Questions - Principle 4: Judgment


Questions ”Principle 4: Judgment

  1. Suggest a situation in software development in which a software developer faces a dilemma whether to consult to a company that may use her advice for competing with her own company. The software developer will earn a lot of money for this consultation. The chances that her advice will be used against her company are not clear. What does the code of ethics say in such cases? How would you behave in such a case?

  2. Suggest a situation in software development in which a software developer is asked to develop a gambling game that leaves small winning chances to the gambler (relative to the accepted percentage in such cases). The software developer will get a nice salary for this work. What does the code of ethics say in such cases? How would you behave in such a case?

  3. Your software company is asked to develop a system for an employment agency. The client asks that different salaries be offered to different sectors (for example, male applicants will be offered salaries different from those offered to female applicants). It is obvious that the client is attempting to check how far your company will allow discrimination. If the client observes that you accept this requirement, further features that discriminate between applicants will be requested . You and your team are asked to express your opinion. Refer to the following questions:

    • What principles of the code of ethics (if any) are violated by the customer s request?

    • Are there circumstances under which such a software product is acceptable?

    • If the customer does not agree to change their requirements, how would you react ?

  4. The government of a developing country wants to promote the country by offering access to the Web to all its citizens . The government faces several problems. First, since most of the population does not have the needed financial resources, at the beginning of the process only the rich people will be able to use it. Second, several sectors object to this initiative for religious reasons. Third, several private sectors admit that they will not support this initiative, as they want it to be a private project (not the government s initiative). The government knows that this initiative is the only way to join the developed part of the world.

    • What ethical issues are raised in this case? How does the code of ethics address these issues?

    • If you were a member of this government, how would you proceed?



Questions ”Principle 5: Management

  1. Suggest two situations in software development that deal with password policies and procedures for protecting information, for which a manager may use the Code of Ethics of Software Engineering. Do these cases raise a conflict between the manager s and the employee s point of view? In general, can you characterize cases in which the management and the employees may have different perspectives at a given situation? If such situations exist, how might they be solved ?

  2. Suggest a situation in software development in which a software developer expresses ethical concerns with respect to the leading project of the company. Describe four possible reactions on the part of the management to these concerns: two of these reactions stand in line with the Code of Ethics of Software Engineering, and two reactions conflict with the Code of Ethics of Software Engineering.

  3. Since software products influence so many domains, managers of software houses face many ethical dilemmas. Here are several examples: how to maximize the company profit and at the same time develop only software tools that contribute to the society? Should only ethical considerations influence management decisions even when such considerations may hurt the company? How does management ensure that the employees do not suffer from the management effort to maximize profits? Furthermore, in considering how to behave, management has to consider the different stakeholders of their company, such as clients , shareholders, employees, partners , suppliers, environment, community, and even the state. You are asked to select at least two stakeholders and to suggest a situation in which management faces an ethical dilemma that may hurt one of the parties no matter what decision is made. How would you behave in such case? Interview several of your friends about this case. What is their reaction?