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Computer science largely devoid of ethics


True. What many are only just now discovering about social media (or what you might have known if you’d be reading this web site for a while) is the serious problems manifested by social media, particularly Facebook. As Zunger notes in further comments, software development has not suffered the consequences of massive systemic failures like what we are seeing with Facebook. Other fields, like civil and mechanical engineering did, long ago (think bridge and building collapses), which led to professional standards of conduct and licensing of practitioners.
Please read Zunger’s full thread on this topic on Twitter. (You’ll need to page down through other replies to see all of his comments).
THIS IS A MUST READ FOR EVERY COMPUTER SCIENTIST, SOFTWARE ENGINEER AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPER – RIGHT NOW – READ IT.
One possible outcome down the road: major software projects will be required to be signed off by licensed professional software engineers. Today, the number of states that offer software engineering licensure is nil. This is going to be changing. This is probably not the outcome that software developers want but it is inevitable that a code of ethical behavior will become mandatory to keep one’s license.
(Note I have a BS in computer science and an MS in software engineering. Please note, in my state of Oregon, merely noting that I have a Masters degree in software engineering may be considered a violation of state law. Oregon state law prohibits anyone who lacks a professional engineer’s license from “implying” they are an “engineer”. The State has put sanctions on a former Governor candidate and a current sitting Portland City Commissioner who has undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil and environmental engineering for having referred to himself by his job title of “environmental engineer” because he was not licensed in Oregon. The State previously sanctioned a person with a degree in electrical engineering for speaking at a government public meeting and identifying himself as an electrical engineer. The State of Oregon is currently being sued over this law. Therefore, this is a long disclaimer that I need to add to my mention of having a graduate degree in “software engineering”. Technically it is apparently against Oregon law to mention my degree to anyone – therefore, I am specifically noting I am not a licensed engineer in any jurisdiction. We are also planning to move out of state as soon as we can.)