top band

Saturday 1:55 p.m.–2:25 p.m.

The Ethical Consequences Of Our Collective Activities


Audience level:
Best Practices & Patterns


As more of the world is controlled by software, software developers have an increasing obligation to serve that world well. Yet, we don't yet have a sense of what makes a good ethical standard. The fast pace, success, and youth (in both historical and demographic terms) of our industry have given us the sense that such a standard might not be required. This talk will correct that misconception.


In this talk, I will survey ethical and moral lessons from the general to the specific. I'll begin with other professions, moving through to software development in general, then the free, libre, and open source software movement where Python has its roots, and finally Python's own history, in particular the CP4E initiative. I will also propose a conceptual framework for the conversation that needs to happen about what our ethical obligations are to society, and finally, my own vision for what those standards should be.
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