In case you don’t know, DataCamp recently published a statement concerning a senior executive—who is still with the company—sexually assaulting an employee—who is not (more details at the bottom of this post). The former employee has bravely come forward, so I wish to share the following two facts:
1. I disclosed to my manager on June 12th, 2018 my concerns about DataCamp’s internal handling of the sexual assault; DataCamp fired me three days later. My colleague Greg Wilson (who had expressed similar sentiments) was fired the same day (see http://third-bit.com/2019/04/05/the-worst-behavior.html for his thoughts).
- As of June 2018, to the best of my knowledge, the assailant's punishment was a single day's sensitivity training & an imposed limit on his alcohol consumption at company functions.
- I criticized two precedents being established internally: that DataCamp doesn't take sexual assault seriously, and worse, that illegal behavior is acceptable from employees of sufficiently high rank.
- DataCamp first tried to poach me from my prior job in June 2017 and continued until I started at DataCamp in April 2018. My employment there lasted less than 75 days—before a quarterly performance review was possible (and an improvement plan established as is standard HR practice).
- In spite of my being fired "for performance", the 5 courses I supervised/appeared in remain at the core of DataCamp’s Python curriculum; they have been completed by nearly a quarter of a million people since 2017 (DataCamp's public-facing numbers).
2. Upon termination, DataCamp offered me money to sign a non-disparagement agreement to restrict my speaking publicly or privately about the company and its officers. I declined to accept these conditions & any according compensation.
- The letter of separation included the NDA as well as a release of my future rights to sue.
DataCamp refutes any connection between my complaint and the terminations three days later. They also assert (about the sexual assault incident):
“The incident was antithetical to both the true culture of our company as well as our belief of the personal ethics and integrity of the executive in question.”
I cannot know their intentions, but, in my opinion, all their actions—those shortly after Oct. 2017, those I witnessed as an employee between April & June 2018, and those from the last two weeks—are inconsistent with both of those claims.
Bearing all the above in mind, I cannot in good faith recommend working with DataCamp—as an employee or as a content-creator—unless the entire management (not just the sexual assailant) is held to account and accepts their collective responsibility for this debacle. Trust has to be earned; DataCamp has a long way to go to earning it from me and, more importantly, from the community of instructors on whom DataCamp relies.
- Apr. 3rd: One hundred or so of DataCamp's content-creators/instructors (including me) delivered a letter demanding clarity on what happened (spurred on partially by posts on GlassDoor).
- Apr. 4th: DC published a blog post with an "apology."
- Apr. 5th: The R-Ladies responded with their ideas.
- Apr. 5th: The target of the sexual assault came forward.
- Apr. 8th: Very thoughtful pieces started to come out.
- Apr. 12th: The HTML from DataCamp’s original “apology” was dissected revealing DataCamp’s deliberate attempt to bury & obscure their post.
- Apr. 12th: DataCamp’s content creators began asking for a boycott of their own courses (nobly depriving themselves of revenue) until DataCamp restores their trust.
- Apr. 12th: Tweets addressed to the VC funders of DataCamp started to appear asking for their stand on this situation.
- Apr. 14th Tweets addressed to DataCamp CEO Jonathan Cornellison started to appear asking for his stand on this situation.