CppCon 2022 Code of Conduct Transparency Report

The following summary is intended to help the community understand what kind of Code of Conduct (CoC) incidents we received reports about in the year since previous conference, and how the CppCon CoC team and organisers responded.


Again at CppCon 2022, staff and volunteers participated in CoC training prior to the conference.

The Code of Conduct team for CppCon 2022 was led by Guy Davidson and consisted of Sy Brand, Inbal Levi and Gabriel Dos Reis. Inbal and Gabriel were on-site, while Guy and Sy were off-site, in the UTC+1 time zone. (CppCon 2022 was a hybrid conference, with on-site and on-line talks and participants.)

The code of conduct for CppCon 2022 was as published here, using the August 10th 2022 commit.

Summary of reports at CppCon

At CppCon 2022, one incident was brought to the attention of the CoC team:

(1) An organiser was concerned that a speaker’s talk slides promoted favouring one side in an active war. There was no formal CoC report, but both the organiser and speaker notified the CoC team of the concern.

  • Within 48 hours the CoC team replied that the specific statement violated no provision of the Code of Conduct. In future, the CoC team, conference organisers, and Foundation directors will consider whether to provide any suggestions or policy for speakers about non-technical content on slides.

Other reports regarding past/other conferences

Around the same time as this year’s conference, there were also one report regarding a past CppCon conference, and two reports regarding non-CppCon conferences:

(2) A past speaker complained that at a previous CppCon conference an organiser had approached others, including women, in a way they felt was sexually suggestive and that discriminated against non-speaker men.

  • The CoC team had witnessed several occasions of the interaction being complained about, and decided that whether it was suggestive or discriminatory was a matter of opinion. However, the organiser was informed of this complaint so that they could be aware of the additional perspective.

(3) A past speaker complained about the conduct of a CppCon organiser at another non-CppCon conference.

  • Even though the complaint was about events outside CppCon and so not under the CppCon CoC, because it could call into question a CppCon organiser’s judgment, the CppCon CoC team and (different) CppCon organisers reached out to the CoC team of the other conference. The other conference said they had investigated the same complaint regarding their conference and had decided to take no action.

(4) A past speaker complained about the aggressive conduct of a member of the community at another non-CppCon conference.

  • In our investigation, the CppCon CoC team reached out to the CoC team of the other conference. They were able to confirm the incident. We noted their response; since the behaviour took place outside of CppCon, there is no action to answer here. However, we have recorded the reports and decided to monitor the behaviour of this community member at CppCon in the future.

Restriction enforcement

Finally, before CppCon 2022 an incident arose that was not a CoC report but was enforcing a preexisting restriction:

(5) After the call for submissions for CppCon 2022, a person who is restricted and not permitted to work in the conference nevertheless responded to a prospective speaker who inquired for help with their talk submission.

  • The organisers realised that they had overlooked removing the restricted person from the speaker help request email list. The organisers removed the restricted person from that list; they checked all the email lists again to ensure the restricted person was removed from all of them; they reminded the restricted person that the restricted person was not allowed to participate any conference roles; they informed the prospective speaker that the restricted person did not represent the conference and arranged for someone actually from the conference to assist the speaker; and they informed the CoC team about this enforcement of the existing restrictions.

CppCon 2022 Diversity & Attendance Support Ticket program

Again this year, CppCon is running a Diversity & Attendance Support Ticket program. These free tickets are for people who would not be able to attend otherwise. This is an open program, but reasons to apply may include financial assistance, that you are part of an underrepresented group in tech, and others.

In order to apply for this program, please fill in the application form here. The application deadline is August 21, 2022. 10 on-site and 20 on-line support tickets will be selected from all applications. Decisions will be sent by August 28.

We look forward to seeing many of you on-site and on-line again this year at CppCon 2022!

CppCon 2022 Registration is Open

Registration DeskRegistration is now open for CppCon 2022, including CppCon Academy Classes.

The US has recently rescinded testing requirements for entering the US and the conference has updated its Covid Safety Policy for CppCon 2022 to be less restrictive. Please review the Covid Safety Policy before registering for onsite attendance.

For CppCon 2022, we are continuing with our very successful hybrid format providing for top quality engagement for attendees in Aurora, Colorado and also providing the CppCon experience for those that attend remotely.

We are offering two new registration options for online access. For organizations with many C++ developers, we are offering discount packages for online attendance, starting as low as $2000. Please review the options on the Registration Page and contact Greg Marr, CppCon Registrar for details.

We are also offering a new On-Demand Session Access which provides access to both online and onsite (rough-cut) recordings of sessions from shortly after the session concludes, until its edited version is posted on the CppCon YouTube channel. This is included with many conference registrations (as last year), but this year we are offering it stand-alone, without a conference registration.

