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Code of Ethics

Ethics is a very powerful term which according to the various definitions available on the internet states that – “science/study of morality”. Basically looking into what is good or bad and acting in accordance with this internal insight.

Though this is a 'nice to hear' word and there have been one such thing also defined called “Software Engineering Code of Ethics” (opens in a new window), it is quite difficult to comprehend what this entitles a person in the field of IT (or non-it) to do.

It is very desirable to follow the code of ethics but it is not always so as each person – just like the self image principle of the human mind, also creates this ethical self for the safeguard of their self image.

Sphere of Influence

Each one of us in the process of defining the self image also defines what is called as the sphere of influence. This is the boundary within which each one of us are willing to do anything for all the people who lie within the boundary. These people usually include family and close friends.

As part of the defining the sphere of influence, each one of us try and keep track of what benefits we would get by including these folks within the sphere of influence. There is a constant threat assessment of these people to the self image that was created. All this is a normal part of the existence as a human being, but care needs to be taken to ensure that we are aware of things that define how we interact with others and about who are in/out of the sphere of influence.

Sphere of influence is also a very interesting paradigm as it usually consists of people who tend to listen and/or act in accordance with what we want or wish. The same is also applicable to us as well as we also tend to give them or do what they want us to do as part of this give and take barter system.

The ethical aspect of this paradigm is that we consider what is good or bad keeping this sphere in mind.

As we grow in our career path, what happens is that we tend to slowly increase this sphere of influence to other areas that was not originally part of us.

It is a progressive growth from being a developer to a project manager, where as a developer, one is only interested in salary and learning, while as a (good) project manager, the interest apart from salary and learning also is in how other systems work and how exactly can he/she grow up the corporate ladder. There is a deeper understanding of how to handle people and how to decide on what to do and what not to do. The sphere at this level includes things like profit margin of the company, business needs of the organization, resource utilization, operating efficiency etc.

These though need not consist of actual people, it sure does contain all the aspects that drive people to do certain things to benefit the business of the organization which later percolates to the benefit of the employees of the organization.

Ethical Behaviour

A person can be considered to behave ethically only if their sphere of influence is large enough to contain all the aspects to make an organization successful.

What is right or wrong can then be attributed to a proper intent and need, and once this is done, we would witness sacrifices and great leadership skills at the same time within a person.

This "intent awareness" also results in a better self image of the person who in turn would be able to groom others in the same path of code of ethics.

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