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The Ethical Software Architect

May 2018 Presentation
Eltjo Poort (CGI), Michael Keeling (IBM Watson Group)

This talk covers tools to explore ethical scenarios that any software architect can run into and considers how to improve ourselves as ethical architects.


Software Engineering Institute




As the prison sentence of Volkswagen engineer James Liang has shown, software architecture can have far-reaching legal and ethical consequences. And although few architects will ever be involved in ethical dilemmas of the magnitude Mr. Liang had to deal with, most of us will at some time or other be involved in architectural choices with ethical impact. As software becomes ubiquitous, its impact on privacy, transparency, equality, or general happiness and well-being of people is felt by everyone.

In this interactive tutorial, presenters Eltjo Poort and Michael Keeling will first explain why architects should care about ethics, and then hand them some tools to help navigate the quagmire of ethical dilemmas. Together, we will explore some stories—scenarios that any software architect can run into in their daily work. At the end of the workshop, we will discuss ways in which we can all become more ethical software architects.