18 Apr

Software Professional Code of Ethics

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There was a time when I thought it might be worth it to try and create a Software Professional Code of Ethics. I no longer think the effort is worth it as there is already a big enough rat hole in this space as evidenced here. At the time this held my interest I read some codes of ethics from other fields and studied the matter.

Here is what I came up with at the time.

  1. Consider first the well-being of customers and colleagues, never exploiting them for any reason.
  2. Give customers and colleagues respect, honesty, and confidentiality.
  3. Be transparent in limitations in skill or ability, saying “I do not know” without shame.
  4. Confer with appropriately qualified professionals when their skills are needed.
  5. Prevent defects whenever possible, for prevention is preferable to correction.
  6. Active collaboration with customers is required to provide correct solutions or services.
  7. Practice the science and art of software development to the best of my ability.
  8. Continue lifelong learning to improve my standard of software development.
  9. Recognize some situations are beyond my capabilities and I cannot help my customer.
  10. Ensure customers are aware of costs and risks to the best of my ability.
  11. Gladly share knowledge with others, respecting the hard-won gains of technologists in whose steps I walk.
  12. Consciously balance the competing forces of utility and elegance to provide appropriate and fit-for-purpose solutions.

And here are some leftover questions I still have.

  • Should we address stealing and/or crediting the work of others?
  • Should we address issues of data privacy and access?
  • What’s missing?
  • What shouldn’t be there?
  • Is there any point to this?

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