At Portcullis, we have launched our new educational initiative to promote computer skills in schools. A competition to develop students abilities to code and programme using the Raspberry Pi, a credit card sized single board computer developed in the UK.
Portcullis is providing local schools with Raspberry Pi kit and has set them the challenge of finding innovative ways to help their local community using the Raspberry Pi. This competition will encourage the students to learn about coding and programming, thereby developing essential skills that are in short supply within industry. Addressing this skill shortage by making sure that all young people are equipped for the 21st century is essential. For those who are interested in working within the information security industry in particular, coding and programming skills are what enable ethical hackers to do their job. Nobody in the world of cyber security could function without them. As an industry information security is growing exponentially in both size and importance. In the future there will be a far greater demand for our services than there is already. We will need skilled professionals to work in this field and currently there is a seriously shortage of people with the skill set required.
Recognising this skills shortage, Tim Anderson, Commercial Director of Portcullis said “There is a definite gap in the education sector with students missing the fundamentals of coding and programming. A lot of young people think they are good with computers but when it comes to understanding how computers work, we have a lot of passengers and not enough mechanics. Many kids lack the skills to do anything tangible with what they know.”
Portcullis Raspberry Pi competition was officially launched at Ruislip High School in north west London on July 10th. On the day, a security practitioner from Portcullis spoke to the students about the many interesting career paths that can be taken by people who have coding and programming skills. After the lesson Sunaina Shori, curriculum leader for ICT at Ruislip High School, said
“This has been a positive day for all the students involved. For them to hear and learn from people working in industry about the exciting and challenging experiences they’ve had on a practical level and about how important security is has made a huge difference. It really makes them think about how they can use the skills they’re developing at school in future careers. The practical experience of using the Raspberry Pis and practicing with the programming has been really beneficial. We have a number of students who are very interested in applying for the competition and developing something of their own.”
Any schools interested in taking part in the competition should contact Olivia Cheshire at firstname.lastname@example.org before the 31st July 2014.