Computing ethics why software engineering courses should include ethics coverage

Arvind Narayanan, Shannon Vallor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Embedding coverage of ethics in software engineering courses would help students draw strength and wisdom from dialogue with other future members of their profession. Without a sense of professional ethics, individuals might justify to themselves conduct that would be much more difficult to justify in front of others. Additionally, professional ethics help engineers understand how ethical standards and values apply to a particular type of work. Discussions of case studies, on the other hand, allow students to confront the tricky interplay between the sometimes competing ethical values and principles relevant in real-world settings. Educators should also seek to instill professionalism in students. Collaborative activities could help reinforce the sense of belonging. Students could be tasked with doing a collective survey of ethical lapses in the software industry, along with a survey of ethical attitudes among employees of various companies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-25
Number of pages3
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)

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