The decision to struggle ones way out or accept to be hinted will be based on a person’s moral principles. To achieve the right compromise, one examines the issues and advantages involved with each and every situation.
Nevertheless, Yes, I believe it is possible to use the existing software or the knowledge it exhibits to develop a new one in an ethical manner. This is what is termed as software or code reuse.
You should use the knowledge presented to get off the ground. However, there are several ethical issues that need consideration during such use of information. Ethics refers to the moral decisions established on a person’s estimation of what is right or wrong. Ethical issues are subjective and thus are altered by an individual’s prejudice. Among the most common ethical issues that need careful thought is plagiarism and piracy. In this case, our concern is not to plagiarize, which would result if you take a person’s code and hand it in as yours. It is also important to consider the relevant licensing to avoid falling into disrepute and possibly legal challenges. Some people license a program but in a manner that restricts access to the code.
Information reuse is beneficial, and indeed encouraged, as far as proper guideposts are followed. It is this wisdom that led to the acceptance of Free Software and Open Source Software groups, who serves to reduce the digital divide. Like the Free Software group rejects licenses which restricts a program’s source code. This is because it enhances productiveness and increases software quality and dependability, while saving time and cost. However, close imitation may have damaging implications to the program’s effectiveness.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be a violation of ethical standards if you execute the code. Feel free to analyze how it works, and accommodate its knowledge as you settle on your alternative. You can as well let colleagues check it out. This may give them a hint and, such guidance is ethical. Constantly review your coding for comparison with those of colleagues. Deliberating on the work of others for comparison is good practice as one may come to appreciate some as reference points during the evaluation. It’s hard to make beneficial for academic or financial gains solely.