Software is a great thing. With countless programs we are able to do some wonderful things. But sometimes software integrity, or rather the integrity of the developers, can be less than great. And sometimes it can be terrible. It’s like being in the Matrix.

But while there are programs and developers with little or no integrity, there are still lots of developers with integrity.

Integrity Matters

Let’s first take a look at an example. I was reading on Matt Kruse‘s SocialFixer blog of how he believes in integrity. And not just as some ideal, but as a real bit of action.

Action in the form of turning down $700 in cash, rather than sell out.

Why? As he says, “my most valuable resource is my integrity“. I think that goes for all of us.

Because at the end of the day, all one has is themselves, and when one looks in the mirror, what do the want to see?

We Can Do Something

Yet for all the “stars” and “dots” we might give developers, in the end it is us the users who have the most control and influence. We are ones who decide whether or not we will support the developers who help us.

And if we choose not to, aren’t we just making it harder for these developers to keep their integrity? They are human, after all. They have bills to pay and responsibilities to attend to.

So think of all the browser extensions, the free programs, the free websites, and all the other “free” things you use. Maybe you give back, and keep your own integrity.

Because making someone work for you, and not paying them nor helping them out, would be called “theft of services” in the workplace. Why is it any different in the software world?

Of course, money is not the only way help. And some author’s don’t want donations (like Frank Goossens and his Wordpress plugin autoptimize). You can tell others about it, report bugs, improve things, make an icon or other graphics, or just help out where you can.

Because while the “Best things in Life are Free,” it still helps to know that people care and want a particular program, app, plugin, etc.

I know that from personal experience.

man on edge of cliff above the sea

credit: Sead Dedić