It's easy to forget that the code you write does things that affect real humans. Social networks letting your data be stolen. Racist algorithms that decide how long someone goes to prison. Self-driving cars choosing which lives to save in a crash. Developers make all of those things happen.

Are you responsible for the software you design or the code you write? Ask the Volkswagen engineer who's in prison for creating software that allowed their cars to “cheat” on emissions tests. Or think of the ethical issues if you're creating IoT devices that spy on users and report back to the company. And what about social networks that allow users’ data to be stolen? Or self-driving cars that have to choose which lives to save in a crash? Designers and developers make all of these things happen. It's easy to forget that what we design and build affects real humans. We need to be aware of how much power we've been given and start taking responsibility for what we create.


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Philip Sharp at 15:15 on 1 Aug 2019

Good examples. Would have liked to hear more actionable advice.