Your boss asks you to finish a project early to please a client, even though doing so would risk delivering an inferior and unsecure product.

Do you do it?

As a developer on a project, you take a call from a client asking for a few “easy” changes.

You agree without thinking. Wait. Should you have escalated that call to your manager?

These are some of the ethical dilemmas faced by IT professionals every day.

Knowing what to say or do isn’t as straight-forward as it may seem -- the wrong response could land you and your company in the firing line.

The clients calls to request some software changes. What would you do?

 

A series of interactive videos designed to help ICT professionals make good decisions when faced by such dilemmas has been launched by the ACS.

The videos, Overseas CodeshipDevelopment Methodology and Early Launch, each outline an ethical dilemma and asks the viewer what they would do next. It then presents three options, similar to choose-your-own-adventure books, and asks the viewer to select one. It then plays a short video showing how the scenario would have played out. Each video is 2 to 3 minutes long.

Associate Professors in Information Technology Yeslam Al-Saggaf and Oliver Burmeister from Charles Sturt University (CSU) School of Computing and Mathematics surveyed 2,315 ACS members on what the felt were the most common ethical problems they faced. They then spoke to a group of 43 ICT professionals on effective strategies to counter these issues.

Al-Saggaf and online learning specialist Katherine Herbert partnered with ACS to make the videos using a two-year Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant.

"We received positive feedback on our initial video, including two prominent international ethicists from Europe, one of whom is now also using it as a teaching resource," said Al-Saggaf.

The videos are also used as a teaching resource in the CSU subject Information Technology Ethics in a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the School of Computing and Mathematics.

An initial video Untested System was launched in 2015.