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How Ethical Issues are important to an IT Professional

In this blog the core ethical issues in IT will be discussed, including responsibilities, legalities and general ethics around morality.

Committing to Work You're Competent At

As stated in the BCS (2011) Code of Conduct, as a member one should only undertake work that one is competent in and not falsely claim competence. An example of this would be the NHS computer system scrapping, after more than £10bn of the budgeted £6.4bn was spent on a system that wasn't delivered (The Guardian, 2013).

Keeping up to Scratch

It's important for all professionals to stay up-to-date with advances in their specific field, with Ford learning an expensive lesson when they didn't invest time into researching software production models (IBTimes, 2014). Kaur and Sengupta (2011) also outline other ways in which software development can fail, something a lot of companies fail to learn from.

Knowledge and Understanding of Legislation

As a member of the BCS, it is expected that you both are aware of and abide by the legislation surrounding the IT profession, as described by Duquenoy, Jones. and Blundell (2008). This includes Data Protection Act of 1998, where IT professionals have legal responsibility to treat data with care Crown Court (1998).

Ethics

Knowledge is passed from human to human through some form or another and the rate at which this happens has been accelerating (Industry Tap, 2013). It's very difficult as a mere human to keep on top of these concepts, making it forever more important to allow other people to help you in forms of viewpoints, advice and criticisms. It's important that in our stride to become better in our fields we do not forget our duty to “avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment” (BCS, 2011).

One way in which we may become stray from the righteous path of IT is with the use of bribes or other enticements, like an occurrence seen in the Indian government relatively where the government selection process was manipulated (Independent, 2015). It's important for professionals to remain just that.

Reflection

For me, it seems as though I should remain as updated as possible with what is going on within the IT industry. Specifically this will involve monitoring news sources for IT related news and listening to the advice and suggestions of those much more well established in the field.

References

The Guardian. (2013), Abandoned NHS IT system has cost £10bn so far. [Online] Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/18/nhs-records-system-10bn. [Accessed: 29 October 2015]

BCS. (2011), Code of Conduct for BCS Members. [Online] Available from: http://www.bcs.org/upload/pdf/conduct.pdf. [Accessed: 26 October 2015].

IBTimes (2014), Why Ford Dropped Microsoft, Partnered With Canadian Firm For Updated Sync System. [Online] Available from: http://www.ibtimes.com/why-ford-dropped-microsoft-partnered-canadian-firm-updated-sync-system-1751423. [Accessed: 29 October 2015]

Kaur, R. and Sengupta, Dr J. (2011), Software Process Models and Analysis on Failure of Software Development Projects. [Online] International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Vol 2, (2). Available from: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1306.1068v1.pdf. [Accessed: 29 October 2015]

Duquenoy, P., Jones, S. and Blundell B.G. (2008), Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Computing. Cengage Learning EMEA

Crown Court. (1998), Data Protection Act 1998. [Online] Available from: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents. [Accessed: 29 October 2015].

Industry Tap. (2013), Knowledge Doubling Every 12 Months, Soon to be Every 12 Hours. [Online] Available from: http://www.industrytap.com/knowledge-doubling-every-12-months-soon-to-be-every-12-hours/3950. [Accessed: 29 October 2015].

Independent. (2015), Indian corruption scandal: Dozens linked to bribery claims die mysteriously. [Online] Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/dozens-of-politicians-bureaucrats-and-businessmen-linked-to-indian-bribery-scandal-die-mysteriously-10373435.html. [Accessed: 29 October 2015].