As promised I am launching a new IASA blog series called Architect and (of) ethics.
From Google:

  1. moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior.”Judeo-Christian ethics”
    moral code, morals, morality, values, rights and wrongs, principles,ideals, standards (of behavior), value system, virtues, dictates of conscience
    “your so-called newspaper is clearly not burdened by a sense of ethics”
  2. the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.

The initial thought I had in thinking about the ethics of ethics is ultimately related to the first definition. The ethics of the group “software architects.” There are a number of enterprise architect groups out in the wild now that have professional standards of conduct that they ask their members to sign. A code of conduct is good but it is not always a code of ethics. The first step is beginning the process of gathering the components required for software architects as it relates to the application of ethics.
For our initial presentation let’s talk about ethics in the two quickest formats:

  • Personal: What I do as a human being related to the ethical interaction with others.
  • Professional: What I do in my job that promotes my ethical beliefs.

Personal ethics at time can be challenging. Kohlberg published moral dilemma’s that eat at our ability to ethically operate the way we would like to. So given that there are situations that are above ethics or at least are outside of what a software architect would deal with going forward we are only applying ethics to software architects and the jobs they do. Personal ethics are bound to how we act professionally but there are times when stealing bread for a starving baby is acceptable. Like anytime you have a starving baby.
Based on that preamble I have three ethics scenarios to test out with this initial blog.

  • Scenario 1: Designing a solution. What tools should be used. What artifacts should be produced and how should the solution be shared?
  • Scenario 2: How far must an architect look forward in designing a solution?
  • Scenario 3: Who owns the transitions for a solution? To operations, to development, to security? and any others….

More to come on this new topic. If you have some thoughts feel free to email me ( or comment on this new blog topic.
Scott Andersen
IASA Fellow
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