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The Tech Worker Handbook

Reviewed by Greg Wilson / 2021-10-20
Keywords: Editorial, Professional Ethics, Social Responsibility

The bigger tech companies get, the harder they work to avoid responsibility for the harm they cause. From trying to cover up sexual assault , keeping alt-right hate sites in business , or stirring up genocidal hatred , the executives who run tech companies work overtime to avoid facing consequences for their actions. To date, most elected officials seem bewildered by the scale and speed of the problem; when companies are held accountable, it's often because a whistleblower with inside knowledge has come forward, but people who do that often face sustained harassment or worse.

The Tech Worker Handbook is "…a collection of resources for tech workers who are looking to make more informed decisions about whether to speak out on issues that are in the public interest." Its four sections address legal questions, how to speak to the media, personal security, and how to tell your own story. While some parts are US-centric, I believe that going through the guide with undergraduate students would be much more engaging than talking about the Therac-25, and more likely to be useful as well. I'm planning to revise Building Software Together to include this material; if you are already teaching it, or something like it, I'd be grateful if you'd share your experiences.