Hear programmers confess about the code “unconscious”, filled with shame and regret

Tram Ho

Ethics in programming is something that coder should be learning, regret that most developers coming out of programming bootcamp are not taught anything about it.

Last week, the developer and programming instructor Bill Sourour published an article that attracted a lot of attention from the technology community: “The lines of code I feel humiliated when writing”.

In the article, Sourour tells of a time as a young programmer for a pharmaceutical company. He had been tricked into designing websites to help them wriggle regulations on drug advertising and persuade women to buy a drug that the company designated.

Later, he discovered that the drug actually only worsened the user’s depression, even a woman decided to commit suicide while taking the drug. When he saw his own sister also use it, he had to warn her.

Decades later, Sourour still feels guilty about this. That’s why after watching the video of the talk called “The Future of Programming” by famous developer Robert Martin, he was inspired to share these with the IT community around the world.

Developers “kill people”

In his talk, Martin said that software developers should soon find a way to overcome themselves in the era of everything we do every day, from phone calls, driving, flying, etc. related to the software. Dozens of people have died due to software errors in cars; Hundreds of people have also died due to software bugs in aviation.

Martin said: “We are killing people even though we did not join this industry before to do that. This is getting worse and worse. ”

He pointed out that there are signs that developers will increasingly face this issue in the future and cite Michael Horn, Volkswagen’s US CEO, who has also criticized software engineers. In the scandal deceive customers about the waste parameters of automakers offering. However, Horn later resigned after prosecutors in the US prosecuted the company for making a decision from the leadership but tried to hide it.

But in this case, Martin pointed out that it is the programmers who write down those lines of deceptive code. “It is us. Some programmers still write such fraudulent lines of code. Do you think they are aware of what they are doing? I think they know but still do it. ”

Martin ended his talk with a loud call to action in which he warned developers that what they were doing could kill thousands of people.

He did not forget to assert that it was not only unintentionally causing an accident for cars, airplanes or deliberately programmed to release air into the air, software is also being used by many Wall Street finance companies stock prices in the market.

When the programmer confessed

Sourour’s confession article stormed Reddit and tech site Hacker News by attaching a long list of programmers’ confessions to the unethical things they have been asked to do.

A developer confesses that his company is still making people sign up for weekly newsletter emails even if they choose to opt out (contrary to federal regulations). Programmers here have to write code every day to help the company’s sales staff target potential customers. When a coder asked the technology director about this action, he was laid off. And now, he says, many programmers are still working on collecting location data for many users for technology companies.

Another person revealed that he had been hired to write software for a radio device and designed that it could use reserved channels for emergency services because doing so would help the device work quickly. than. “Faster but illegal, not to mention the interception on emergency channels. But many engineers are still willing to follow every requirement given, ”he said.

In another case, a programmer shared that when he was in practice, he was asked by his boss to write some copy code back from the rival website to “show the demo to investors”. He felt this was no different from deceiving investors.

It is noteworthy that the story of a developer is required to edit backups of some financial data and re-run year-end financial statements for a company by restoring an old backup. He refused to follow and “a few years later believe that the customer was arrested for tax evasion.”

Following the confession list, a developer said that he was placed as a product aimed at children by designing a “gambling game that leverages the strategic management education game for children.” No longer daring to work there.

What the programming bootcamp is missing

One common point in these stories is that if a developer refuses to fulfill the request, companies will still hire other coder to do it. Martin pointed out that this may be true at the present time, but in the end it is still an excuse to avoid responsibility.

Robert Martin

Robert Martin

He said: “Many people believe that they are controlling the world but only write the rules and give them to us. It is we who write the rules for computers to understand and follow. ”

When developers can’t control themselves, someday if disaster strikes, lawmakers will do it for them by controlling them to do everything from products to programming languages. they use.

Martin also commented that ethics in programming is something that coder should always learn about the regret of most programmers coming out of bootcamp (popular programming training program in many places, especially in Silicon Valley) is not taught anything about it.

Developers now need an organization that manages and monitors their product-related fields – something that today’s IT associations have not yet touched.

ITZone via GenK

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Source : GenK