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The Conscience of the Ethical Engineer

It’s being widely reported this weekend that a former engineer involved in the Volkswagen diesel scandal, James Liang, has been sentenced to a 40-month prison term. I’ve seen a bit of shock and outrage on Twitter over this, including a quickness to conclude that Liang was sent to prison for just doing something his boss told him to do. It seemed to me that there are some out there that have bought into the school of thought that if you’re ordered to do something, your butt should be totally covered. As a software engineer, this is a belief I would like to speak against and dispel for the good of myself and my craft.