Ethics in Software.

Ethical implications of developing software

Ethics is a vast subject. There have been rules, guidelines to translate ethics into a formal writing, but most of what we call ethics is actually unwritten and implicit. It depends on the culture, the history of people, and even the context -- people often behave differently at work and in their personal life.

But nowadays on the Internet, we all speak at the same level, we work together, we build tools and communities and collaborate on small or large-scale projects. We even sympathise and meet sometimes, across continents, cultures, and languages.

Because it's kind of a personal and somewhat delicate matter, because we praise respect and diversity, we globally tend to avoid this discussion, and ethics is still a vague word. And it's not a Good Thing(tm), because software has come to be omnipresent in our lives (wether we see it or not) and we need ethics in software more than ever.

I am not talking about contracts, licenses or law suites. I am talking about what we, as a community of software practitionners, think and do with ethics. What it means for us, for our community, for our behaviour, for the code we write and for the services and support we provide. Because it has an impact. And we should feel somewhat responsible for it.

Today we, as developers, have a humongous responsibility towards users, humans, and the future.

This needs to be discussed and further considered.

This web site presents some thoughts and references about ethics in software in general, and for software practitionners more specifically. Its intent is to provide material for discussions, talks, articles, blog entries..



Contributions are welcome, and the source code of the web site is hosted on github.