Professionalism and Ethics in Computing: what on earth does this mean?

In the text and pages that follow we will explore just what professionalism and ethics means and how it applies to computing in general. We will do this by breaking the overall subject up into three distinct main areas, namely: Professional Bodies, Professionalism, and Legislation.

Within the first section, Professional Bodies, we will address four distinct questions in order to progress, namely: what are professional bodies, are there many, what benefits are there to membership and what impact can they have on society, business and the duty of professionals within the workplace?

In the second section, Professionalism, we will explore what it means to be a professional by looking at issues such as professional codes of conduct, continuing professional development and ethical conflict resolution. In addressing these issues we will expend some effort in better understanding two key principles, namely: ethics and integrity.

In the third section, Legislation, we will briefly touch upon and introduce some of the Acts of Parliament that aim to influence how we might conduct ourselves as professionals. In doing this we will touch upon, again, only briefly, some of the legal parameters that a professional must work within in order to ensure that they conduct their affairs within the ethical and legal frameworks that they are required to work in adherence to.

Finally, we will conclude the text with a brief summary reflecting back over what we have found cumulatively across the three principal sections we have explored.

A final note before we proceed. It should be understood that each section of text contained here is cumulative, that is, it stands upon, and relies on understanding of the preceding sections; thus, it is recommended that the text be read in a linear fashion from start to end in order to extract the greatest understanding. The text is also fairly complex in places, thus, while finding the time can be difficult, it would be to the reader’s benefit to read the text at least a couple of times, if possible, toward understanding the ideas and actualities contained within it.


You can navigate between the different sections and subsections of the course using the menu at the top of the screen. You’ll also find a link to the next page at the bottom of each page.

Enjoy the course!

Next: Professional Bodies