an essay

Project Description:

required formatting:
- left (and right) justified
- single-spaced
- 2-inch left and right margins
- page numbers (if more than one page is submitted

you should use content from the course to this point to consider and address the following questions:

problem 1 (2 points)

using content from lecture and the text, identify the necessary characteristics of a profession? how is a computer-related career, such as programming or system administration similar to such a description of a profession? how is a computer-related career unlike such a profession?

problem 2 (8 points)

use the modified ethical evaluation method described below to analyze the following two scenarios:

scenario 1:

you are the manager of a software development group within a large corporation. your group would be more productive if the pcs were upgraded, but you do not have any money left in your annual equipment budget. because of employee turnover, you do have plenty of money left in your personnel budget, but corporate rules do not allow you to spend personnel funds on equipment.

if you overspend your equipment budget, you will receive a negative performance review. you also know that whatever money is left over in your budget at the end of the fiscal year is "swept up" by the corporation. in other words, you cannot carry over a surplus from one year to the next --- your group loses the money.

you complain about your situation to the manager of another group, who has the opposite problem. she has plenty of money left in her equipment budget, but her personnel expenses are going to exceed her labor budget unless she does something. she offers to buy you the $50,000 of equipment you need out of her budget, if you pick up $50,000 of her personnel expenses out of your budget. if you take this action, both groups will get what they need, and neither group will exceed any of its budgets.

use the modified ethical evaluation method described below to analyze what decision you could make in this situation.

scenario 2:

two weeks ago, you started a new job as system administrator for a computer lab at a small college. wanting to make a good impression, you immediately set out to learn more about the various application provided to the users of the lab. one of the packages, an engineering design tool, seemed way out-of-date. you looked through the lab's file of licensing agreements to see how much it would cost to get an upgrade. to your surprise, you discovered that the college had never purchased a license for the software --- it is running a bootlegged copy!

when you bring this to the attention of your boss, the college's director of information technology, he says, "the license for this software would cost us $10,000, which we don't have in our budget right now. this software is absolutely necessary for our engineering students, though. maybe we can get the license next yea. for the time being, just keep the current version running. "

how would you respond to your manager?

modified analysis method:

1. identify a practice involving cyber technology, or a feature of that technology, that is controversial from a moral perspective
1a. explicitly identify the practice or feature of ict that results in an ethical challenge
1b. disclose any hidden or opaque features of that practice or feature
1c. identify topic areas, other than ethics, that the practice or feature is composed of (i.e. legal, political,
social, other)
2. analyze the issue
2a. determine whether or not a conceptual muddle is part of the practice or feature
2b. determine if a policy vacuum emerges from the conceptual muddle
3. deliberate on the ethical issue:
3a. what decision would a utilitarian evaluation of the scenario/problem require?
3b. what decision would a kant-like deontological evaluation of the scenario/problem
3c. what decision would a virtue ethic-based evaluation of the scenario/problem require?
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