Principles of the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice

In 1999, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) and the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc (ACM) published a code of eight Principles related to the behavior of and decisions made by professional software engineers, including practitioners, educators, managers, supervisors and policy makers, as well as trainees and students of the profession.

The Principles are:

    1. Public: Software engineers shall act consistently with the public interest.
    2. Client and Employer: Software engineers shall act in a manner that is in the best interests of their client and employer, consistent with the public interest.
    3. Product: Software engineers shall ensure that their products and related modifications meet the highest professional standards possible.
    4. Judgment: Software engineers shall maintain integrity and independence in their professional judgment.
    5. Management: Software engineering managers and leaders shall subscribe to and promote an ethical approach to the management of software development and maintenance.
    6. Profession: Software engineers shall advance the integrity and reputation of the profession consistent with the public interest.
    7. Colleagues: Software engineers shall be fair to and supportive of their colleagues.
    8. Self: Software engineers shall participate in lifelong learning regarding the practice of their profession and shall promote an ethical approach to the practice of the profession.

Computers have a central and growing role in commerce, industry, government, medicine, education, entertainment and society at large. To ensure, as much as possible, that their efforts will be used for good, software engineers must commit themselves to making software engineering a beneficial and respected profession. In accordance with that commitment, software engineers shall adhere to the previous Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.

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