Joe O'Reilly

Professional Issues - Blog entry 1

28 Oct 2013 — How my knowledge of social issues in IT will affect my future practice in relation to the BCS Code of Conduct

As an IT professional with Dyslexia I’ve always been aware that software, services and people in the IT profession should do their best to cater to those with any kind of disability. My reading while quick is often error prone and sometimes doesn’t convey the meaning of the text to me fully, to cope with this I have made use of the text-to-speech software built into the OS X and iOS Operating Systems. I often find myself struggling with image based PDFs and poorly formatted web pages that cause this technology to make mistakes and sometimes not work at all. After graduating and returning to work in IT, and software engineering in particular, I will do my best to follow The Chartered Institute for IT’s (2013) Code of Conduct’s item 1.d which says “promote equal access to the benefits of IT and seek to promote the inclusion of all sectors in society wherever opportunities arise.”. I will achieve this by doing my upmost to make the software and documents I create and work on accessible to all users.

The Chartered Institute for IT’s (2013) Code of Conduct item 1.a states that as IT professionals we should “have due regard for public health, privacy, security and wellbeing of others and the environment.”. Creating websites and publishing software to the internet allows for an audience of millions, who can download, view and use your work. These giant scales can turn a minor bug or software inefficiency into a serious social or environmental issue. A popular App with a bug that drains a users battery could cause a million people to charge their iPhones an extra time, resulting in a huge increase in harmful emissions. Avoiding these sorts of problems isn’t easy but I will take measures, like continuous integration and unit testing to ensure work I publish isn’t going to harm the environment indirectly.


References

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (2013) BCS Code of Conduct Available at: http://www.bcs.org/category/6030. [Accessed 23 October 2013]

Next

Professional Issues - Blog entry 2

Previous

Task Sheet 7