Codes of Conduct are necessary in any companies, organizations, and communities, especially related to technology. After reading Jesse Noller’s post “The Code of Conduct,” I completely agree with his philosophy. In class we talked about the code of ethics that is published by ACM. My thoughts are still the same, where it is absolutely necessary to have some code of conduct or standards that people know what is right and wrong. The reason to have a code is to prevent avoidable controversies or situations. If it is clearly laid out in a code of conduct to not copy and paste homework and pass it on as your own, then the student who does this, has no stance on whether their actions were right or wrong. With having a code, this whole situation of a student cheating isn’t necessarily avoidable, but is dealt with very smoothly because there are guidelines laid out.
Relating this to Noller’s post, the Python Software Foundation also has a code to avoid any incidents that should not happen. Noller says that a code of conduct is “not there to take away your rights…it’s there to show everyone what is not acceptable behavior, and to show what repercussions there are if anyone violates this behavior.” This answers the question as to why it is necessary to have a code of conduct, and also proves that codes of conduct are not just another form of political correctness.
Instead of Code of Conduct from one of the articles, I decided to look Ford’s Code of Conduct Handbook since I will be working there in the fall. I have briefly read through this for when I interned, but had not thought about this is complete detail.
Ford begins their handbook by giving a disclaimer, saying that the Handbook is “a brief guide to conduct expected of you while you are working at Ford Motor Company or providing services to the Company.” This seems like a typical clause to have, so companies can say that they did not put everything in the handbook, or Code. They continue a disclaimer even further, which states that someone “should consult with the appropriate Company attorney who is responsible for any matter that concerns you.” I do not find this statement surprising, but a little interesting because I would think that a company would typically say, “talk to your manager” before they say “talk to a Company attorney.”
Ford also has the similar section to the “A Code of Conduct for the Go community.” In Ford’s Code, they have a specific section for “Duty to Report Violations,” which I would compare to Go’s Code of “Reporting issues.” The Go community has a standard in reporting a “conduct-related issue.” Ford is also very specific saying that if “you become aware of a known or suspected violation of Company Policy…you should report it promptly to one of the following.” This is expected, as Ford has been rated as one of the most ethical companies for the past 6 years by Ethisphere, who specializes in defining ethical practices, among other things (https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2015/03/09/ford-named-a-2015-worlds-most-ethical-company-by-ethisphere.html).
There are many other guidelines included in the Ford handbook, but most of them appear to be standard.
Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net