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Individual Submission: Software Industry Essay

1037 words - 5 pages

Computers and ever-changing digital devices are influencing and shaping how an average person lives their daily life. It is a safe assumption that computers, mobile devices and the software that runs on them will impact at least one aspect of our daily lives. When designing the software, were ethical and moral decisions made by the design and IT professionals? What kind of impact do those decisions have on people and how business will be conducted? A software developer and their initial duties are critical because how their relationship is structured within their own environment, the end users and clients environment, and the industry’s environment can have substantial impacts on the functionality and design of the software. In the last 15 years, the environment and practice of software engineering has changed dramatically. The products have changed to being web-based, globally accessible, and subject to adverse effects from their use on a global scale. The practice is different also because agile methods dominate and rapid systems delivery means that continuous contact with the client is expected (McBride 2012).
Currently there is just one standard in the industry. The software engineering code of ethics is the only support offered on the development side of the industry. As of October 1999, the code was updated to version 5.2 and was accepted by the computer society and the Association for Computer Machinery (McBride 2012). This code defines major areas of ethical considerations advises how developers and engineers should act when faced with those considerations. The considerations are public, client and employer, product, judgment, management, profession, colleagues, and self (Gotterbarn, Miller, & Rogerson 1999). Expanding on the considerations the code of ethics says that a software engineer should: act consistently with the public’s interest, act in a manner that is in the best interest of the client and the employer, ensure that their product meets the highest professional standards, maintain integrity and independence in their professional judgment, subscribe and promote an ethical approach to software management, advance the integrity and reputation of the profession, be fair and supportive to colleagues, and finally participate in lifelong learning and practice an ethical approach in the profession (Gotterbarn, Miller, & Rogerson 1999). Most of these ethical considerations are for- after-the fact issues (security, privacy, piracy) and don’t take into account the development side of ethical considerations (Stephenson 2013).Also software is used on consistent basis with anyone who uses a computer, smartphone, or any other electronic device. Computer usage has expanded from the backrooms and basements of offices into the average person’s home. Ethical and moral decisions will have a significant impact on a growing number of people across the globe (McBride 2012).
Software developers need to go beyond the code. It is outdated by...

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