I cannot say I've done any serious thought or research into the idea of testing, ethics, morality, and all that kind of stuff together. I'm one of those strange people, though, who actually has a life outside of the world of software development (note tongue in cheek) and, in that life, I spend a lot of time thinking about ethics and morality (note in my bio the Masters of Ministry degree program I'm working through).
So, that said, I just want to open the conversation here and see what the rest of you think. Here's some questions to throw out there just to start the discussion.
- Is there any benefit to having a code of ethics or a code of conduct within the software testing world? Why or why not?
- Who should make the determination for that ethos? What would their qualifications be?
- What are the potential gray areas when considering software testing and ethics? Are there cases where doing something that may be morally or ethically problematic in most situations be completely acceptable when done in conjunction with software testing (like deliberately breaking "anti-cyber terrorism" laws while testing security software)?
Of course, there could be more questions that this whole topic raises, but this is at least a starting point.
What do you think? Anyone else considering these ideas?