From training to agile learning: How an agile learning platform for secure code revolutionizes your approach to secure software

Published Jun 22, 2023
by Vivek Asija
cASE sTUDY

From training to agile learning: How an agile learning platform for secure code revolutionizes your approach to secure software

Published Jun 22, 2023
by Vivek Asija
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From training to agile learning: revolutionize your approach to secure software
From training to agile learning: revolutionize your approach to secure software

It’s time to apply agile principles to secure code training

The traditional approach to secure code training in most organizations treats it as a point-in-time exercise that has a discrete beginning and end. As businesses move faster and faster in the digital age, this is no longer good enough. Organizations of all kinds need to adopt a continuous learning strategy embedded in developers’ daily work. Hiring new security skills is one answer, but this talent is scarce and the approach doesn’t scale. Just as agile practices have overtaken the waterfall approach in software development, agile is now revolutionizing developer security training. The benefit of agile in software was to break work into small pieces, layering one sprint on top of the next to ensure successful delivery at high velocity in a continuous, iterative cycle. In the same way, agile learning for secure code is broken into small, consumable pieces, progressively layered, and tightly integrated within the developer workflow in an iterative way. With agile, developers learn more effectively, internalize security skills faster, and write more secure code almost immediately.  

Traditional security training vs. an Agile Learning Platform for secure code

Agile learning is a set of values and principles that frame how people internalize knowledge more quickly and effectively. In their Agile Learning Manifesto (represented in figure 1 below), Gartner defines four values and eight principles.

Figure 1: Gartner 2020.  For more on this topic, see: https://www.gartner.com/en/doc/764594-foster-a-culture-of-agile-learning-to-upskill-it-employees-faster

The four values represent a new mindset for how to think about employee training. Learning as an integrated part of the job values business outcomes, growth mindset, real-time embedded training, and community compounding. These values act as a north star for learning initiatives and a frame for the eight principles, which we outline briefly here.

  1. Learning to earning: Ties the company’s financial objectives and capability needs to the developer’s skill advancement 
  2. Motivation multiplier: Access to an effective security skills-building platform that developers can apply to their careers for advancement motivates them to learn more
  3. Just-in-time microbursts: Small bits of learning content from 2 to 25 minutes long surfaced at the moment lends context, helping developers to build relevant, usable skills
  4. Dynamic pathways: Security content can be served up in different formats and developers can self-serve in the mode that best suits their learning style
  5. Progressive layering: Mastery of foundational secure code concepts is followed by more advanced knowledge and practice
  6. Flow of value delivery: Secure code concepts are embedded in the tools and spaces developers already inhabit, so they don’t need to leave their work to get access to training
  7. Data-driven, AI-enabled: Technology dynamically adapts lessons and personalizes learning to keep developers on-track, giving them a custom experience they could never get in a classroom 
  8. Socially amplified: Building a learning culture where secure coding skills are celebrated and in which developers take part in friendly competition as well as knowledge sharing compounds benefits across the enterprise

Introducing the agile learning platform for secure code 

Over the last decade, Secure Code Warrior has integrated agile principles into the design of our learning platform. We have broken the mold of traditional security training with a developer-focused, flexible learning experience that has delivered business value of 2x to 3x improvement across several dimensions for our customers, from reduced risk and cost to increased developer productivity. But what defines an agile learning platform? How specifically does an agile learning platform for secure code cause developers to quickly internalize new skills and put them to work right away? What makes agile learning for secure code better than traditional security training?  In this, the first of a series of blog posts, we’ll explore how the SCW Agile Learning Platform exemplifies several of the agile values and principles.

Dynamic pathways and just-in-time microbursts embedded in the flow of value delivery 

An agile learning platform for secure code gives the learner different ways to consume content, advance their knowledge, and internalize new skills. It provides dynamic pathways for developers to find what suits them best in small, consumable just-in-time microbursts of content at the point of need. Users can choose the form of learning that best suits them on our platform. They gain exposure to security concepts in videos, guidelines, and walkthroughs that are surfaced in microbursts.  These features deliver the foundational concepts – the “what” and “how” of a specific vulnerability.  Since this content is delivered inside the dev tools they use every day, like Jira, the concepts land better and make more sense so they can be internalized.

Our agile platform for secure code has multiple forms of learning content, including guidelines, walkthroughs, and videos on more than 150+ vulnerability topics for more than 63 languages and frameworks.

The SCW platform exemplifies the agile principle of progressive layering. After gaining initial familiarity with security code concepts, developers can move into hands-on interactive modules like challenges, missions, and coding labs where they practice the foundational concepts introduced earlier.  These modules accommodate different skill levels and learning styles, giving developers a choice for how to learn – dynamic pathways

Coding Labs gives developers step-by-step instruction in a simulated IDE environment that gives them a safe space to practice new security concepts

Make the switch from training to agile learning

Shifting your approach from security training to agile learning for secure code is a powerful way to enable your developer workforce, recapture wasted developer hours, and apply that time to more productive projects.  In this post we’ve walked through just a few of Secure Code Warrior’s platform capabilities and how they exemplify the principles of an agile learning strategy. In the next post, we’ll demonstrate the business case for secure code learning and showcase more agile-inspired capabilities of the platform.

About Secure Code Warrior

Secure Code Warrior gives your developers the skills to write secure code. Our learning platform is the most effective secure coding solution because it uses agile learning methods for developers to learn, apply, and retain software security principles. Over 600 enterprises trust Secure Code Warrior to implement agile learning security programs, deliver secure software rapidly, and create a culture of developer-driven security. Ready to learn more?  Request a demo.

