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On software engineering ethics

This post/video is, IMO, a sister post of the previous one - https://rahulporuri.blogspot.in/2016/12/on-bias-at-work.html. The video, embedded below, talks about ethics in software design and the IT sector in general.

All of us have seen these so called Dark Patterns on the internet/websites. Watch the video and you'll probably recognize a number of them. Better yet, visit the website : http://darkpatterns.org/ and you'll find more examples which couldn't be covered in the talk. Just watch the talk, I'm not going to give you a summary.



What I want to talk about is the topic of Ethics in the Software Engineering world. Engineering Ethics is a course every student sits through in college. For most it is a formality. And given that now-a-days most college graduates end up working with and actively developing software, it is important to understand and lookout for ethical boundaries that we might be crossing while developing software.

There is another beautiful/haunting article titled `The code I'm still ashamed of` : https://medium.freecodecamp.com/the-code-im-still-ashamed-of-e4c021dff55e#.3c5q4g2wk that talks about a programmer who developed a website. The website falsely advertised a medical product, a product that might have contributed to the death of at least one person. That's bad. And it should've been prevented.


This is why I think Ethics in the context of software development should also be part of Engineering Ethics courses. I would have definitely liked it.

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