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Chapter 4

Page history last edited by Jerome E. Jose 13 years, 11 months ago

1. What is professional ethics?


  • Professional ethics concerns the moral issues that arise because of the specialist knowledge that professionals attain, and how the use of this knowledge should be governed when providing a service to the public.




2. Who is a computer professional?


  • Someone who is in the field of computer information technology field that shows the proper codes of conduct.


3. Do computer professionals have special responsibilities that ordinary computer users do not have? If so, what are some of those special responsibilities?


  • For me, I believe that all professions have responsibilities. So, Computer Professionals also have some responsibilities like: The 10 It commandments. These rules shall be followed especially by the computer professionals because they serve as a role model for those other aspiring users who will also be professionals someday.


4. Why is it useful to limit our discussion of moral issues affecting computer professionals to issues affecting software engineers and engineering teams, computer science instructors, and IT support professionals, as opposed to professionals such as lawyers and accountants who also use computers and who may work for computer corporations?


  • For me, we are our own master. Every profession have their own codes of conduct that they should follow. This also goes to computer proffesionals. It's just a matter of principles and ideas and the way it should be implemented.


5. How do Gotterbarn, Miller, and Rogerson propose that we define the profession of software engineering? Who is included in a software engineering team?


  • Software technical writers, software quality analysis, managers and supervisors are included in a software engineering team. Gotternbarn, Miller, and Rogerson suggest that a software engineering team can be thought of as those who contribute by direct participation to the analysis, specification, design, development, etc.


6. What are professional codes of ethics and what are the functions that this code serves?


  • Professional codes of ethics are like rules that computer professionals should obey. It may dispense with difficult issues of what behavior is "ethical". et out the procedures to be used in specific ethical situations and delineate the procedures to determine whether a violation of the code of ethics occurred and, if so, what remedies should be imposed.


7. List some of the benefits of professional code of ethics. Describe some of the criticisms of these codes have.


  • It will help Computer Professionals in their Decision Making in their day to day activities. 


8. Why does John Ladd believe that professional codes of ethics rest on a series of errors that are both intellectual and moral? Describe the arguments that he uses to provide his position.


  • John Ladd believes that: -Ethics is basically an “open ended, reflective, and critical intellectual activity”. Ethic is a field of study that consists of issues to be examined, explored,                                      discussed, deliberated and argued.

               -The confusions that they introduce with respect to responsibilities involving microethics versus macroethics.

                     -Ladd believes that attaching disciplinary procedures and sanctions to codes effectively turns them into legal rules or authoritative rules of conduct rather than                  ethical rules.



9. Explain Don Gotterbarn’s three-fold distinction: codes of ethics, codes of conduct and codes of practice. Do Gotterbarn’s distinctions help to eliminate any of the criticisms that have been raised against professional codes?


  • Don Gotternbarn’s describes code of ethics as "aspirational" because they often serve as mission statements for the profession and can thus provide vision objectives. Codes of conduct, on contrary, address the professional and the professional's attitude and behavior. Finally, code of practice relate to operational activities within a profession. And yes, that Gotternbarn’s do help to eliminate any of the criticisms that have been raised against professional codes.


10. How does IEEE-CS/ACM Software engineering code of ethics and Professional practice (SECEPP) improve on earlier professional codes?


  • SECEPP is intended as the code for the software engineering profession and it  is distinctive in that it has been adopted two international computing societies: ACM and IEEE-CS.


11. Do computer professionals have a presumed, or prima facie, obligation to loyalty to their employers? Explain.


  • It is not an obligation of anyone but it is an added point because it will help build a good long lasting relationship.


12. Describe the arguments by Ronald Duska and John Ladd regarding employee loyalty.


  • Ronald Duska argues that in employment contexts, the question of loyalty arises only in special relationships that are based on mutual enrichment. In a relationship that pursues self interests, the notion of loyalty does not apply. John Ladd believes that for corporations, loyalty can only be in one direction. He argues that a corporation cannot be loyal to its employee because the corporation goals must be competitively linked to benefits employees bring to corporation.


13. What, exactly, is whistle blowing? According to Michael Martin, what are the three general approaches that have been taken in the analysis of whistle-blowing cases?


  • According to Michael Martin:

          -Condemned as an action taken by disloyal trouble makers who rat on their companies and undermine teamwork based on the hierarchy of authority within the corporation. 

          -Regarded as a tragedy to be avoided (through it may sometimes be a “necessary evil”)

          -Affirmed unequivocally as an obligation that is paramount in certain circumstances where it overrides all other considerations, whatever the sacrifice involved in meeting it.


14. Describe Richard De George’s criteria for determining when one is required to blow the whistle as opposed to when one is permitted to do so. Are De George’s criteria useful in making this distinction? Explain.


  • De George said that:

          -The harm that will be done by the product to the public is serious and considerable.

          -The engineers have made their concerns known to their superiors

          -The engineers have received no satisfaction from their immediate supervisors, and they have exhausted the channels available within the corporation, including going to the board of           directors.

          -The engineers have documented evidence that would convince a reasonable, impartial observer that his view of the situation is correct and the company policy is wrong.

          -There is strong evidence that making the information public will in fact prevent the threatened serious harm.


15. In which ways do Gene James and Kenneth Alpern disagree with De George’s model for whistle-blowing?


  • For Gene James, he suggests that an individual has a moral obligation to blow a whistle even when only three conditions of De George are met. Kenneth Alpern argues that De George’s model lets engineers off too easily from their obligation to blow the whistle.


16. Describe John Ladd’s argument in defense of De George’s position on whistle-blowing.


  • Gene James believes that De George’s conditions that require to blow a whistle are too lenient. James suggests that an individual has a moral obligation to blow a whistle even when only three conditions of De George are met. Kenneth Alpern argues that De George’s model lets engineers off too easily from their obligation to blow the whistle.


17. Why does Helen Nissenbaum believe that the notion of accountability has been systematically undetermined in the computer age? How does she distinguish between accountability and responsibility?


  • Accountability is not just like responsibility. It's much bigger than that in a way. In computing concept, accountability means “ …there will be someone, or several people to answer not only for malfunctions in life critical systems that cause or risk grave injuries and cause of infrastructure and large monetary loses.”


18. What does Nissenbaum mean by “the problem of many hands” in a computing context?


  • It is difficult to pin-point certain individual when something goes wrong because may were part of making a system.


19. Why does Nissenbaum believe that it is important to distinguish between moral accountability and legal liability?


  • It is important to keep accountability distinct from liability. Liability offers a partial solution to problems resulting from computer malfunctions.


20. According to Don Gotternbarn, what is required for a model of risk analysis to be adequate in the software development process for safety-critical systems?


  • Gotternbarn argues that a model of risk assessment based solely on cost effectiveness ad using only criteria such as budget and schedule narrow. He also noted that the only stakeholders typically given a consideration in risk assessment models for software development are the software developers and customers.





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