Ep. 122 - The Ethics of Coding (Bill Sourour)

CodeNewbie Podcast

Bill Sourour was twenty-one when he built a website for promoting a drug that he later found may have contributed to a young woman's suicide. We talk to Bill about this incident and the ethical responsibility of coders.

Bill Sourour was twenty-one when he was asked to build a website for a pharmaceutical company. It was a quiz that asked users to select symptoms so that it could recommend a drug as a possible solution. But for almost every option the user selected, the quiz would recommend the same drug. It didn’t feel right, but when Bill later heard that a side effect of the drug was depression and a young woman who had taken that drug had committed suicide, it felt very, very wrong. Bill tells us the story of his first code-related ethical conflict, his thoughts on the role of ethics in coding, and how the incident affects how he approaches code today.

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Bill Sourour

Bill is the founder of DevMastery.com. A 20 year veteran programmer, architect, consultant, and teacher, he helps individual developers and billion dollar organizations become more successful every day.

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