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John A De Goes

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Improving the Scala Community Through Personal Action

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Over the past week, I’ve seen a lot of pain and hurt in the Scala community, which has spilled over onto Reddit, Discord, Discourse, and Twitter, nearly all of it because developers are feeling targeted and attacked.

Inspired by the saying, be the change you want to see in the world, as well as excellent feedback from friends, I have decided to make a personal pledge, which I am calling the Scala Pledge of Professionalism, because it fosters professionalism within public Scala forums.

I’m making this pledge publicly for two reasons: one, so everyone understands the standards I will hold myself to; and two, so that anyone who feels so inspired can make their own pledge (maybe the same as mine, or maybe different).

The Scala Pledge of Professionalism

In all public forums across the Scala community, including all public Scala-related forums on Discord, Reddit, Discourse, Gitter, and Github, I hereby pledge the following:

  • I will not insult, berate, or label developers in ways they would find insulting, nor will I impugn their character or judge their motivations. To the extent I must discuss behavior, I will keep my descriptions factual, using neutral language.
  • I will not berate the technical work of other Scala developers, and if I discuss or compare the work of Scala developers, I will do so respectfully and in an objective fashion, being fully prepared to publicly defend or recant any statements I make.
  • I will not take my religious, political, or other likely contentious personal beliefs into technical Scala conversations, but instead, I will do my best to ensure that every technical conversation remains focused purely on technical matters.
  • To the extent I have management or moderator abilities in any Scala forum, I will not tolerate bigotry, ad hominem, harassment, bullying, or career sabotage, but will work empathically and graciously yet firmly and decisively to ensure professionalism.
  • I will not break this pledge just because others break it, nor will I have exceptions for any Scala developers, regardless of their past or current behavior. I will not discriminate between Scala developers based on whether they make this pledge.


—John A. De Goes

P.S. If you so desire, feel free to sign this pledge by replying to this blog post, or by copying and pasting the pledge into your own blog or public space.