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I am not so sure that the ethics come up in the writing of the documents,
but rather, in the other knowledge you learn.
For example, I know of a company - I did not do work for them, someone I
know did - who was making ventilators for home use by people who needed help
to breathe at home. A certain number of these devices don't pass QA for a
variety of reasons, from odd silk screening on the face to malfunctioning
Because of a temporarily high bad unit count and the need to ship product
and get money, this company went over the head of the QA manager - who
refused to sign off on the bad units - and the company shipped them anyway.
I and my friend hit the ceiling. If these units failed, people could die.
What to do? If anything? I will not share what we did, because it is not for
Closest I ever came in docs was a product that could import large amounts of
data from other programs so you could then do other stuff. Trouble was, we
never got the import to completely and correctly import the data every time
and the user had no way to know. The docs were pretty thin on that part of
the product. I glossed over that part in the docs and moved on. No one would
die or otherwise get hurt and it did work mostly.
But that is why I like consumer software. It is very rare that someone can
get hurt if the docs or product are wrong.
From: bounce-techwr-l-71429 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-71429 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Paul
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2003 8:12 AM
Subject: Re: Who cares about ethics?
So what are some examples of truly unethical tech writing? Have any of you
been asked to do something in your writing you knew was wrong? What was it,
and how did you handle it?
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E-mail: paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com
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