Questions tagged [ethics]

Ethics provide guidelines for personal and professional conduct.

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21
votes
5answers
1k views

What can I do to prevent taking on an unethical development project?

Back in my self-employment days, I've once taken on a small and rather well-paid project: "A newsletter system", the spec stated. Everything was fine, invoices were paid with each milestone reached, ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

Ethics of collecting non-identifiable information on install [closed]

I wrapping up an application I'm writing that I'm hoping will get a decent user base. It will be free and open source, but I'm interested in collecting some analytic data on the install base. ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Selling a webapp: I don't want sell my source code!!! What do I sell so? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does making source code available affect your ability to generate revenue? I'm developing a web application (it's not a website, it's a closed to public management application)...
39
votes
13answers
3k views

Should I include a selfdestruct-method to my applications?

I recently had a negative experience, where client bailed from the bill, but my middle-man already uploaded our software and design to the clients server. Client turned out be a known criminal, and of ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Programmer Ethics: Can I fork a project from one code host to another?

Say I find this great snippet of code on Bitbucket. I really, really like it but there's a small bug I want to fix. On the other hand, I have all of my code on GitHub. Is it ok to start a new repo on ...
19
votes
4answers
814 views

Would it be ethical to create an open source alternative to the software you've been hired to create?

Say you were hired to create education software that will be sold to students of a particular academic institution. You are the only developer working on this project and have written all of the code. ...
17
votes
11answers
2k views

Company wants thoughts about their site during interview [closed]

I have an initial phone interview coming up with a company for a Senior Web Developer position and in the email they asked to prepare by signing up on their site because they'd like to hear my ...
6
votes
6answers
746 views

How quickly, and how severely, should one sound the alarm when things look suspicious?

I presently have the task of baby-sitting a business critical batch ETL system, querying the database of this system every morning for inconsistencies, and rerunning jobs that have failed. I am not ...
3
votes
9answers
416 views

Is it better to blindly match the project requirements or to match the spirit of the project requirements

You know what they're asking for. You know what they really want. However, technically the way they wrote it is with a litmus test of requirements that don't match what they want because they don't ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

Can we price a software based on its lines count, language, technology and stuff like that? [closed]

Recently a friend of mine bought an inventory application from a vendor, who used an statement like "built based on 10000 lines of codes" as a marketing slogan to increase its market share. I've also ...
16
votes
15answers
1k views

Is outsourcing (offshoring) disloyal? [closed]

I ask this from everyone's perspective. If you are in America and you outsource to offshore programmers, are you disloyal to your countrymen? If you are in India and you outsource to offshore ...
1
vote
1answer
419 views

Legal concern over “borrowed” code [closed]

A company my friend works for (let's call him Me) recently unveiled a new face for their internal "networking" website. This new face looks remarkably like Facebook, and indeed, examination of the ...
-2
votes
4answers
197 views

Building a company and want to know how ethical to put samples from projects I did before on the new company website

I built a lot of websites and applications during my life, I can put them under the following categories: Did all the project as a freelancer -> For other companies Did part of the project as a ...
129
votes
14answers
22k views

Is it possible to rewrite every line of an open source project in a slightly different way, and use it in a closed source project?

There is some code which is GPL or LGPL that I am considering using for an iPhone project. If I took that code (JavaScript) and rewrote it in a different language for use on the iPhone would that be ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it acceptable to decompile someone else's code for the purpose of learning what they did, and how they did it? [closed]

I am not talking about stealing code, or reusing someone's for profit. But I am assuming that if a program or plugin is distributed in a format where I can't readily view the source, that is a ...
18
votes
5answers
39k views

How do I safely write code in my own 'words' and not plagiarize?

I understand plagiarism and paraphrasing fairly well when it comes to writing a research paper, but those equivalent areas in programming seem foreign to me. I've looked up the topics online, and ...
31
votes
14answers
2k views

Is it ethical to teach teens about software viruses? [closed]

I volunteered to instruct an after school computer club at my son's middle school. There has been a lot of interest in computer viruses. I was thinking about showing them how to create a simple batch ...
15
votes
6answers
724 views

Discovered large security hole in someone elses website… What to do? [duplicate]

A chap I'm bidding to do some development for has a social network he wrote himself. Not the next facebook by any stretch. But a few thousand local users. I went to have a look at it to see what ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

How do you deal with stealing? [closed]

I have been recently hacking on a project I started a couple of months ago. It was a simple idea. Allowing people to collect achievements for code they shared on Github. So I started this noble ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it legal/ethical to collect and release some types of anonymous usage data without consent? [closed]

The type of data I'm hoping to collect is a little specific, and unfortunately I'm under NDA and the data is a core part of the business plan so I'm not at liberty to post it online. I've come up with ...
7
votes
10answers
870 views

Can I market an application I wrote at work?

