April 22, 2019: DataCamp Clarifications

There has been a lot of discussion online about DataCamp’s mishandling of a sexual assault case since Kara Woo bravely came forward on April 5. I published and updated some thoughts that same day, and summarized my final exchange with the company on April 15. Reading what’s been written since, I would like to clarify that I have not claimed I was fired for my concerns over the company’s mishandling of the assault on Kara. I was quite vocal in my unhappiness regarding that, but as I said on April 5, DataCamp’s stated reason for firing me was poor performance, and I accept that I accomplished less in late 2017 and early 2018 than usual.

I don’t think there’s any point talking about constantly shifting priorities and a lack of technical support—they’re just a fact of life in immature companies (and many mature ones too). What I will say is that my managers told me repeatedly to take whatever time I needed to deal with my brother’s illness and death. When I asked on July 4, 2018 whether my family situation and my managers’ guidance had been taken into account when evaluating my performance, their response on July 6, 2018 was, “With regards to your personal family situation, I did not hear anything prior but would be open to discussing.” The company also refused to give me a list of performance targets I had failed to meet at the time of my firing, though they backtracked on this point on July 6 during negotation of the non-disparagement agreement that I eventually refused to sign.

But whether or not DataCamp was justified in firing me doesn’t matter. What matters is the assault on Kara Woo and DataCamp’s misbehavior since, and I hope this clarification will help the community stay focused on that.

See also Dhavide Aruliah’s summary of how DataCamp mistreated him in this blog post.

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