Let's Be Good PyCon Citizens

With PyCon just around the corner, I feel it’s very important to take a step back and think about the role we play and resposibilities we bear in the community. I have posited before that while PyCon might have been born out of the community around the language, it has now outgrown and transcended the original idea. We have now people who come to PyCon from all over the world, from different programming backgrounds and some who feel included/welcome in the PyCon community even though they aren’t Python users.

As a community, this is a fantastic situation to be in, but it also makes the stakes to keep it going and growing even higher. PSF, PyCon leadership can only do so much to steer and foster the community and provide a framework and environment for its continued success. But push comes to shove, all of us have a duty to the community. And it’s an easy thing to do, too. Being a good community citizen means to always err on the side of what’s best for the community.

So, here are my thoughts what makes a good PyCon citizen:

Be kind

This doesn’t mean you have to be a push-over or that you have to be fake nice or flaky. I means to be nice to people, to empathize with them and/or, at the very least, be mindful and respectful toward them.

Be patient and empathetic

It’s a huge conference wholly organized and ran by volunteers. From top to bottom everyone involved is a volunteer and we do our darn best to put up an amazing conference for the benefit of the whole community. But we only have so many resources and unforeseen events can happen i.e. someone who volunteered to lead activity X got food poisoning and now there’s a long line for it, just as an example. So, please be mindful of all the effort that it takes to plan and run the conference and be extra patient when things aren’t as fast or readily available as you’d like.

Be respectful

There will be people from all walks of life, with different religious beliefs (or none at all), many nationalities, cultures, etc. And you might not agree with them, but it’s an imperative you must respect them.

Be a good guest

This one is so simple to follow, but often forgotten, unfortunately. Be a good guest in the conference venue, your hotel and the city PyCon is hosted in. Follow their rules and their cultural pace.

To summarize: the community around PyCon is simply amazing and all of us need to pitch in (whether in effort or behavior) in order to keep it healthy and growing.