Real rebels pay their taxes
Is it ethical to invest time into learning and using technologies from companies that pay little or no taxes? Examples of such tax-avoiding companies are not that hard to come by, for example we have companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. Examples of technologies and services offered by these companies are React, Kubernetes, Amazon Web Services, the App Store and Typescript. As developers we have a ton of delightful technologies to leverage as we try to achieve planet-scale disruption.
But if you and I pay our taxes, why shouldn’t these companies do so as well? Why should we spend our free time reading their documentation, and spend our free labour building upon their open source code? We are arguably enabling these tax avoiding monoliths, that will stop at nothing to increase their shareholder value.
With this talk I want to inspire action, not "fear, uncertainty and doubt" (also called FUD). We are developers and we love to create. In contrast to other fields, we truly own the means of production. I'll argue that software is political because it affects our society so deeply. We need to wisen up on ethics. And we need to be mindful about the how and why of choosing, building and governing technologies.
This talk will introduce you to:
- The basics of ethics.
- The basics of economic value.
- The basics of taxes.
- Key ethical issues related to software development.
- Working code examples, from which I'll argue how all developers can improve the state of ethics in software development.