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Paul Verbeek-Mast

Paul is a front-end person turned boy animator working at Werkspot in The Netherlands. He is very active in the Dutch web development community; he runs the meetup group NLHTML5 and organised the Fronteers conference in 2017. He’s passionate about helping people getting into tech and making the web work for everyone.

When he’s not working, you will find him either gaming or spending time with his girlfriend, their cat and two rabbits.

The ‘Reasonable Developer’

In the early 1800’s, a Belgian astronomer came up with the definition of ‘L’homme moyen’, the average man. The studies he did on what he called ‘social physics’, the way the average person behaves, is still being used in legal trials today. They use it to determine whether someone’s action was reasonable. Today, they not only have The Average Man, but a whole ‘legal village’ with characters like ‘The Reasonable Hairdresser’. Each to determine if a specific type of person has acted in a “normal” way. This got me thinking. Now that we are making machines that have to make ethical decisions, like self-driving cars, when will the first legal case against a developer happen? They are going to have to define a ‘reasonable developer’ to determine if the decisions they made and the code they produced were reasonable at the time of writing the code. Who would this Reasonable Developer be?