Hire ethical developers

Imagine you are running a small shop in your city. One day you catch a few people stealing something in your shop. After arguing, they ask to join your shop crew because they know some security points that could be improved.

Is that the kind of people you would want to work with? Probably not. They know that you're losing your money when they steal something. However, that's not a reason for them to stop doing it.

What's happening in the developer's world?

Professional ethics

Recently, I read this article about a man that was using a screenshot API to earn money mining cryptocurrencies. The article talks about how the company managed the situation and stopped him.

The conversation was respectful and finally, the man stopped minning crypto using that service. I don't want to discuss how the company managed the situation, but I'd like to highlight some parts of the conversation:

C: are we the first company you attacked?

M: no..

M: this is my hobby

M: for fun and profit

[...]

M: i am sorry if you had any loss

C: It's ok we haven't lost anything.

[...]

M: can i be a part of your team ?

C: i'm sorry but we already have a developer in house.

We're at the same point as the shop example. A person without professional ethics that knows the damage he or she might cause to your company is asking to join your team. He knows how to use your service illicitly, so he knows how to protect you.

Based on the comments of the article, it seems the company was wrong. But, were they really wrong ignoring his offering?

No.

Ethics in general ought to be integrated in all your hiring decisions. Surround yourself with people that help you to grow as a professional, but even more importantly, as a person. Please, don't reward bad people because they are good programmers.

Mentors and idols

The same principle applies to your mentors and idols. Remember, ethics matter and are essential. If you know that your idols are good professionals but completely awful people, don't promote their work.

You may think that it doesn't matter because their opinions are not relevant for their work. However, increasing their popularity has a dangerous consequence. Their ideas will become more popular too.

Please, create a better community by promoting good people, not just developers.