The right to vote is sacred. It’s essential to live in a free society and to pick a winner on The Voice. Unfortunately, the right to vote is under attack worldwide, and bad actors have used tech to do it. Russia interfered with the Brexit referendum in the UK and with elections there, Ukraine, France, and famously here in the United States, even still as I write this, by hacking voting machines and voter registration databases and manipulating social media.
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.
Vidya is proud to have teamed with Accenture Federal Services to transition HealthCare.gov from a conventional Java monolith built with Spring into Scala microservices built with Play Framework. One of several factors that motivate software engineers is mission, and there are few missions more fulfilling than helping people access health insurance and ultimately health care as efficiently as possible. As American readers know, HealthCare.gov faces a lot of exogenous pressure as a proxy in a raging American political and economic maelstrom.
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.
I had the opportunity to join a panel discussion hosted by Frank McNally, Director of Learning and Content Development at Public Spend Forum, where we discussed cybersecurity procurement in the federal government. Rounding out the panel was Spence Witten, VP of security solutions provider LunarLine, who has a wealth of experience with federal procurement in the security space. Check out why procurement officials need to take initiative when buying cybersecurity solutions (and how they can do it both pre-award and post-award) and how security can be built into the software engineering process.
Have you found that your code has a lot of bugs even though you’ve invested in maintaining 90% code coverage? Have you also found that your tests break so often that you don’t want to write any more? I have. With multiple clients. Part of the problem is code coverage is a misleading indicator of quality. Even worse, you are writing tests that don’t test anything except the implementation details of your code.
Functional programming isn’t exactly a fun topic anywhere outside of technical conferences and The Big Bang Theory. Even software engineers who love code often tune out when they hear terms like monad and referential transparency. But if you are a technical manager or executive, heads up. Functional programming will limit your technical debt so you build better software faster than you imagined and will earn you the Tesla you always wanted.
Blockchain. I can probably stop here. Merely having the word on the Vidya site will increase blog readership more than if I posted a deleted scene from Black Panther. There are already thousands of thought pieces explaining Blockchain, how it will revolutionize commerce, how it will transform the Internet. There is even a company whose decision to add Blockchain to its name led to a 600% stock surge and a financial windfall for its CEO!
I will be speaking at Tech Talk DC on October 25th in Arlington, Virginia, on Here’s What’s Trending In Software Engineering. Whether you build software, manage projects, or run enterprises, you’ll discover techniques and technologies that will give you an edge in the years to come. If you saw me speak on this topic at Code Writers Workshop in the summer, rest assured this talk will be different. First, I have added some wrinkles to the original list you will likely find compelling.