Professional Ethics of Software Engineers: An Ethical Framework

TitleProfessional Ethics of Software Engineers: An Ethical Framework
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLurie, Y, Mark, S
JournalScience & Engineering Ethics
Date Published2016
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number13533452
Keywordscode , computer , JOB , professional , software , WORK
AbstractThe purpose of this article is to propose an ethical framework for software engineers that connects software developers' ethical responsibilities directly to their professional standards. The implementation of such an ethical framework can overcome the traditional dichotomy between professional skills and ethical skills, which plagues the engineering professions, by proposing an approach to the fundamental tasks of the practitioner, i.e., software development, in which the professional standards are intrinsically connected to the ethical responsibilities. In so doing, the ethical framework improves the practitioner's professionalism and ethics. We call this approach Ethical-Driven Software Development (EDSD), as an approach to software development. EDSD manifests the advantages of an ethical framework as an alternative to the all too familiar approach in professional ethics that advocates 'stand-alone codes of ethics'. We believe that one outcome of this synergy between professional and ethical skills is simply better engineers. Moreover, since there are often different software solutions, which the engineer can provide to an issue at stake, the ethical framework provides a guiding principle, within the process of software development, that helps the engineer evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different software solutions. It does not and cannot affect the end-product in and of-itself. However, it can and should, make the software engineer more conscious and aware of the ethical ramifications of certain engineering decisions within the process. 
NotesLurie, Yotam 1; Email Address: Mark, Shlomo 2; Email Address:; Affiliation: 1: Department of Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba 84105 Israel 2: Department of Software Engineering, SCE- Shamoon College of Engineering, Bialik/Basel Street Beersheba 84100 Israel; Source Info: Apr2016, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p417; Subject Term: PROFESSIONAL ethics; Subject Term: SOFTWARE engineers; Subject Term: JOB skills; Subject Term: COMPUTER programmers; Subject Term: WORK ethic; Author-Supplied Keyword: Code of ethics; Author-Supplied Keyword: Professional ethics; Author-Supplied Keyword: Software engineer; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541511 Custom Computer Programming Services; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541514 Computer systems design and related services (except video game design and development); NAICS/Industry Codes: 541519 Other Computer Related Services; Number of Pages: 18p; Document Type: Article