact info (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up)
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Location of incident
  • Whether the incident is ongoing
  • Description of the incident
  • Identifying information of the reported person: name, physical appearance, height, clothing, voice accent, identifying badge information such as company name, ribbons, or badge number
  • Additional circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in or witnesses to the incident and their contact information or description

Please provide as much information as possible.


All reports will be kept confidential. When we discuss incidents with people who are reported, we will anonymize details as much as we can to protect reporter privacy.

However, some incidents happen in one-on-one interactions, and even if the details are anonymized, the reported person may be able to guess who made the report. If you have concerns about retaliation or your personal safety, please note those in your report. We still encourage you to report, so that we can support you while keeping our conference attendees safe. In some cases, we can compile several anonymized reports into a pattern of behavior, and take action on that pattern.

In some cases, we may determine that a public statement will need to be made. If that’s the case, the identities of all victims and reporters will remain confidential unless those individuals instruct us otherwise.


When you make a report to an incident responder, they will gather information about the incident according to the Procedure For Incident Response.

After an incident responder takes the report, they will immediately consult with the Madison+ Ruby event staff, unless there is a conflict of interest, in which case any non-interested parties will be contacted.

If the incident is ongoing and needs to be immediately addressed, any lead incident responder may take appropriate action to ensure the safety of everyone involved. If the situation requires it, this may take the form of a referral to an appropriate non-Madison+ Ruby agency, including the local police. Madison+ Ruby is not equipped to handle emergency situations.

If the incident is less urgent, the report will be discussed by the event staff, who will meet to determine an appropriate response. Examples of possible incident responses are outlined in the Procedure For Incident Response.

Before any large in-person gathering conference, staff will have a mandatory meeting where incident response procedures will be outlined. After the conference, all incident responders will attend a debriefing session with the lead responders to discuss all incidents and determine any necessary follow-up actions.


Within one week of an incident report, a member of the event staff, or one of the lead responders, will follow up with the person who made the report and provided their contact information. The follow up may include:

  • An acknowledgment that the Code of Conduct responders discussed the situation
  • Whether or not the report was determined to be a violation of the Code of Conduct
  • What actions (if any) were taken to correct the reported behavior

In some cases, the lead responders may need to ask additional questions about the incident in order to identify the reported person.


If an incident responder has a conflict of interest for a report, they will recuse themselves from the discussion and handling of the incident. The incident documentation will not be available to them, and they will excuse themselves from any conversations involving handling the incident.

Should more than two of the Madison+ Ruby lead incident responders need to recuse themselves, another Madison+ Ruby staff member will step in as a temporary lead incident responder.

This procedure was adapted from the Ada Initiative’s guide titled “Conference anti-harassment/Responding to Reports”, the Django Project reporting guidelines (CC BY 3.0), with additions by Otter Tech.