Report: Writing a Code of Ethics by E-Mail: My Adventures with Some Software Engineers
|Title||Report: Writing a Code of Ethics by E-Mail: My Adventures with Some Software Engineers|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2000|
|Secondary Title||Science Communication|
The Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Association of Computing Machinery set up a joint committee (Software Engineering Ethics and Professional Practices [SEEPP]) to write a code of ethics for software engineers. Work was to be “primarily” by e-mail. SEEPP has now completed its work. Acting as participant observers, we concluded the following: (1) e-mail, while perhaps saving travel, did not (as hoped) speed the process of code writing; (2) e-mail exchanges resembled those of conventional mail rather than those via the phone; (3) e-mail was not as reliable as phone, fax, or conventional mail (a surprising number of messages went astray); (4) e-mail did not encourage communication among strangers, overcome apathy, or cure the effects of overcommitment; and (5) e-mail was no substitute for face-to-face meetings (indeed, it seemed to require some such meetings to work well).