Registration details are available on our registration page, but the high points are:

  • Substantial savings are available for Early Bird registrations before the end of July 15th.
  • For those unable to attend in person, Online registration gives access to both online and onsite sessions as well as our Gather.town virtual venue for fun, games, puzzles, and engagement with other attendees including presenters and exhibitors.
  • Onsite attendees have the option of registering for both onsite and online access or for onsite-only. Why would an onsite attendee want to include online registration? Only online attendees have access to online sessions and the virtual venue.
  • We are offering four online classes and over a dozen onsite classes.
  • We are also offering an Economy registration that for onsite, doesn’t include the On-Demand access, “Meet the Presenters” Banquet, annual tee shirt, or souvenir that are included in Full registration and for online doesn’t include the On-Demand access included in the Online registration.
  • We have three options available for full-time students, Full, Economy, and Online, all of these include online and On-Demand access.

Visa application support for non-US attendees is available.

As always, we offer support for academics and employees of non-profits and, thanks to the support of the C++ Alliance, child care.

Diversity and Inclusion at CppCon 2022

One of the fundamental missions of the Standard C++ Foundation is to “support the C++ software developer community.” Support starts with ensuring that everyone feels welcome in our community, and as the leadership of the largest community gathering of the year, we take the opportunity to build a more diverse and inclusive community very seriously and try to expand it every year. Here are the new, expanded, and continuing initiatives currently planned, aimed at making everyone feel welcome at CppCon 2022.

  • (NEW) Double-blind review process: Creating a program that is as diverse as possible has always been a priority at CppCon. Each year, the Program Committee aims to create the best conference we can, and a big part of that process is obtaining the most comprehensive and accurate set of reviews for each talk submitted. Our goal is to reduce unconscious bias in the review process, and increase the diversity of submissions. Studies have shown that double-blind review processes have these effects, so this year the Program Committee will be reviewing the abstracts and outlines of submissions without the knowledge of the submitter’s names. To enable this, we will be asking presenters to take steps to anonymize their abstracts.
  • (EXPANDED) New tracks, new track chairs: Having more focused tracks, centered around more specific areas of expertise, is an important part of creating a diverse and inclusive conference. This may be counterintuitive, but focused tracks actually enable speaking opportunities for junior developers: They may not have enough experience with topics of broad appeal, but may still have the domain-specific expertise to submit talks that may be interesting to a significant subset of attendees. This year, in addition to the existing Embedded, Back to Basics, and Software Design tracks, we are adding Tooling and Scientific Computing tracks. If your talk is submitted to a track, your track chair will be happy to provide additional consultation on both your abstract and your talk. Reach out to them!
  • Supporting new speakers: CppCon offers mentoring for newer speakers. As part of the talk submissions process, we provide the option for one-on-one mentoring by experienced speakers. As mentioned above, part of the responsibility of track chairs is to provide subject-matter-specific mentoring to new speakers submitting to their tracks. If you are interested in this program, just mark it in your talk submission form.
  • (EXPANDED) Diversity dinner, now also a workshop: This year, CppCon’s diversity dinner will be expanded to include a workshop to discuss processes, experiences, and paths forward for improving diversity and inclusion in the C++ community. Attendees are encouraged to submit 10-20 minute talks on these topics through a separate submission process.
  • Women in C++ brunch: Building on the success of last year’s Women in C++ dinner, we’re hosting a women’s brunch for this year’s CppCon. Though we’ve always included women in general diversity initiatives at CppCon in the past, as more women have been attending CppCon we want to provide women with specific opportunities to network with others who face similar challenges. The brunch is intended to be an open, welcoming, casual environment for attendees to discuss diversity issues specific to women in C++.
  • Hybrid on-line and in-person conference: We recognize that not everyone’s life circumstances allow them to take a week out of their life to attend a conference in person. This year, CppCon will again facilitate on-line participation for speakers and attendees, with the goal of including those who can’t attend or speak in person. We’re employing a number of emerging technologies to engage with online participants, aimed at making them feel welcome as part of the community as much as possible.
  • Subsidized diversity tickets: CppCon sponsors a number of subsidized on-line and in-person attendance tickets for people from underrepresented groups in C++. More details about this year’s program, including how to apply, will be announced soon.
  • Code of Conduct: CppCon’s Code of Conduct (CoC) includes a dedicated CoC report handling team and CoC training for all conference volunteers before each event. CppCon publishes annual CoC transparency reports after each conference, starting with the CppCon 2021 CoC transparency report.
  • Professional live captioning for keynotes and large sessions: Professional-quality live captioning is expensive, but is important to us because it helps many attendees better follow the live program—not only attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing, but also the many non-native English speakers in the audience.
  • Gender neutral restrooms: Every year, at least one restroom at the venue gets designated as gender neutral to accommodate attendees who may not feel comfortable in either the men’s or the women’s restrooms.
  • Pronouns on name tags: While registering, attendees will be offered the option to add their preferred pronouns to their conference badge.
  • Accessible venue and stages: All talks are held at the conference hotel, which offers wheelchair accessible guest rooms, and wheelchair accessible seating and stage access in meeting rooms. See our accessibility section for more details.
  • Quiet room: We know that conferences and large gatherings can be stressful for some attendees, especially since the isolation caused by the pandemic. Being inclusive means making sure attendees have ways to manage that stress. We provide quiet room space for attendees to relax and recharge; see our quiet room section for more details.
  • Child care: Parenting responsibilities and attending a technical conference are a challenge to mix. CppCon wants to help attendees with children to be able to focus on the conference experience, secure in the knowledge that their children are in a safe and secure environment. See our child care section for more details.
  • (NEW) Feedback: We’ve set up a new email address, diversity@cppcon.org, to work on better understanding people’s reasons for being unable to attend CppCon in the past. We’re working on a survey process to learn more about how we can  make CppCon as diverse and inclusive as possible.

