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Discussion on: What are our responsibilities as software developers beyond writing code? 🌎💻

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jurcello profile image
Jur de Vries

Thanks for the nice article!

I have been thinking a lot about this topic recently. Like many other technologies software can be used to create a better world or to harm the world. The problem is to know when technology is harmful. The facebook like button seemed a good idea but it also brought the (unexpected) downside of social pressure to get as many likes as possible.

That being said there are use cases that are very harmful, like keeping users on a site in order to be able to show as many adds as possible. This is not doing any good for the end user. Personally I refuse to create that kind of software.

There are some developers who suggest we need an oath for software development, like the Hippocratic Oath. I agree on that, but I don't yet know what should be in this oath. Maybe that could be the next step. What should the developers oath look like?

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starswan profile image
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jurcello profile image
Jur de Vries

I agree with the software craftsmanship movement but I think this is more about how to develop software.

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kateh profile image
Kate (she/her) Author

Hi Jur! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

The facebook like button seemed a good idea but it also brought the (unexpected) downside of social pressure to get as many likes as possible.

Yeah, that's a good point. I think it's important to recognize that technology can end up being used in all sorts of ways that even we might not anticipate, no matter how good an intention we might have. Maybe part of our responsibility is to keep evaluating and never stop asking questions every step of the way.

There are some developers who suggest we need an oath for software development, like the Hippocratic Oath.

I've never heard of that. That's an interesting idea... 🤔

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jurcello profile image
Jur de Vries

Hi Kate,
Robert Martin (Unlce Bob) created such an oath which can be found on his blog:
blog.cleancoder.com/uncle-bob/2015...

In my opinion this oath is directed more to software craftsmanship (the link Stephen Dicks provided) and lacks some of the ethics.

I found another oath that's more in the direction of the ethics:
github.com/Widdershin/programmers-....
I think I like this one more but maybe they can be merged.