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Ethics and Trust October 20, 2013

Posted by Marybeth in Security.
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Software engineers are supposed to follow the ACM code of ethics and professional conduct. The Code and its guidelines are meant to serve as a basis for ethical decision making in the performance of a software engineer’s professional work. Although you may not be able to completely trust code which you did not write, I don’t see much of a choice in trusting, or not trusting, a software developer to write the code. Software developers follow the ACM code of ethics because it is in their best interest to follow the code, if they want to stay in their profession. Do you trust the pilot who flies the aircraft you are on? If you don’t trust him or her, you can get off the aircraft and pick another flight, you can cancel your flight plans, or you can take your chances and take the flight with a pilot you don’t trust.  I never had a situation, in my many years as working as a flight attendant, in which a passenger got off the aircraft because of having a trust issue with the pilot. I think the same can be said of using someone else’s code. You trust the code and hope the person behind it is a professional who follows the ACM code of ethics.

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