Diversity and inclusion are a priority at CppCon, and we are dedicated to deepening and expanding our support for a diverse and inclusive environment. We look forward to your feedback, and are excited to see many of you—either online or in person—in September at CppCon 2022!

Daisy Hollman, Program Chair
On behalf of the CppCon 2022 organizing committee

Answering Your Questions About Our Case Transparency Report and Safety Policy

As we state in our CppCon safety policy, we take all reports of an attendee’s misconduct seriously, even if it does not occur at CppCon but could affect other CppCon attendees. Our goal is to prioritize attendee safety in a way that recognizes the importance of your physical and psychological safety. We are committed to providing a safe and productive learning environment at CppCon.

In this follow-up post, we want to answer the questions we have seen regarding our case transparency report and safety policy, and to provide additional details about our rationale and approach. We address representative questions in the latter half of this post.

We regret and apologize that it took so long to finish a safety policy and post a transparency report. We worked as fast as we could, and although legal and consulting reviews always take surprisingly long, because this was the first time we had encountered such a situation they took even longer.

We have taken the situation described in the transparency report very seriously and have put a lot of time and effort into understanding various aspects of this problem. After imposing the initial restrictions for CppCon 2021, the board has focused on forming a policy well before CppCon 2022 registration opens that prioritizes the safety of our attendees above all else. We are also mindful of our responsibility to ensure no unlawful discrimination takes place in excluding someone from participating at CppCon. Exclusion from participation should absolutely occur when the attendee’s inclusion could threaten other attendees’ physical and psychological safety, but needs to follow appropriate guidelines (for example, per Washington Human Rights Commission regulations; see ACLU summary document pages 3 and 8).

Now that we have formed a policy for historical incidents and incidents outside of the conference scope, we have placed the implementation of that policy in the hands of the Code of Conduct (CoC) team. We appreciate this team’s good work because this is not an easy issue.

As always, we welcome suggestions and are looking into all those we have received so far. We are continuing our work on ways of making the Foundation’s work more transparent. For example, we recently started posting board meeting minutes.

We invite your comments as we continue our work to be both transparent and respectful. We know some may disagree with the decisions we have made and we want to hear from you, whether you agree or disagree. We assume good faith intentions from everyone and we ask that you avoid charged language and labeling. We promise to do the same. It is our fervent hope that we can come through this difficult circumstance in a way that teaches us better ways to communicate. We are learning a lot.

Please send any concerns or suggestions to the CoC team via conduct@cppcon.org. The CoC team will forward them to the directors, if you explicitly ask that.

Our door and our minds are open.


Q: How does your decision to remove the individual from attending the conference fit with your inclusion principles? 

A: We followed our policy in judging whether this individual’s participation could threaten other attendees’ physical or psychological safety. While we do not believe a physical threat exists, we do believe the seriousness of the past felony could compromise some attendees’ psychological safety. As a result, we are not allowing this attendee to join the conference now. We do believe there are ways for this individual to safely contribute to the community, but more conversation needs to happen before such contribution should be attempted. The attendee is restricted from attending and/or giving talks until a time when the community is able to have those conversations.

Q: Why didn’t you post your restrictions until the day after the original social media post that publicized and heavily criticized this case?

A: The timing of that post understandably raises the question of why. In reality, we had been working on the transparency report and the safety policy it is based on for a number of weeks and we were in the final stages of approving those materials when the social media post appeared. They had already been reviewed on February 8 with the CppCon conference chair, CppCon program chair, and the Code of Conduct handling team, and what we posted has input from all of them.