I work at a bank and I developed an in-house web application that helps keep track of past due loans and all the interaction between the bank and the customers. I was recently told by an outside ...
6
votes
5answers
770 views

What obligations do highly public developers have to their users? (Or, _why the lucky stiff's tale)

Why the Lucky Stiff removed most of his online profile on Aug. 19th, 2009. The author of Why's (poignant) guide to Ruby, Hpricot, and many other projects left behind many confused and upset users. ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

If you spot a software bug and fix it, do you tell the client?

I spotted a bug today in a web application that I develop and maintain for a client. I let the client know that I had spotted a problem and after a short time I fixed it and reported back the full ...
11
votes
8answers
790 views

Is it ethical for a programmer to promote his/her own library? [closed]

Fairly recently I started maintaining my own open source JavaScript library. I created it to solve a pretty specific need but fairly regularly see questions that can be solved (in whole/part) by using ...
37
votes
14answers
6k views

What to do if you find a vulnerability in a competitor's site?

While working on a project for my company, I needed to build functionality that allows users to import/export data to/from our competitor's site. While doing this, I discovered a very serious security ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

HTML/CSS plagiarism

I'm facing an issue here. A customer asked me to copy an exact site, and even though I'm trying to convince him of going for a new design he does not accept it. He loves this design so much (on a side ...
14
votes
12answers
14k views

Why do we keep using CSV? [closed]

Why do we keep using CSV? I recently made a shift to working the health domain and despite the wonderful work in data transfer standards, all data transfer is in CSV, both for reporting to external ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

How could we rewrite the 'No Evil' license to make it 'free'?

I did not find the lawyers' SE site, so I thought it best to post here. /* * ...subject to the following conditions: * * The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in ...
9
votes
5answers
553 views

I just received a complaint from a user of the website I maintain. Should I do anything?

I was sent sent a large wall of text from a user of the website I maintain at my job. They are clearly upset for having to deal with a horribly outdated web application that has not seen any serious ...
9
votes
4answers
375 views

How can I gracefully handle a contractor who's trying to bypass a previous client?

I've been freelancing for a local game development shop. Most of the projects we worked on were brought in by an external contractor. This guy now wants to do business directly with me for some new ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

How to improve and start client interaction [closed]

How to remove hesitation of interacting with client ? As a Devloper i want to develop my career but this require the better Client Interaction,but as now i haven't done any major client interaction , ...
13
votes
3answers
588 views

How to deal with non-licensed software

I work for a very large fortune 500 company who is subcontracted to another fortune 500 company on a DoD contract. As you can guess the red tape is tremendous to do anything. We have simply shared a ...
20
votes
8answers
634 views

Fixing a bug that has never caused a problem until now

I recently made a change that caused some code to be run far more often than it used to. This lead to the discovery of a bug. This bug had the potential to happen any time that code was run but ...
33
votes
12answers
6k views

Usage of Pirated software at a company [closed]

I started to work at a company as an engineer a couple of months ago. It's a small company and what they basically do is answering service on phones. Now they are switching from normal phones to IP ...
16
votes
11answers
3k views

If your workmate is quitting his job, would you notify your boss? [closed]

If a colleague on your team is planning to quit his job and this may cause bad feelings in your company, would you notify your boss?
29
votes
9answers
4k views

Should I tell the interviewer I already know the answer to the question being asked? [closed]

In a programming interview if I am asked a question I already know the answer for, such as giving an algorithm for a particular problem. Should I disclose that to the interviewer? This issue only ...
5
votes
4answers
224 views

How do I report software vulnerabilities found in an open source library that are widely used but have a dilapidated team structure?

For most open source project, there is a well-founded project team and corporate sponsorship, and a lot of active contributors. The procedure for filing bug reports are clearly documented. However, ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it ethical to duplicate user licenses if the same person is going to be using it?

I was talking with someone today and this discussion came up. Suppose you purchase some software and X user licenses for it. You then want to install another instance of the software, however the ...
22
votes
19answers
31k views

Use of pirated/cracked software for development [closed]

Disclaimer: I by no means condone the use of pirated software. Have you ever witnessed the use of pirated software for development purposes? May be a company didn't have enough money to buy a piece ...
19
votes
3answers
585 views

What is correct course of action when finding free software projects whose executables are spreading a virus

Today I found a GPLed project on SourceForge whose executables are spreading a virus. This fact has been pointed out several times in reviews of the project and the infected executable is still ...
7
votes
2answers
291 views

Do you apply a code of conduct on accepting jobs, projects or requirements?

When writing software for yourself, your company or third parties, do you always consider certain principles, values, standards, or rules of behavior that guide the decisions, procedures and systems ...

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