Ethics and code

Ethics and code: “I programmed this missile or I was out of work”

With more and more technology present in our lives, it is difficult to take a look around us and not see a product or service that has not had to go through the hands of a programmer. However, the job of the programmer does not always consist of having a web upload and display correctly or that our car can calculate the fastest route to a destination.

In a war, if a remote-controlled missile is fired, it takes a software to end up reaching its target. Before drilling to extract oil, many parameters need to be studied to make the operation a success. Even when you are thinking of buying a plane ticket online and suddenly you see that the price goes up the next day. They are processes based on lines of code and, for all of them, it takes a programmer (or, rather, a team of programmers). Is there ethics in the world of programming? We talk to several programmers who work or have worked in different sectors to answer this question.

For the privacy and security of the interviewees (several have confidentiality contracts) we will keep their identities a secret. We will use fictitious names to refer to them, but all the cases we document below are real.