Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ethics and persuasion

The more software continues to take over every aspect of our lives, the more important it will be for us to take a stand and ensure that our ethics are ever-present in our code.
- Bill Sourour: The code I'm still ashamed of 

I'm not asking for advice, just a hypothetical thought exercise....How do professionals take a stand?  A CYA letter to your immediate supervisor?  Voice displeasure all the way up to the CEO if necessary? Quitting? Blog about it and name names?

I'm fascinated by the process of steering my surroundings in the direction I want them to go.  Not meaning I always get my way, just that my input is included in the vector of where things end up.  Most of the time.  Sometimes there should be no compromise.  Probably. See, lots of interesting questions that play out any time a decision is made at work, at home, school, church, at a four-way stop sign, in public policy at all levels of government.

Learning how to be effective at this is difficult.  You have to win allies without alienating people.  Get people to listen and take action without making them feel scolded.  Spread information without sounding like an elitist know-it-all.  Speak with enough confidence that people know you know what you're talking about.  Read the situation to know where ground can be gained. Know how to get attention without sounding whiny.  Strike a balance between appealing to brain and heart.

Know if it's one of the rare times when just completely losing it (whatever that looks like to you) is the way to go in order to make your point.

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