The following came through my timelines a few days back. A guy feels guilty for what he did – as a programmer – when he was young. Basically he built a promotional website for a questionable medicaments. Apparently the drug has side effects of depression and suicidal thoughts. Only after his sister was prescribed the same medicaments, his conscience made him quit what he was doing.
If you write code for a living, there’s a chance that at some point in your career, someone will ask you to code something a little…
Source: The code I’m still ashamed of
Also, the author writes the following:
As developers, we are often one of the last lines of defense against potentially dangerous and unethical practices.
It’s a pretty sure bet everybody long enough in the Internet Business has had moments like this before. For myself, there were a few moments, where I saw an ethical border that I didn’t want to cross. As a student, this was porn. As a professional, it was weapons manufacturers.
Interestingly enough, I even quit two companies for their ambition in IT security. The first pushed datacenter-grade firewalls to small businesses that basically only needed a DSL modem. Through a sales method borrowed from insurance brokers.
The other one at least had a solid technology, but developed a solid sales pitch relying on the same FUD, that crosses that ethical border.
Just like with medication, people shouldn’t buy security out of fear, or any other product for that matter. And any technical person should strive for educating customers and not helping sales people create that fear.