Explicit is Better Than Implicit: Setting Expectations

Short Form


Miscommunication, wasted time, hurt feelings: real dangers when communicating with strangers online. As FOSS maintainers and contributors, let's try documenting our communication guidelines the same way we document our code style guidelines.


When co-operating online with strangers, there is always a danger of miscommunication and hurt feelings. We have different backgrounds, different cultures, and different desires.

As open source maintainers and open source contributors, we should reject the chaotic default of online communication by explicitly stating our expectations.

We’ll cover documentation, Contributing files, and Codes of Conduct but we’ll also explore other ways to make our person-to-person communication more explicit and self-documenting.


community, soft-skills, skills, project management, communication, documentation, empathy

Speaking experience

lightning talk at DjangoCon US 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Peo-n4spSRA&feature=youtu.be&t=9m59s

I will also be giving a tutorial at PyCon 2016 on Regular Expressions: https://us.pycon.org/2016/schedule/presentation/1715/

I have given a number of (mostly short) talks at local meetup events in San Diego: http://treyhunner.com/talks/


Leave a private comment to organizers about this proposal