Course rules

Our rules help create a friendly environment that is conducive to learning. We want everyone to feel comfortable sharing ideas and occasionally being wrong.

These rules are important, but they aren’t severe like code-of-conduct violations. It’s likely everyone will slip up and break a rule at some point: you aren’t a bad person if you do.

We’d like everyone to feel comfortable gently correcting others’ behaviour when they see rule violations. If you feel comfortable please point this out to someone—it’s generally better to confront small problems immediately rather than letting them snowball into something bigger.

For example:

Oli: hey guys, how are you all doing?

Yvonne: good thanks! FYI would you mind not using gendered terms to refer to the group? Thanks!

Oli: Sorry my mistake!

If you aren’t comfortable pointing out a rule violation then please message your course facilitator or other member of the core team. They can highlight the problem to the cohort.

For example:

Oli: hey guys, how are you all doing?

Yvonne (to course facilitator): hey would you mind reminding Oli not to call everyone “guys”?

CF (to everyone): hey Oli, just a reminder to try not to use gendered terms for the group!

Oli: Oh whoops, I’m sorry everyone!

If someone does point out that you broke a rule, try not to take it personally. One-off mistakes happen—it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Just apologise, reflect on your mistake and avoid doing it again.

Respect each other

Please be respectful of your peers on the course, the core team, and the wider community

Respect each others’ time—make sure you arrive on time for everything on the schedule. This means being ready before the scheduled start time, not off making coffee. Also please let your course facilitator and cohort know if you’re going to be absent.

Please demonstrate that you’re paying attention to your peers, core team, speakers etc. E.g. don’t lie down on your bed during a talk.

Respect each others’ privacy. This is especially important when working remotely, since you’re inviting each other into your homes via video calls. Please do not take screenshots or recordings of video calls without permission from everyone involved.

Avoid microaggressions

Microaggressions are subtle and unintentional acts of discrimination. They’re insensitive comments that make somebody feel “other” for being a part of a group that is stereotyped or discriminated against.

There are plenty of subtle expressions of racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia and other kinds of bias and prejudice. For example: referring to a mixed-gender group as “guys”, or a white person asking to touch a Black person’s hair.

This rule comes with a duty for everyone to educate themselves on social issues. Founders and Coders is not a normal coding bootcamp—one of our primary goals is to make the tech industry more inclusive. We can only do this if our graduates are willing to put in the effort to make change and be a better ally.

This rule is not about overt slurs, harassment or other Code of Conduct violations. Those should be reported to the core team and will be treated differently.

Avoid unnecessary corrections

Try not to correct someone unless the error is actually meaningful. Software engineers tend to care about being very specific and correct. This is a good trait when writing code, but makes for awkward conversation. An unnecessary interruption can throw off the person speaking and make them uncomfortable sharing further.

Oli: so you pass the parameter to this function…

Yvonne: actually parameters are when you define the function, they’re called “arguments” when you call it

This is technically correct, but nobody was really confused by the initial statement, so it was not necessary.

Don’t pretend to be surprised

Don’t act surprised when someone doesn’t know something. This will make that person feel bad for not knowing, and less likely to ask questions in the future.

Yvonne: what does querySelector do?

Oli: wow you’ve never used querySelector?!