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Imagine there is a weapons producing company that want to hire you. You should write an algorithm for leading the missile to the target.

You may dis/-agree with defence or offense behaviour of the current politics. But in general we will agree to the fact that no one wants to harm another.

You will not have many options:

  1. Refuse the job offer (and my be do something to hinder them)
  2. Accept the job offer, but do bad work so that it will do nothing or espacially damage other weapons
  3. Accept the job offer and do what they want you to do. They are the customer. Programmers should do what they are told to.
  4. Accept the job offer but get involved with something in this case peacefully (helping build wells)

Some more options I forgot?

How is professional honor/ethic/morality for programmers defined?

  • Should I be faithful to my company or to the customers of my company or anyone else?
  • Should I extend public knowledge and help eliminating false statements about my field of knowledge?
  • Should I do all things a customer wants? If it harms other people or the environment? If it bends the law?
  • Should I do it the way he wants? Even if its a bad idea?
  • Should I activly take care of my employer? That he behaves in a correct way?
  • Should I only use products of companies that take care? That produce environmentfrienldy, employeefriendly stuff? Pay well, take care of health and their origin of raw materials and supplies?
  • Should I take care that my company treats its employees well?
  • If anything is wrong: Should I leave the company. Should I tell the justice (Escpecially in germany there are some cases that forbid to go directly to the justice in case it could be harmful for the company (to big work time, mobbing by the pointy haired boss))?
  • Should I use my competence for the advance of human welfare
  • Should I honor intellectual property rights?

There are some other responsibilites when dealing with personal data? What about privacy (facebook, google - another question: Is only the first generation of the ceo's behaving good? The next generation behaves bad? Missunderstood the mission? Only interested in making money? Why?)?

Some facts there should be no discussions about:

  • Accept responsibility for my work (only accept job offers where I met the requirements)
  • Act with professional responsibility (not use any title for misrepresent my competence or deceptive statements)
  • Properly qualify myself if I'm asked for my opinion outside my area of competence?
  • Responsible for a correct understanding of my area of knowledge. Train professionals and aspirants.
  • Be fair, be honest

Closing words:

Is it possible to establish a catalog everyone feels bounded to?

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closed as not constructive by ChrisF Jun 14 '12 at 8:55

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is a really brilliant question in the larger context. But if feel this question doesn't suit this site since your question can't be answered in an objective manner and it would take heck a lot of discussion. You can better try the chat room WhiteBoard. –  Ubermensch Jun 14 '12 at 8:33
I somehow expected that. But as I read some wonderful questions (and a little discussions) here, I thought it might be a good place starting a cataolg (in a wiki like manner) –  matcauthon Jun 14 '12 at 8:36
"Is it possible to establish a catalog everyone feels bounded to?" - see also: the religious/social/philosophical/political history of humanity. –  AakashM Jun 14 '12 at 8:39
@matcauthon - having a "catalog" is not what Stack Exchange is about. –  ChrisF Jun 14 '12 at 8:54
The advantage over bulletin boards here is the up/downvote and that nobody wants to leave flame or dumb comments. But ok - its kind of metaphysical. Even to write down facts nobody should argue about... Then we might leave this "question" to interested readers. For homework so to speak... ;-) –  matcauthon Jun 14 '12 at 8:56

1 Answer 1

Treat your customer with respect. That basically means that your are left with only two choices:

  • If you are OK with doing what is asked of you, accept the offer and do it well.
  • If you object to this kind of work, politely decline the offer.

The customer shows you trust by offering you to work for them. Take it or leave it, but don't betray them.

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Agree broadly, but the Oscar Schindler approach to running a Nazi weapons factory was definitely 'do it badly and produce very little'. Hard to argue with, but how many of us have customers that awful? –  Matt Gibson Jun 14 '12 at 8:56

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