Secure Code Warrior

Current secure code training is letting developers down

As data breaches and their costs continue to rise, the volume of code produced in our world is too big for security experts to handle alone. Companies need developers with secure coding skills – and developers know they need these skills to advance their careers. But current secure code training is letting them down. So what do developers want when it comes to secure code training?

As data breaches and their costs continue to rise, the volume of code produced in our world is too big for security experts to handle alone. Companies need developers with secure coding skills – and developers know they need these skills to advance their careers. But current secure code training is letting them down. So what do developers want when it comes to secure code training? To answer this question, let’s look at some insights from a recent study on developers’ attitudes towards secure coding, secure code practices, and security operations, conducted by Secure Code Warrior with Evans Data Corp*. (Register your interest for your copy here).

When it comes to the kind of training developers want, the answer is crystal clear. 75% of developers preferred structured on-the-job training, finding it the most effective and satisfying way to learn. And when it comes to what that training should include, developers have some very clear and specific asks: 

  • 65% say they need training in language-specific vulnerabilities
  • 65% want more training in the OWASP Top 10
  • Many also want a focus on compliance security frameworks, including NIST (58%), CIS (52%) and PCI DSS (50%)
  • 78% want informal peer coaching and guidance as part of that training

But while developers strongly prefer structured coursework to unstructured learning, the way that coursework is delivered is critical. Of course, this raises another crucial question: 

How do developers prefer to learn? 

Developers don't want to sit around listening to lecturers  – they want to get their hands on stuff and try it for themselves. They want a focus on practical applications – something current training programs sorely lack. When asked to identify how company-provided training could improve, 30% of respondents revealed that they would like that training focused on practical applications, particularly authentic work scenarios. 

Developer training needs a human-led approach that offers guided learning pathways that include 'gamified' coding challenges that are both hands-on and language:framework-specific. Role-specified ‘gamified’ training gets developers highly engaged, with configurable learning modules that allow an organisation to target developer learning towards specific vulnerabilities.

To find out how to make software security an intrinsic part of your development process with structured, skill-based pathways that deliver the training developers want, request a demo now. 

"The interactive simulations help you to identify security vulnerabilities in code, challenge you to think critically and find the solution or multiple solutions. I've seen code through a new lens, and being hands-on has brought so much joy!"
Software Engineer, Financial Services


*Shifting from reaction to prevention: The changing face of application security. Secure Code Warrior and Evans Data Corp. 2020