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TIAD 2016 : Ethics in software development

Talk @TIAD, 04/10/2016, Paris by Marta Paciorkowska, Acrolinx

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TIAD 2016 : Ethics in software development

  1. 1. Ethics in software development TIAD, 04.10.2016
  2. 2. “We’re making the world a better place...”
  3. 3. “We’re making the world a better place... ...through Paxos algorithms for consensus protocols.” ...through canonical data models to communicate between endpoints.”
  4. 4. A code of ethics for engineers?
  5. 5. “Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.” https://www.nspe.org/resources/ethics/code-ethics/history-code-ethics-engineers
  6. 6. Engineers: people who “hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public” https://www.nspe.org/resources/ethics/code-ethics/history-code-ethics-engineers
  7. 7. A code of ethics for software engineers! https://www.computer.org/cms/Publications/code-of-ethics.pdf
  8. 8. “1.03. Approve software only if they have a well-founded belief that it is safe, meets specifications, passes appropriate tests, and does not diminish quality of life, diminish privacy, or harm the environment. The ultimate effect of the work should be to the public good.” https://www.computer.org/cms/Publications/code-of-ethics.pdf
  9. 9. “3.15. Treat all forms of software maintenance with the same professionalism as new development.” https://www.computer.org/cms/Publications/code-of-ethics.pdf
  10. 10. Ethical behavior? According to businessdictionary.com: “Acting in ways consistent with what society and individuals typically think are good values. Ethical behavior tends to be good for business and involves demonstrating respect for key moral principles that include honesty, fairness, equality, dignity, diversity and individual rights.”
  11. 11. Ethical? According to dictionary.com: “in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession”
  12. 12. Marta Paciorkowska English Literature dropout Likes weird stuff DevOps Heroine @ Acrolinx GmbH Senior Twitter ranter (@a_meba) https://thatmarta.wordpress.com
  13. 13. Ethical issues I will not talk about ❖ Using open-source code in their [company] code without properly crediting the source ❖ Using illegal software to perform their [company] tasks ❖ Reverse engineering code to find out how a process works (...) ❖ Taking talent from the competition https://www.scribd.com/doc/10880744/Ethical-Issues-in-Softwar e-Development
  14. 14. What we build
  15. 15. Girls Around Me Using the Foursquare API to stalk people “A violation of our API policy” Is dating supposed to be risky?
  16. 16. “Users will always do things with technology that we didn’t anticipate” Shannon Vallor, associate professor of philosophy at Santa Clara, http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/09/software_engineers_need_a_crash_course_in_ethics.html
  17. 17. Technology moves fast, but not all of this movement is for the better.
  18. 18. How we build things ❖ We work in different settings. ❖ Our teams will differ. ❖ Sometimes our software provides work for others.
  19. 19. We’re quite privileged
  20. 20. Think about your company Workers’ unions? Salaries? Child-friendly? Underrepresented groups? What would you like to change?
  21. 21. The sharing economy
  22. 22. Freelancers or employees?
  23. 23. The people who pay for the cheap price are the people who provide the services.
  24. 24. Homejoy advertised itself as “a movement to make cleaning services available to a broad audience, rather than a luxury for the rich” http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/03/startup-workers-sue-to-be-recognized-as-employees-not-mere-contractors/
  25. 25. The safety and well-being of our end users
  26. 26. "Do you risk if you announce early that you terrify people and actually the breach has been minimal, or do you do the forensics first, dig down through the systems, work out what has gone and then announce things once you're more sure?” - Tom Cheesewright, security expert, http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/597188/Carphone-Warehouse-data-breach-customers-fury
  27. 27. People don’t understand software.
  28. 28. https://www.helloclue.com/privacy.html
  29. 29. “3.12. Work to develop software and related documents that respect the privacy of those who will be affected by that software.” https://www.computer.org/cms/Publications/code-of-ethics.pdf
  30. 30. Conclusion ❖ You don’t have to agree with me! ❖ Technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum. ❖ Please, ask questions. ♥
  31. 31. Thank you! https://thatmarta.wordpress.com | @a_meba

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