It’s an honor and a privilege to have helped 2.6 million developers and earned over 25K points on Stack Overflow. For those who don’t know, Stack Overflow is a Q&A site similar to Quora and Reddit that is essential to life as a software engineer. Most of us turn to it at least once a day to see if anyone else has tackled the same problems, and far more often than not, someone has.
Vidya is proud to have worked on the development of Recreation.gov, a site built for the United States government using leading-edge technologies and practices to make it easier to visit the nation’s most beautiful landmarks and national parks including the Grand Canyon and Mount Whitney. Often called the “Airbnb for Camping,” Rec.gov (as it is colloquially known) allows users to reserve permits to visit and/or stay overnight at federal lands, waterways, and monuments.
If you are a software engineer or run software projects, code coverage is probably very important to you. It’s intuitive. Of course more tests produce better software! It’s easy to calculate. Tools, automation, and stunning charts to impress the people who pay for the occasional pizza are all readily available. The problem is code coverage is killing you. Don’t get me wrong. You deserve credit for your agile commitment to quality and your investment in continuous integration and continuous delivery.
Anyone with a basic knowledge of Scrum, and certainly everyone who has taken Agile Software Project Management With Scrum, knows the role of the ScrumMaster–to be a servant leader, to act as guardian of the Scrum process, to remove obstacles for the delivery team, to negotiate any tension between the Product Owner and the delivery team, to encourage the team to self-organize and be cross-functional, and so on. These are so well understood they’re almost clichés.
At an event recently, someone was kind enough to introduce herself to me, and during the course of our pleasant conversation, she asked me, “So are you a programmer?” My first impulse was to acknowledge once again that I look really nerdy. I embrace that. But my second impulse was to be mildly offended. I wasn’t sure exactly why. As I have reflected a bit about that, I think my visceral reaction to being called a “programmer” arose from my perception of programmers as just people who write code, which is a science.
I have written quite a bit recently about my longstanding passion for improving the way government procures technology and manages technology projects. The administration has taken many significant steps toward that goal, and I have played a small role in the process to this point. But that role is about to get a lot bigger. As I wrote before, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)–the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States– challenged us to improve how government “builds and buys digital services.
Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I drop references to Brangelina and Kimye to explain why DevOps has become so popular in business and why it needs to be a thing in government as well. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction. Terms like service-oriented architecture and big data have long been part of the pantheon of buzzwords that have captivated us while eluding any kind of real understanding.
Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I explain how to apply the guidance found in the White House’s new U.S. Digital Services Playbook, which embraces agile software development and open-source for building better government applications. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction. Software engineering is my passion–not just the technologies but the art of building software the right way.
Vidya is proud to be working with Neustar, a leading telecommunications and cloud platform company. You may not realize it, but every phone call, fax, and computer connection in North America depends on Neustar. Why? In 1998, Neustar saved the 10-digit telephone number system from becoming a 14-digit system with a solution mandated by the FCC, so every telephone company in North America has a physical interface into Neustar’s directory system.