Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A question of ethics?

One thing that I have always struggled with regarding my current job is being part of the "war machine". Obviously, I know that war is a horrible and deeply saddening affair, but I also realize that it's a necessary evil and that if we don't maintain our military might that someone else will. So it's kind of a bittersweet type of thing, and I also take comfort in the fact that I work on a defense missile (so in a certain aspect you can say I'm stopping war, or at least part of it).

But on to the real purpose of this post. I just saw an article on Slashdot, and it really struck a cord with me. The article basically talks about the dangers of being careless and how all engineering/programming should be deliberate, but a lot of the comments just point the finger at management/capitalism/other "invisible hands". I agree with the principle and have even experienced it myself, but I believe that trying to point the finger at someone else without taking some personal responsibility is just plain dumb. There's always pressure to get things done in any job, but I believe that the biggest responsibility of any job (not just engineering/programming) is to make the judgment about how crucial any potential problem is and take the appropriate action.