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Programmers are Having a Huge Discussion About the Unethical and Illegal Things They've Been Asked to Do


A programmer less than happy with his code.

Robert Martin says civilization depends on the work of programmers, but "civilization doesn't understand this yet."

Credit: Tim Regan/Flickr

Earlier this week, a post written by programmer and teacher Bill Sourour went viral. It's called "Code I’m Still Ashamed Of."

In it he recounts a horrible story of being a young programmer who landed a job building a website for a pharmaceutical company. The whole post is worth a read, but the upshot is he was duped into helping the company skirt drug advertising laws in order to persuade young women to take a particular drug. 

He later found out the drug was known to worsen depression and at least one young woman committed suicide while taking it. He found out his sister was taking the drug and warned her off it.

Decades later, he still feels guilty about it, he told Business Insider. And he was inspired to write the post after he viewed a talk by Robert Martin, called "The Future of Programming." Martin is a famous-in-his-world programmer and speaker better known as "Uncle Bob."  

 

From Business Insider
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