What Must Programmers and Lawyers Learn from Each Other?

Disclaimer: This article is informative in purpose and does not constitute legal advice.  

When it comes to professional combinations, a programmer and a lawyer are a rare pairing.  This writer understands this well, as someone who holds a background in both tech and law. In years ahead a greater convergence between these fields is unavoidable. In future it’s expected professionals who’ve walked both paths will become more common.

But right now there remains a large gulf between the two fields. In no small part owing to the different mindset required for working well and pursuing a successful career in each. Sure there are some who’ve pursued careers in both. Yet even so, this can’t overlook the fact our rapid economic digitisation and globalisation is totally rewriting the rules of engagement once again.

So what do programmers and lawyers need to understand about each other’s work? And where may they find closer ties going forward?

 

A Thinking Exercise

 

The future will demand programming and law intersect in a variety of ways. Growing a closer association by virtue of market opportunity and business necessity.  But this doesn’t mean by default professionals will be able to successfully navigate work in both.… Click to continue reading

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The Biggest Week in Australian Journalism History? 3 Stories that Tested Principles of Privacy, ‘Off the Record’ and Defamation

By any measure the week prior was a big one for journalism in Australia. Three major stories broke in which the journalists themselves became the story. While Pulitzer Prizes exist for a reason to recognise outstanding journalism, generally speaking, notable episodes prior have shown it is not ideal when the journalists themselves become the story.

That’s why the emergence of three major stories in one week has been so notable. Each one independent of the other, but sharing in common a controversy surrounding whether the stories were ‘fair and free’ in their publication, or instead crossed the bounds of good practice.

Let’s look now at them one by one, see whether the ‘old rules’ of journalism still apply, and what lessons emerge that new and upcoming journalists may glean from them.

 

Mia Freedman, Mammamia, and Roxane Gay

 

The Issue: Most Australian shall recognise Mia Freedman’s name. For readers abroad, Mia Freedman is a prominent Australian editor who chiefly presides over the Mamamia empire, while also serving as a media personality and commentator.

Freedman’s was all set to interview Roxane Gay, the American author visiting Australian to promote Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Within it, Gay has documented … Click to continue reading

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Ghostwriter Ethics: A Quiet Word on Quiet Work for New Writers

Depending on the sort of company you keep someone hearing you’re a ghostwriter can be met with a variety of responses. Some understand it and know it well off the bat (often other writers). Some have heard of the term but little beyond it. Some even think there’s something sinister about it. Ghostwriting is something of a misunderstood field, and this contributes to the ethics around it.

Yes, ethics. Unless you’re right now in a philosophy department of a university and all set to publish a revelatory thesis – its hard to always make that word sound thrilling. But it is functional. Good ethics can keep you in the clear of trouble, and ethics do indeed apply to being a ghostwriter. For new writers it can be hard to navigate the arena easily with so many unwritten rules.

So, rather than this being any sort of ghostwriter’s public confession (for this writer is bound by ethics and confidentiality agreements) it is instead a outline of a couple of important conventions for those new to the field. May it help a new writer start their career, and avoid the pitfalls throughout.

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