Q: Why did the CoC team not handle this situation originally?

A: Because it required a new policy.

This case didn’t fall within the scope of the existing CoC policy, which covers the handling of all reports of misconduct at and around the conference. This case was an unprecedented situation that involved serious misconduct that occurred before the Foundation or CppCon existed.

Now that the safety policy exists, we have delegated full responsibility to the CoC team to enforce and apply it as they see fit for the future handling of this case, and any new cases like it if they should arise.

Q: Was the individual allowed to lead an informal gathering at CppCon 2021? 

A: Yes, this was one of a number of “open content” gatherings that ordinary attendees are allowed to self-organize during the week.

In hindsight, this was not consistent with our intention to remove them from leadership roles. We did not have a clear definition of what “open content” is, and the intention was to remove them from conference organizational roles and speaking roles. Going forward, a leader of a gathering that appears on the conference schedule will be treated as equivalent to a speaker no matter how ad-hoc and informal it is intended to be, and someone who is restricted from being a speaker or panelist will also be restricted from leading anything else too. That’s a lesson we learned.

Q: Did you handle this offender with favoritism because you knew who they were?

A: No, we were very careful to avoid favoritism. During the period when the individual’s 2021 restrictions were being discussed, we were careful to avoid using the offender’s name because the board members who did not already know the offender’s identity asked not to be told. When forming the policy to apply to 2022, we were careful to create a general policy, not one with any individual case in mind, and we applied the policy as is to the situation.

Q: Is the individual removed from organizational roles? We heard otherwise.

A: Yes, they are. The individual was removed from all organizational roles in September 2021, and as far as we know this removal has been implemented and followed. Both the conference chair and program chair were informed immediately. The individual’s role has not been reinstated. We were informed that certain administrative things had not happened (e.g., that the individual’s name erroneously still appeared in one list on the website, and that their access to some internal files was not removed). The conference organizers have corrected these oversights; if you see anything else, please let us know.

Q: Is there truth in statements saying you removed restrictions from the individual?

A: No, we did not remove any restrictions. In September 2021, we applied initial restrictions to remove the person from all organizational roles indefinitely, and to cancel their talks for CppCon 2021. At that point, we had not made any other official decisions for future conferences due to the lack of policy. After finalizing the safety policy and evaluating the situation accordingly, we restricted participation for CppCon 2022. These are the only two official decisions pertaining to this individual, and the only two decisions that have been officially communicated to the organizers and CoC team. No private discussions in between those two decision points should be interpreted as changing restrictions; they were unofficial and likely to suffer from miscommunication, misunderstanding, and missing context.

Q: Is the Standard C++ Foundation the same as the CppCon conference?

A: The Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the C++ software developer community and promote the understanding and use of modern Standard C++ on all compilers and platforms. The CppCon conference is one of the projects of the Foundation to accomplish its mission. The day-to-day operation of the conference is done by a team of conference leaders. For additional details, please see isocpp.org/about.

— Board of directors, Standard C++ Foundation

Announcing CppCon Safety Policy

The point of CppCon is to learn and connect with colleagues. The Standard C++ Foundation Board is committed to ensuring that you can participate in an environment that is welcoming and safe. The CppCon Code of Conduct covers the handling of all reports of misconduct at or around a CppCon event. We have additionally developed the safety policy posted here for cases where we learn of serious misconduct by CppCon participants even in the past and/or outside CppCon. We want to be transparent about the serious issue we are handling, which caused us to create this safety policy.

In the run-up to CppCon 2021, the Board learned that a frequent participant at CppCon had been convicted of a serious felony 10 years ago. This crime did not occur at a CppCon event, or to our knowledge in the C++ community, and we are not aware of any other report of any other offense by this person. We recognized that the individual’s participation at CppCon events could make other attendees feel unsafe, we investigated and considered this carefully, and on September 17 the Board voted to immediately remove the individual from all conference organizational roles and ban them from speaking at CppCon 2021 including canceling their already-accepted talks. They were permitted to attend as an ordinary attendee, including participating in open content available to ordinary attendees, until such time as we could establish a long-term policy. After CppCon 2021, the Board commissioned reviews of the case and its handling by an outside independent inclusiveness consultant and by an outside independent law firm, and we have developed the above-linked safety policy in case we encounter this unprecedented situation again. The individual will not attend CppCon for as long as their presence would be broadly disruptive to the conference.

We take all reports of misconduct seriously, even if it does not occur at CppCon but could affect CppCon attendees. Our goal is to prioritize attendee safety in a way that recognizes the importance of your physical and psychological safety. We are committed to providing a safe and productive learning environment at CppCon.

— Board of Directors, Standard C++ Foundation