Student Originated Software 1997-1998

A Software Engineering Course at
The Evergreen State College

26 May 1998

Subject: Invitation to Ballot - Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice

From: Leonard L. Tripp, Chair, Joint Steering Committee for the Establishment of Software Engineering as a Profession

Dear Colleague,

The IEEE Computer Society and ACM invites you to participate in a formal review of version 4 of the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. In 1993 the IEEE-CS and the ACM established a Joint Steering Committee for the Establishment of Software Engineering as a Profession.

In November of 1993 the joint steering committee made four initial recommendations: (1) adopt standard definitions, (2) define the required body of knowledge and recommended practices (in electrical engineering, for example, electromagnetic theory is part of the body of knowledge while the National Electrical Safety Code is a recommended practice.), (3) define ethical standards and (4) define curriculum and related matters for software engineering.

The Task Force developing the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice has completed its work and recommends that the Code be reviewed by a panel of peers using a formal review process.

The Code addresses both the responsibilities of the practicing professional and of the profession. We believe that the societies representing the profession need to take a stand to provide all software engineers with an ethical direction and with a tool they can use to educate others -- including their management-- about the ethical responsibilities of the software engineer.

You are invited to be a member of the balloting group, which will serve as the review panel. If you become part of the balloting group, you will have 20 days to review and respond to the draft code. The draft code is 7 pages long. The ballot period is expected to be 22 June to 15 July 1998.

If you are interested in participating in this ballot, respond by completing the Invitation to Ballot Form found at

To be considered for the balloting group, you must complete and submit the Invitation to Ballot Form by 12 June 1998.

Furthermore, by agreeing to ballot, you certify that you understand the subject matter of the proposed document and are technically competent to cast a ballot on this draft document. Also you agree to respond in the specified period of time. In order for the ballot to be valid, at least 60% of the ballots sent must be returned. For that reason members of the balloting group have an obligation to respond.

All information requested on the Invitation to Ballot Form must be completed in order to be a qualified member of the balloting group. If you have any questions on submitting the form, please contact Tracy Woods at the IEEE Computer Society via email at

Thank you for your time and participation.

For more information contact
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