A computer programming code of ethics would guide decisions made by computer programmers while performing their duties, either independently or while holding a computer programming position for an employer. A computer programming code of ethics can be both created by or provided to a business or an individual computer programmer. Several versions of a computer programming code of ethics are in existence, with many of them adhering to similar underlying concepts.
A computer programmer needs to agree to and abide by creating parts of computer code with as much accuracy as possible. This entails not only making sure that the software works according to the client or employer's expectations, but also that no logic or security errors are in the computer code. For example, this means making sure that customer services representatives do not have access to hiring or payroll software, but instead making sure the customer services representatives only have access to software applications used to help the customers. Avoiding such errors within the computer code can save the client or employer both legal and financial troubles later on.
Each computer programmer must recognize and note those who helped create any software applications he works on. If a programmer is going to use even just one line of another programmer's written computer code, the current programmer must note it both in the comments of the software application and in any user documentation the programmer might create.
Programmers must create computer code that is laid out logically and simply for others in the industry to read. Making sloppy or illogically placed computer code can create confusion from programmer to programmer. This can cost clients and employers lost money in the time it takes to literally "decode" the original computer code. A programmer can avoid this by commenting each code module or section by labeling what the module is called, what it does and what it is intended to do as it reacts with different modules of the application, even if the module may seem self-explanatory to the programmer.
Computer programmers must never knowingly or indirectly create malicious and harmful software such as a virus or spyware. This includes agreeing to not create or be involved in defaming the computer programming industry with deliberately inefficient computer code or purposefully releasing inherently broken software to the public domain. A programmer should never purposefully break another programmer's computer code simply to increase the perception of her ability to a prospective client or employer.
All documentation a programmer creates needs to be logical and easy to read. It must be void of defamatory remarks, false accusations or vague warnings. Instead, the documentation must properly cite any resources used to help create the software or perform research, and document any person or employee that had a hand in making the software application a success. The documentation must not falsely deny the presence of "bugs" or "quirks" within the software. Finally, the programmer may only release any coding documentation within the agreement between the programmer and the client or employer. For example, the programmer would not be allowed to share the code or user documentation created for company "A" with a competitor company "B" without permission.
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