Programmers, there are rules to follow

For those of you new to software engineering, the Association for Computing Machinery ACM developed a code of ethics for all programmers and professionals in software engineering. If you are asking yourself: if I am able to code anything, why do I need to follow rules? Well, your code must have a target public, and these rules apply to commit to the health, safety and welfare of that public. There are eight basic principles as stated by the ACM:

  • PUBLIC – Software engineers shall act consistently with the public interest.
  • CLIENT AND EMPLOYER – Software engineers shall act in a manner that is in the best interests of their client and employer consistent with the public interest.
  • PRODUCT – Software engineers shall ensure that their products and related modifications meet the highest professional standards possible.
  • JUDGEMENT – Software engineers shall maintain integrity and independence in their professional judgement.
  • MANAGEMENT – Software engineering managers and leaders shall subscribe to and promote an ethical approach to the management of software development and maintenance.
  • PROFESSION – Software engineers shall advance the integrity and reputation of the profession consistent with the public interest.
  • COLLEAGUES – Software engineers shall be fair to and supportive to their colleagues.
  • SELF –  Software engineers shall participate in lifelong learning regarding the practice of their profession and shall promote an ethical approach to the practice of the profession.

I, as a software engineer, agree with you. We are the future, software engineering is the future of society, and when we are coding we appear as wizards. Let’s aim, however, for a better future, and contribute with our programming to develop a healthier coding ambiance.

Full version of ACM’s code of ethics