There are apps to spark a child’s interest in coding through games, and apps to extend that into robotics. Now there’s an app to help teach when coding has security issues.
You don’t have to look too far to find an app that’ll teach kids to comprehend the complex world of coding and programming, but they definitely come in different ways. Whether you gamify it with cute visuals such as in Daisy the Dinosaur, Lightbot, or Swift Playgrounds, make it a physical interaction with blocks they can piece together themselves, or move the experience to something more physical than blocks and make it a robot they can program to drive about the place, kids and teenagers certainly have a good selection of options to spark their interest in coding.
But it doesn’t have to stop there.
With October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, one security-focused company has added an app to the already wide selection to get young developers already learning to code the chance to understand when code isn’t doing the best it can.
Secure Code Warrior has launched the aptly named Secure Code Bootcamp, an app that encourages young developers to look for vulnerabilities in frameworks and teach them what to look for, studying the flaws in numerous coding languages, including Python, Java, and others. While the app is about teaching young coders to find these flaws, it comes with videos to train early programmers on vulnerabilities, and features badges to help gamify the process.
“It’s rare for developers to encounter security before they enter the workforce, and with more aspects of daily life becoming reliant on software, it’s more important than ever to upskill the creators,” said Pieter Danhieux, CEO and Co-founder of Secure Code Warrior.
“Our app teaches young coders to recognise security early-on in their careers,” he said.
Granted, Secure Code Bootcamp isn’t an early coder’s app like Apple’s Swift Playgrounds is, and so coders interested in this one will want to already be familiar with languages, and know how to wield them to make them do things.
However, if they’re interested in improving those skills and weeding out flaws in apps, not to mention bring them over to a career in security and complex problem solving, it could be an app that might just help nudge them in that direction. And it’s an area that could be a big deal for young programmers, as Australia looks to take the world stage for cyber-security expertise and education.
“This is one of the many steps we need to take to draw people to a cyber security career in order to address the skills shortage our industry and the economy more broadly faces,” said Michelle Price, CEO of AustCyber, an organisation working on making Australia one of the leading centres for cyber-education.
Right now, Secure Code Bootcamp is only available on Android, which means young programmers with an Android phone or tablet can find it now, a bit of a reversal from the typical approach of iOS first. However Secure Code Warrior says Secure Code Bootcamp will also launch on iOS for the iPhone and iPad later this year.