Failure. Pragmatic Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Failure. Pragmatic Lessons Learned the Hard Way

The December 2023 Tech Talk was presented by Rick Kelly

Abstract

Rick Kelly will talk about lessons learned in systems engineering in weapons development. His lesson were informed by his life on the farm.

“I grew up on a small farm. On that farm, our deadlines were very real. We had to get the plowing done in time to plant. We had to get the hay in before it rained. And money was always tight so we couldn’t just buy our way out of problems. 

So, I grew up knowing that preventive maintenance was critical. That maintenance made problems less likely, but it didn’t eliminate them. When any piece of equipment broke, our approach to fixing it was very pragmatic. We would use what was on hand before we would ever go buy something new.

That pragmatic view informed his career and greatly influenced his ability to learn from failure. With that backdrop, this talk will provide a few of the key lessons he learned from the failures he has seen in his career.

About the Presenter 

Rick Kelly

Rick Kelly has pursued system engineering excellence over his forty-year career working for DOD and in the private sector as an Aerospace Consultant. Rick’s career has been focused on the “art” and “science” of “weaponeering” for the Department of the Navy to be able to deliver game-changing Weapons Systems for the Fleet.

Rick recently retired from his DOD position but continues to teach as well as consult on all aspects of System Engineering for DOD as well as industry.

Software Excellence through the Agile High Velocity Development℠ Process

Software Excellence through the Agile High Velocity Development℠ Process

Abstract

The Advanced Information Services Division of Ishpi Information Technologies, Inc. (DBA ISHPI) performs all aspects of the software development lifecycle using its High Velocity Development℠ (HVD) process. We have studied many methods and frameworks (including Personal Software Process, Team Software Process, CMMI for Development, Scrum, Kanban, CMMI for Services, ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 20000-1 (Information Technology Service Management), ISO 27001 (Information Security Management Systems), Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, and more), adapted them, combined them, and made them our own. The result is an innovative, cohesive process that works for us—our agile HVD process. We have shown that diverse inputs need not be contradictory choices, but instead complementary building blocks. By evolving, implementing, and utilizing the HVD practices, AIS Division teams have achieved significant improvement in productivity and performance. ISHPI’s customers have benefited from shorter schedules, lower costs for development due to minimal rework costs, lower costs for maintenance, and an overall positive experience during each project.

About the Presenter 

Stephen Shook, ISHPI’s Vice President of Software Engineering & Quality, brings more than 25 years of experience in senior management, business development, development management, project management, software engineering, and implementing Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®). He is one of the principal architects of ISHPI’s award-winning Agile High Velocity Development℠ software development methodology, which is appraised at CMMI Development Maturity Level 5. As an experienced instructor, coach, consultant, and subject matter expert, he leads and mentors software teams to achieve exceptional cost, schedule, and quality performance in order to achieve customer business goals. Stephen has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Illinois.

Barti Perini, ISHPI’s Vice President of Software Process Improvement, brings over 25 years of experience in software engineering, software development process improvement, project management, and Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®) and ISO implementation. She leads ISHPI’s Software Engineering Process group, Configuration Management group, and the Quality Assurance group, working with senior management, software development managers, project managers, and engineers to initiate, define, track, evaluate, and implement new methods and technologies to continuously optimize the software engineering capability of the organization (currently appraised at CMMI Development Maturity Level (ML) 5 and CMMI Services ML 3). Barti holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. Barti has a Master of Science in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Technology in Industrial Electronics from Mysore University, India and a Bachelor of Engineering in Power Electronics from Nagpur University, India.

Implementing a Strategy for Excellence

Implementing a Strategy for Excellence

The January 2023 tech talk was presented by Seemin Suleri

Abstract

In our pursuit of excellence, we built a strategy that matched the ambition of a competitive e-commerce business. The problem was, where do we start the work: A struggling software department with high attrition and low engagement, a software system that was falling apart, a monolith that was hard to break away from. This talk covers how the real work was done on the ground to achieve great results. It also gives practical advice on where to find tools that enable you to measure the effectiveness of the strategy. For anyone who is tasked with bringing a vision to reality, this talk is packed with ideas that generated high performance, high engagement, and better quality products 40 times faster.

