I about a week ago I read a an article on by BBC on Script Kiddies cheating Microtransation systems in games. I found the story annoying for a number of reasons. The first was the way that ‘offenders’ were discussed.

Most were written using basic coding languages such as Visual Basic and C#, and were written in a way that contain quite literal schoolboy errors that professional hackers were unlikely to make - many exposing the original source of the code.

First off, C# and Visual Basic can be used to make complex systems. I fail to see how the readability syntax has any meaning here - bear in mind these languages may have been the only/most accessible way to implement such a tool. That doesn’t make them ‘basic’ - MSDN would lap up that tone…

The 11 year old kids made mistakes professional programmers with CS degrees and years of experience were unlikely to make. Isn’t this a surprise? 11 year old kids make mistakes in spoken English too and we don’t turn our noses up at that.

You teach your children that you can’t take a toy without paying - so I think this type of a message needs to get to the kids when they’re writing software too.

Okay, digital products can be replicated an infinite number of times - they have no manufacturing costs.  While it is perhaps wrong that they can get stuff for free it also brings into question: should developers be able to sell content in this way? This is up for debate and is currently a subject I'm undecided on.

I think what is damaging about the article through is it gives kids interested in programming a bad name, a reason to be watched and worried over. While it’s not as good as making a website or an app, you’ve got to start somewhere, and the skills learned will eventually benefit the industry.