Software Developers and Ethics
Looking for Software Developers with ethics can be crucial to your project’s success. I don’t even need to know your project to know that. In fact, there are several aspects to look for in order to identify an ethical developer to work with. First though, let’s talk more about business ethics and principles themselves.
Ethics are a set of principles and values that one adopts to separate right from wrong. Essentially, eithics controls our behaviour and the choices we make. However, it’s not just individuals who need ethics. Businesses need ethics too. For instance, Microsoft donates more than $1 billion a year to charities and non profit companies. That’s might be considered corporate ethics in play. Another example is the SAS Institute, whose workers are given subsidised child care, as well as unlimited sick days and a free health centre!
Now, you may ask yourself why businesses even need to be ethical? Sure, it makes them look good, doesn’t it? Also, it’s great for business by showing their clients that they participate in ethical practices. This might make the company appear more community focussed. However, ethics is more than just donating to causes or offering great employee benefits. Ultimately, it’s about the mindset and values that drive the entire enterprise. The ethics of the company are the (often invisible) set of guidelines that help each employee make the right decisions day in, day out.
Ethics is how, in my opinion, you keep doing the job right. This is especially visible when tough decisions need to be made or people are under pressure. The personal and company ethics guide the decision making process and help avoid impulsive, short-sighted or selfish decisions. In my experience, those bad choices always come back to haunt their makers.
Ethics in software development.
Now, all this is especially so when it comes to services like those provided by a software development company. Think about it, you’re putting your business in a developer’s hands. They have to get it right! Developers are constantly making decisions that could directly effect their clients’ businesses, often for years to come. Many of these little and big decisions won’t even cross the client’s desk. That’s because they may seem insignificant a lot of the time, or not merit and discussion to decide on. However, cumulatively, they can shift the very direction of your products, services and business (depending on how heavily you rely on that software).
Without a strong, clearly defined ethical value set to guide them, your software development partners can make fewer well informed decisions than otherwise. Ultimately, things will may wrong. You may get angry and the costs will blow out. I’ve seen it happen time and again. That’s why I emphasise team working, ethics and relationships over the technical skills. Sure, you need those skills but in truth a lot of firms have them. What not everyone brings to the table is a genuine will to help you succeed.
Here are the 2 fundamentals for finding a software developer with ethics:
When speaking with potential software development partners, look for their ‘quality in communication’. For instance, are they updating you regularly and in depth whilst asking lots of questions about your business model and strategy? If so, that’s a great sign. Are they keen to have that one, last, late night video-conference to clarify some points? This means they’re engaged with your company vision and business plan. Additionally, it strongly suggests they’re proactive. The more questions you get from them, the better (if you need to, get them to sign an NDA). Ultimately, good quality and regular communication probably means that they care.
Honesty, in business as with all relationships, is not easy. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “honesty is the best policy” and we all know it’s true. If you can’t trust your developers to tell you when they think an idea stinks or a function is a bad idea, you’re at risk of building a product that stinks too. Working with a software developer who will respectfully approach you with complete transparency can be vital. In turn, you need to feel comfortable telling them, respectfully, what is working for you and what is not.
Many Software Firms may imply that all their projects run without the going ever getting tough. Has that been your past experience of any business or personal relationship? Things will go wrong, that’s life. It’s at that point though where the ethics of the business shine through. You need honest, open communication to survive the highs and lows.
Search for the halo
So, there you have it. Check for top quality communication and contact. They communicate well because they care for you and your success. Secondly, look out for honesty. You should feel better about the software developers knowing they are being sincere and genuine. Last but not least, be sure they are working with you rather than for you. Is the developer sitting next to you and sharing the same vision? Only you will know.
One more thing…
You can discover software developers with ethics and principles through reviews. I mean, It’s worthwhile to see if previous clients have felt valued. Alternatively, check out ‘About Us’ pages. These can inform you on how the company work with their clients. See Laneways.Agency’s ‘About Us’ page as an example.
If you feel Laneways.Agency can help your business develop its presence in the marketplace call (03) 7016-1301 or use the form below.