I am owner of a small start up web+mobile development company. We are 2 full time programmers (including myself) and 4 part time programmers. I asked my team a question: Do you think it's important for a computer programmer to do something that makes the world a better place?
3 people said yes
2 people said they became a computer programmer just because they want to solve interesting problems, doesn't matter if it makes the world a better place
1 person said he became a computer programmer so he can make video games, which he claimed might actually have a negative impact on society due to prevalence of gaming addiction, but he wants to do it anyway.
I am one of the programmers who believes in using my skills to make the world a better place. I am trying to convince all my employees that they should do the same, that they should do more than just work for the pay cheque, or work for me or work for my company. But that through our company, we should support clients and people who are trying to make a positive difference in the world. For example, right now I'm finalizing a deal with the hospital to create a medical simulation software. Three of the people on my team (including myself) want to take part in this project because we believe it will improve medical trainees abilities to manage certain medical disorders and improve patient lives. Two of the people on my team just like the challenge and prestige of solving difficult problems, and being able to say it makes the world a better place is bonus to tell their friends and family. One programmer just thinks it's impressive to put on his resume, so he can realize his dream of working for a big video game company some day.
All my employees are also my friends whom I grew up with. Countless times throughout my life, they've gone out of their way to help me and my family. Now that they are also my employees, I want them to share the belief and commitment they've had in me to those clients who are trying to make a positive difference in the world. All my employees work hard, but it would be nice if everyone believed in working for a greater purpose than just oneself. Three of us already believe this. What is the likelihood I can convince the remaining three to believe the same thing?