Privacy friendly apps

Just came across an interesting project by the University of Karlsruhe SECUSO Research Group.

In Germany, part of the computer science degree course, is a programmer internship, where you spend one semester on developing a (toy) software project. Back in the days, mine was a database application for an (imaginary) used cars dealership. It’s one of those classes, where you (get to) goof around a lot because once you pass, nobody is ever going to look at your work again. Some students may find that to be a relief, others might find it to be sad, since they spend serious hours on producing something that nobody will ever use. In my opinion that’s the fundamental design flaw of that class: it is suppose to teach proper software development, actually incentivizes to write sloppy code and spend the saved time elsewhere.

The SECUSO Research Group of the university of Karlsruhe had the right idea here. Instead of coming up with toy projects, why not let students develop apps that can be published on the Playstore for their programmer internship instead?

It’s a win-win for everyone. Students have an incentive to write proper code to get something for their portfolio and users don’t have to fear shady monetization practises because the app doesn’t need to be commercially viable.