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, and current & former students strives to be kind. This is the guiding principle for conducting oneself within the Code Fellows community.

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



Plagiarism is the re-use of someone else’s code, 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 without applying your own thinking, is also considered plagiarism.

Violating the terms of a license in a professional software development 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 encourage an open-source work ethic, and we solve problems collaboratively. The difference between properly attributed work and plagiarized submissions is found in citing source material and permission of the original author.

Proper attribution includes a description of what code was used or what help was given. A link back to the original source material or ideas should be included whenever possible. This belongs in a section titled “Attributions” of the README file for the relevant code.

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.


We share a common understanding of what constitutes harassment, as it applies to a professional setting. Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honor diversity in age, gender, gender identity or expression, culture, ethnicity, language, national origin, political beliefs, profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and technical ability. We will not tolerate discrimination based on any of the protected characteristics above, including participants with disabilities.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

We encourage everyone to participate and are committed to building a community for all. Although we will fail at times, we seek to treat everyone both as fairly and equally 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.


We don’t require students to participate in formal conduct training. Rather, we rely on common sense and a commitment to follow these guidelines. To provide greater clarity, here are some examples of how this should be interpreted:

Reporting Issues

Our community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We will not act on complaints regarding:

If you experience or witness unacceptable behavior—or have any other 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:

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.