A former British military sniper and star of Channel 4’s Hunted series will take part in a virtual event to launch a new cyber security course – on behalf of Scotland’s national digital skills academy.

Ben Hunter, ex-intelligence officer, will feature in an online launch event for a new three-day Cyber Secure Coder course, which will be delivered by CodeClan.

The course aims to address software security, an area of software development that has increased in importance since the onset of Covid-19.

The Cyber Secure Coder course, run in partnership with CertusNexus and Logical Operations, welcomes its first candidates in October with the virtual launch event taking place on Friday 18th September.

Ben Owen said: “Having been in the intelligence community for many years and now working for a world-leading cyber security company, I can say categorically that cyber security is one of the most important areas to address in the modern world. 

“CodeClan is doing amazing work to deliver innovative training to really enhance the skills in coding which is so integral in the fight against cyber crime.  Not only is the industry fast, dynamic and enjoyable – it really is here to stay and you will always be in demand with specialist skills in this area. I am incredibly excited to be talking on this webinar!”

CodeClan CEO Melinda Matthews-Clarkson said: “The stakes for software security have only increased since Covid and yet may development teams only deal with software security after the code has been developed and the software is being prepared for delivery.”   

Scotland has strong track record in software development and software security. One of the nation’s leading software development studios, Cultivate, was acquired by London-headquartered Deliveroo, one of Europe’s fastest-growing technology startups, in August 2019.  Edinburgh Napier University spin-out ZoneFox, which specialises in providing security systems that tackle insider threats to organisations, was acquired by California-based Fortinet in 2018.

Matthews-Clarkson added: “Scotland already has a proud tradition in software development and software security and it’s an area where we can continue to demonstrate leadership. Software security impacts organisations of all shapes and sizes so business leaders need to give unbridled attention to security particularly at this time.”   

CodeClan pivoted to a remote interactive classroom model during Covid-19 and the digital skills academy will shortly be announcing plans to move to a hybrid model combining continuing remote and in situ learning. To date, over 950 people have graduated from CodeClan’s immersive Professional Software Development (PSD), Data Analysis and Web Development courses. CodeClan, a not-for-profit digital academy, opened its doors in 2015 and was supported by the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland and tech trade body ScotlandIS.