We spoke with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Radomski, HfTL University of Applied Sciences, about promoting young IT-Talents, the city Leipzig/Germany as a place for research in the telecommunications sector, her project “Software Quality Seal” and transparency of data from big IT players like Facebook or Google.
Q: Sabine, you are very strongly committed to promoting young IT talent. So far, there are more men in this profession. Are women less interested in IT or what reasons are there in your view?
Sabine: Yes, that’s interesting and is being investigated by sociologists. From my point of view, it is partly due to the uninteresting curriculum for computer science in schools. Computer science lessons do not address the interests of the students and therefore seem outdated. In addition, IT should be used in all subjects, as a communication medium, knowledge database, etc.
Q: What makes the location of Leipzig particularly interesting for research in the telecommunications sector? Also for students who may be choosing their place of study?
Sabine: The complete spectrum of IT topics is covered by many IT companies in Leipzig. Furthermore there is the possibility to study IT at the university and the HTWK in Leipzig. Leipzig is a cosmopolitan city with many young people and many different leisure activities.
Q: What is the background of the project “Software Quality Seal”?
Sabine: Not Software Quality seal – Software Quality Signet – First: we want to make software quality visible – with one seal. The user should be able to decide whether he wants to use externally tested software – with a certificate awarded software, or whether he wants to use the inexpensive, mostly insecure software.
Second: The user should be able to check whether he has received the right software – and whether it is also secure and his data is protected.
Thirdly, many software components are used several times in different software systems – they are made available in class libraries and databases. So every software manufacturer tests these components – they are developed once and tested several times. Components with a quality signet are already tested, which reduces the testing effort for the software manufacturer. So everyone wins with the quality signet.
Q: There are laws on information privacy but not every company sticks to it; see Facebook or Google, which are not transparent in terms of data. Do you have an idea of how we can protect people from misuse of their data in the future?
Sabine: The first step will be our quality signet: making quality in IT – and thus especially in software – visible. There are so many software systems that hardly differ from each other – and the choice is difficult. The app that is used the most – Facebook etc. – is selected. But there are certain alternatives – which can be awarded with our quality signet. This gives the user the power to force companies to improve quality by selecting and using secure software.