About the Presenter 

Seemin Suleri

Seemin is an agent for change in a competitive digital world. Specializing in building and leading high-performance self-organizing teams, she has enabled businesses to transform their cultural and technological landscape. She has a real passion for Agile and continuous improvement. Currently working as Head of Engineering for 288 Group Ltd, she is leading the company’s systems transformation effort to meet the demands of the ever-evolving and competitive market.

She is a mum of two energetic preschoolers, and is passionate about flexibility and inclusion in teams to allow people from all backgrounds to succeed. She has led a number of initiatives to increase the representation of women in software, and is always interested in the human element in organizational success. She is an enthusiastic individual with a background in both software engineering and project management, coupled with the ability to operate within an array of engineering disciplines to unblock flow and get the job done.

How to Increase Team Performance : A Tale of Two Teams

How to Increase Team Performance : A Tale of Two Teams

The June 2022 tech talk was presented by Seemin Suleri

Abstract:

This is a story of two software teams: one in a large blue-chip corporate environment and another in a small company. This is a tale of how people came together to face challenges and show incredible results and achievement. It will also show how we managed to create an environment with our limitations to foster creativity by creating strong foundations. For people who are in established software teams or just about to start their journey, there is a little bit to take away in their own journey to mastery.

About the Presenter 

Seemin Suleri

Seemin is an ambassador of iterative and continuous delivery practices. She has a real passion for Agile and continuous improvement. Currently working as Head of Engineering at 288 Group, she is leading the company’s systems transformation effort to meet the demands of the ever-evolving and competitive digital landscape.

Seemin is a software engineer at heart, with experience in both software development and project management. She is an advocate of enabling a culture that allows autonomous teams to succeed in delivery.

She is a mum of two toddlers, and is passionate about flexibility and inclusion in software teams to allow people from all backgrounds to succeed. She has led a number of initiatives to increase the representation of women in software, and is always interested in the human element in organizational success.

Designing and Launching Secure Software Development Degree Apprenticeships Partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Panel Session

Designing and Launching Secure Software Development Degree Apprenticeships Partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Panel Session

The May 2022 tech talk was presented by Diana Elliott, Girish Seshagiri, and Nikunja Swain

About the Session

Currently, in the U.S. over one million software developer positions and 600,000 cybersecurity occupations are unfilled due to the lack of available skilled job seekers. At the same time, the percentage of women, minorities and veterans in technology professions continues to be low. In this panel discussion, we describe how a consortium of South Carolina Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is partnering with SC employers to design and launch IT and cybersecurity degree apprenticeship cohorts in fall 2022. The panelists will provide a status update of the exemplar government/industry/academic collaboration which will result in career pathways to technology jobs for cyber security and computer science graduates of HBCUs. The panelists will discuss the requirements of DOL Registered Apprenticeship Program which is a high-quality vocational training model with standard work process including 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 61 academic credit hours. The panelists will present how the HBCU consortium colleges mapped cybersecurity and computer science degree curricula to National Initiative Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Framework competencies for developing software which is secure from cyber-attacks.

About the Presenters

Diana Elliott is a senior fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute. Her work focuses on families’ financial security and economic mobility and the programs and policies that support them, including apprenticeships. Elliott is the director of several apprenticeship projects at Urban, including the Apprenticeship Expansion and Modernization Fund, which launched over 1500 apprentices into tech occupations. Prior to Urban, Elliott was a research manager at the Pew Charitable Trusts and a family demographer at the US Census Bureau. Elliott holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Girish Seshagiri Founder/CEO of Nonprofit Apprenticeship Implementation Solutions, Inc is an early adopter of the apprenticeship dual model. Under his leadership, the Community Initiative Center of Excellence for Secure Software (CICESS) was launched in Peoria, Illinois in 2015. CICESS received the 2018 Innovation in Cybersecurity Education Award given by the National Cyberwatch Center. Girish is currently focused on government/industry/academic collaboration partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to design and launch IT and Cybersecurity degree apprenticeship cohorts. Girish is the immediate past co-chair of the NICE Apprenticeship Working Group. Girish has an MBA from Michigan State University.

Nikunja Swain is a professor, department chair, and executive director of center of excellence in cybersecurity at South Carolina State University. Dr. Swain has over 35 years of college level teaching experience and he is a registered professional engineer in South Carolina. Dr. Swain has over 70 conference/journal publications, and number of grants from NSF, DOE, USDA/NIFA, DOD, and others. Dr. Swain is a life senior member of IEEE, a professional member of ACM, a member of SIGITE, and ASEE.