In the last academic year the Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) ran a number of Industry Update events across Scotland.  These sessions highlighted current industry practice specifically about Agile, DevOps, TDD, Data Science, Machine Learning, UX and building secure software.

Of the 139 lecturers who attended these events, 87% stated they would ‘use content from the sessions to enhance their teaching.’

Here Andreas Schöter, Computing Lecturer at Forth Valley College, talks about his experience of attending an Industry Update session on Building Secure Software. This event was delivered by Sean Kornish, Vice President and Data Protection Architect at J.P.Morgan Chase & Co. and Andreas shares how he will weave some of Sean’s insights into his teaching:

Having worked professionally as a software developer, finishing as a Senior Systems’ Architect, I believe that my overall understanding of lifecycle considerations is one of the strengths in my teaching. However, I am also aware that this kind of knowledge goes out of date quickly. This is what made me particularly interested in this workshop; I was hoping to get a good overview of contemporary thinking.”

“Sean’s presentation was excellent. He gave a concise but comprehensive tour of the software lifecycle, clearly describing how security needs to be integrated at each stage of the process.”

“This has certainly given me material that I will be integrating into my delivery next year.”

Andreas Schöter, Computing Lecturer, Forth Valley College.

“This has certainly given me material that I will be integrating into my delivery next year. In the Object-Oriented Analysis and Design unit, we start with analysis and quickly introduce use cases as narratives to describe how the user expects to use the software. Sean introduced me to the term “misuse cases” to describe narratives which explain how an attacker could abuse software features. This simple piece of terminology gives me a useful hook on which to hang some additional delivery about the importance of considering security from the outset. It also gives me a framework for analysing the security requirements of an application.”

“Although I already encourage defensive programming techniques, I now have some additional information to motivate this approach to my students. For example, by showing how a stack trace can reveal information about the internal structure of your application, the importance of protecting public facing interfaces from bad inputs can be made clearer.”

 “And finally, when I teach the basics of software testing I will also be including some additional discussion of security issues and how bugs that affect security features are potentially far worse for a company than bugs that affect system functionality.  Overall, this was a great workshop for me.”

Other lecturers also found the insights offered at these events to be useful:

“The importance of keeping up with industry practices cannot be overstated.   I found the DSP’s Industry Update sessions very useful in this regard. I made some changes to my teaching content to include discussions and a research essay about how DevOps practices are employed in industry. I believe this has been beneficial to my students as it has enabled them to understand better what goes on in industry. More changes are being planned in the very near future, inspired by the information which I acquired at the Industry Update sessions.”

Chi Onyekaba, Lecturer, University of Dundee.

“I attended a CPD event on Building Secure Software.  We had a fantastic speaker from industry who gave an informative and engaging presentation before taking a series of questions from the floor.  But the real bonus was in the informal discussions which followed with fellow lecturers, teasing out the issues on delivering related materials with an invaluable industry perspective from the speaker.”

Jim Dunstan, Lecturer, Fife College.

“The Building Secure Software session helped me identify key points thatstudents must understand in order to create secure software without bugs orvulnerabilities.”

Orfeas Stefanos Thyfronitis Litos, Research Postgraduate Student, University of Edinburgh.