When we speak of “test ethics,” the given examples usually are trivial dilemmas. Do we avoid reporting a bug? Do we report that testing is progressing as planned, even though it’s definitely late? These questions are kids stuff: easy because the situation is so black-and-white. But life will present you with complicated cases where the answer is not that obvious.
Take a look at the critical systems in the world today and you’ll find software. From water, power, and utilities to nuclear plants, factories, and cars, pretty much everything has become integrated with digital devices and the internet. We need to do testing from a risk-based perspective and be accountable to the public by acknowledging what is tested and what is not.
One of the things Rick Scott adores about the field of software testing is how intertwined it is with that of philosophy. Substantial discussion of testing very quickly segues into such philosophical domains as aesthetics, epistemology, and ethics.
There comes a time in every software professional's career when telling the truth to someone in power becomes an issue. It can be a difficult situation, but it's far worse to keep silent. Norm Kerth offers some helpful advice on speaking up in ways that are tactful and sincere.