Reference no: EM131227902 , Length: word count:4500
Professional Issues in Computing Case Studies
Complete all sections -
1. The New Tax Laws
A software development company has just produced a suite that incorporates the new tax laws and calculates tax for both individuals and small businesses. The president of the company knows that the program has a number of bugs. He also believes the first company to put this kind of software on the market is likely to capture the largest market share. The company widely advertises the program.
When a customer downloads an installation of the product, the company includes a disclaimer of responsibility for errors resulting from the use of the program. This is buried deep in the Terms & Conditions that the customer must agree to if they to proceed with the installation.
The company expects it will receive a number of complaints, queries, and suggestions for modification. The company plans to use these to make changes and eventually issue updated, improved, and debugged versions. The president argues that this is common practice in the IT industry and that people who buy version 1.0 of a program can reasonably be expected to know this and take proper precautions. Because of bugs however, a number of users filed incorrect tax returns and were penalised by the ATO.
2. The Inventory Control System
A small software company is working on an integrated inventory control system for a large shoe manufacturer whose products sell nationally. The system will collect sales data daily from retail outlets nationwide. This quantitative information will be used by the accounting, shipping, and ordering departments. It will have primary impact on how the shoe manufacturer runs its own business.
The inventory functions are critical to the smooth operation of the system. Jane, a quality assurance engineer with the software developer, suspects that the inventory functions of the system are not sufficiently tested, although they have passed all their contracted tests. She is pressured by her employers to sign off on the software. Legally she is only required to perform those tests which have been agreed to in the original contract. However, her considerable experience in software testing has led her to be concerned over the potential risks of the system. Her bosses say that they will go out of business if they do not deliver the software on time, so punitive are the contract terms for late delivery. Jane replies that if the Inventory sub-system fails, it will significantly harm their client and its employees. If the potential failure were to threaten lives, it would be clear to Jane that she should refuse to sign off. But since the degree of threatened harm is not safety critical, Jane has a difficult decision.
3. The Traffic Control System
A software consultant is negotiating a contract with a medium sized regional town to design and implement a traffic control system to make the flow of traffic more efficient in peak hours. He recommends they select a particular system out of several available systems on the market. The consultant fails to mention that he is a major stockholder of the company producing recommended system.
4. The Employment System
In determining requirements for an information system to be used in an employment agency, the client explains that, when displaying applicants whose qualifications appear to match those required for a particular job, the names of applicants who are Australian citizens are to be displayed ahead of non-citizen applicants on the output list. Moreover, the names of married male applicants are to be displayed ahead of female applicants.
5. Joe gets some extra time
Joe is working on a project for his computer science course. The instructor has allotted a fixed amount of computer time for this project. Joe has run out of time, but has not yet finished the project. The instructor cannot be reached. Last year Joe worked as a student programmer for the campus computer centre and is quite familiar with procedures to increase time allocations to accounts. Using what he learned last year, he is able to access the master account. Then he gives himself additional time and finishes his project.
Text book - The Ethical Technologist 2nd Edition by David Tuffley.
15 apa references