We Know IT is one of t hemost prominent IT student consultancy firms in Sweden and we are extremely proud to be one of their long term partners. As security is of great importance to We Know IT, we decided to sit down with Alexander today to find out more about their practices.
“We need our clients to know that we put security first”
Alexander is one of the student consultants at We Know It, who help companies develop websites, mobile applications and other IT-related products. From being an Economics student to coding, we will get to know Alexander and We know It better in this blog post!
Hey there Alexander, how are you today?
Good, thanks! Sun is shining, so I can’t complain!
Amazing! So, tell us, who is Alexander?
I’d like to introduce myself as Mr World Wide (with the voice of Pitbull. The musician, not the dog). I was born in China, but my mother and her relatives are from Russia. When I was little we moved to Denmark, and eventually I ended up in Sweden. You could definitely say that I’ve been around the world! But, these days I consider Sweden to be my home.
And you’re a student?
I studied economics in school, but quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. I switched paths and decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in IT engineering at Chalmers in Gothenburg, which I just finished. And, funnily enough, I received the admission notice for my master’s program in data science and AI just five minutes ago! So yeah, I’m quite excited about that!
I’m really into machine learning and AI. I’ve never quite understood how it works but the more I get into it the more sense it makes. I definitely think it’s the future.
We agreed! Tell us more about We Know IT and your role there.
I’m a student consultant. My main task is to develop software for our clients, who are mostly companies without inhouse developers or in need of help with a specific project.
When I first started (coding), I was mostly interested in working with frontend as it was what appealed to me the most in school. But when I started working at We Know IT, I got a full stack role and to this day I really enjoy it. It’s great to get to see how things work “behind the scenes” as well as what’s presented to the public – I like to have the full picture.
Did you do any coding prior to your time at We Know IT?
No, this is actually my very first job as a developer. I had done a few minor projects before but not a lot. I also didn’t know anything about coding before school. Everything I know, I’ve learned there. I’ve always been interested in programming but never got into it.
Do you use a lot of open source?
Hehe, yes. A lot.
I am a huge advocate for open source. It makes life significantly easier for us developers. Although I’d like to look at it as a double edged sword; the availability and openness is fantastic but there are definitely security risks to look out for.
How do you work with license compliance in the open source you use?
It’s extremely important for us to be compliant, especially when developing software for clients. Our mistakes can and will affect them in the long run. Us developers are responsible for researching which license a component has and determining whether it’s compliant. We always double-check with our clients.
We Know IT has not yet started managing their licenses with Debricked, but it would for sure save them a lot of time!
Why is security so important to you?
Since the code we produce is written for clients who put all their trust in our hands, it’s crucial that we don’t mess things up for them. If anything should happen, it wouldn’t only affect us but also them. We need our clients to know that we put security first and that we are doing all we can to make sure that the products we produce for them are secure.
How did you first get introduced to Debricked?
We first started using the Debricked tool in the beginning of the year, when we realized that keeping track of vulnerabilities in open source was taking up way too much development time.
We tried the tool on a repository and it was very nice to see the instant results. It’s easy to navigate the UI and get an overview of all vulnerabilities, and it’s just great to have all the information in one place.
Last question – what do you like about Debricked?
For me personally, it’s the ability to get a clear overview of all repositories, dependencies and vulnerabilities. It’s amazing to have everything in one place and understand how vulnerable we are. A real time-savor, because otherwise we would have to go through the hassle of researching and googling. With Debricked, we get all relevant information in one place, automatically.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I would even have had time to care about open source vulnerabilities if it weren’t for Debricked. It saves us loads of time and allows us to do more of what we’re really there for; write code.
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