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Author

Vivek Asija

Vivek is a former VP of Product Marketing at Secure Code Warrior, where he led positioning, messaging, and GTM strategy.

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From training to agile learning: How an agile learning platform for secure code revolutionizes your approach to secure software

Published Jan 22, 2024
By Vivek Asija

It’s time to apply agile principles to secure code training

The traditional approach to secure code training in most organizations treats it as a point-in-time exercise that has a discrete beginning and end. As businesses move faster and faster in the digital age, this is no longer good enough. Organizations of all kinds need to adopt a continuous learning strategy embedded in developers’ daily work. Hiring new security skills is one answer, but this talent is scarce and the approach doesn’t scale. Just as agile practices have overtaken the waterfall approach in software development, agile is now revolutionizing developer security training. The benefit of agile in software was to break work into small pieces, layering one sprint on top of the next to ensure successful delivery at high velocity in a continuous, iterative cycle. In the same way, agile learning for secure code is broken into small, consumable pieces, progressively layered, and tightly integrated within the developer workflow in an iterative way. With agile, developers learn more effectively, internalize security skills faster, and write more secure code almost immediately.  

Traditional security training vs. an Agile Learning Platform for secure code

Agile learning is a set of values and principles that frame how people internalize knowledge more quickly and effectively. In their Agile Learning Manifesto (represented in figure 1 below), Gartner defines four values and eight principles.

Figure 1: Gartner 2020.  For more on this topic, see: https://www.gartner.com/en/doc/764594-foster-a-culture-of-agile-learning-to-upskill-it-employees-faster

The four values represent a new mindset for how to think about employee training. Learning as an integrated part of the job values business outcomes, growth mindset, real-time embedded training, and community compounding. These values act as a north star for learning initiatives and a frame for the eight principles, which we outline briefly here.

  1. Learning to earning: Ties the company’s financial objectives and capability needs to the developer’s skill advancement 
  2. Motivation multiplier: Access to an effective security skills-building platform that developers can apply to their careers for advancement motivates them to learn more
  3. Just-in-time microbursts: Small bits of learning content from 2 to 25 minutes long surfaced at the moment lends context, helping developers to build relevant, usable skills
  4. Dynamic pathways: Security content can be served up in different formats and developers can self-serve in the mode that best suits their learning style
  5. Progressive layering: Mastery of foundational secure code concepts is followed by more advanced knowledge and practice
  6. Flow of value delivery: Secure code concepts are embedded in the tools and spaces developers already inhabit, so they don’t need to leave their work to get access to training
  7. Data-driven, AI-enabled: Technology dynamically adapts lessons and personalizes learning to keep developers on-track, giving them a custom experience they could never get in a classroom 
  8. Socially amplified: Building a learning culture where secure coding skills are celebrated and in which developers take part in friendly competition as well as knowledge sharing compounds benefits across the enterprise

Introducing the agile learning platform for secure code 

Over the last decade, Secure Code Warrior has integrated agile principles into the design of our learning platform. We have broken the mold of traditional security training with a developer-focused, flexible learning experience that has delivered business value of 2x to 3x improvement across several dimensions for our customers, from reduced risk and cost to increased developer productivity. But what defines an agile learning platform? How specifically does an agile learning platform for secure code cause developers to quickly internalize new skills and put them to work right away? What makes agile learning for secure code better than traditional security training?  In this, the first of a series of blog posts, we’ll explore how the SCW Agile Learning Platform exemplifies several of the agile values and principles.

Dynamic pathways and just-in-time microbursts embedded in the flow of value delivery 

An agile learning platform for secure code gives the learner different ways to consume content, advance their knowledge, and internalize new skills. It provides dynamic pathways for developers to find what suits them best in small, consumable just-in-time microbursts of content at the point of need. Users can choose the form of learning that best suits them on our platform. They gain exposure to security concepts in videos, guidelines, and walkthroughs that are surfaced in microbursts.  These features deliver the foundational concepts – the “what” and “how” of a specific vulnerability.  Since this content is delivered inside the dev tools they use every day, like Jira, the concepts land better and make more sense so they can be internalized.

Our agile platform for secure code has multiple forms of learning content, including guidelines, walkthroughs, and videos on more than 150+ vulnerability topics for more than 63 languages and frameworks.

The SCW platform exemplifies the agile principle of progressive layering. After gaining initial familiarity with security code concepts, developers can move into hands-on interactive modules like challenges, missions, and coding labs where they practice the foundational concepts introduced earlier.  These modules accommodate different skill levels and learning styles, giving developers a choice for how to learn – dynamic pathways

Coding Labs gives developers step-by-step instruction in a simulated IDE environment that gives them a safe space to practice new security concepts

Make the switch from training to agile learning

Shifting your approach from security training to agile learning for secure code is a powerful way to enable your developer workforce, recapture wasted developer hours, and apply that time to more productive projects.  In this post we’ve walked through just a few of Secure Code Warrior’s platform capabilities and how they exemplify the principles of an agile learning strategy. In the next post, we’ll demonstrate the business case for secure code learning and showcase more agile-inspired capabilities of the platform.

About Secure Code Warrior

Secure Code Warrior gives your developers the skills to write secure code. Our learning platform is the most effective secure coding solution because it uses agile learning methods for developers to learn, apply, and retain software security principles. Over 600 enterprises trust Secure Code Warrior to implement agile learning security programs, deliver secure software rapidly, and create a culture of developer-driven security. Ready to learn more?  Request a demo.

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