DevOps Shines as Federal IT Modernization Efforts Grow

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:

The Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT) and other related initiatives are pushing agencies to move away from aging, legacy applications as well as costly, complex software projects. The goal is to have more secure, agile, and cost-effective IT infrastructures replace them.

DevOps, a moniker that is a combination of development and operations, is emerging as an approach that could help Federal agencies modernize and speed new development efforts, especially as they migrate to cloud services. DevOps is a software engineering culture as well as a practice that advocates automation and monitoring throughout the software development lifecycle. It generally pairs development teams with IT operations throughout the development cycle, eliminating the somewhat adversarial role that sometimes has naturally formed in many organizations. Continue reading

MGT Passed-So What Now?

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:

The Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act became the law of the land on Dec. 21, when President Trump signed it into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the much-vaunted revolving capital fund-cut out of the original FITARA bill in committee-that establishes a central bucket of money at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), managed by the General Services Administration (GSA), for Feds to modernize legacy IT systems. Great idea when you consider that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) tells us Uncle Sam owns 777 supply chain systems and over 600 HR systems-and in light of the fact that we spend 80 percent of the $80-120 billion annual IT budget on life support for geriatric systems that should long since have been euthanized...

Show Me the Money.

However, while MGT is now the law, what does it really mean? This is an interesting question. Recent talk of MGT has trumpeted the $500 million central revolving capital fund-exciting, but a long step down from the $3.1 billion IT modernization piggy bank originally attached to FITARA. That said, it's significant to note that while the MGT Act made it into law, appropriators sat on their hands. Yes, believe it or not, there's no funding for MGT at this time. And, interestingly, there's a discrepancy between the bill, that authorizes $250 million each year in FY18 and FY19, and President Trump's budget request for MGT FY18, which was $228 million.

So, MGT NBD? Absolutely not. And, here's why... Continue reading

Federal Events Rebound in 2015

Market Connections released their seventh annual Federal Media and Marketing Study earlier this month and it has great news for the federal event community. The survey of over 3,400 federal employees showed a significant jump in event attendance. In 2015, 55% of respondents reported attending 1-3 events. That is up from 42% in 2014. Federal event attendance numbers had been declining for the past four years, making this year's jump even more notable.

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The numbers back up what we have been hearing from our GovEvents members. Budgets and rules around travel and training have been easing up. Panelists at the event agreed that the tightening down of budgets and approval for events and training was an overcorrection in response to the GSA scandal and now we're finally seeing the pendulum shift back to a more rational place. But it was not just the GSA scandal that led to the decline in event participation. Panelists report there was a perfect storm of scandal, sequestration, and OMB guidance that left people confused as to what was "right" in terms of event attendance. Continue reading

What’s a Hackathon and Why Would I Want One?

The name 'hackathon' conjures up images of a room full of computers and intense, college-age programmers typing away trying to break the security of sites. While that intensity and innovation may have been the inspiration for these events, today hackathons are being used for good.

Hackathons are defined broadly as a place where programmers collaboratively code with a specific project or focus. The roots of these gatherings are found in the open source community, but many events today produce a product that will be owned by a company or organization.[Tweet "Hackathons: a place where programmers collaboratively code with a specific project or focus."] Continue reading

Board upholds reinstatement of GSA execs

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:

Originally posted on FederalTimes

The Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) upheld the reinstatement of two regional Public Buildings Service (PBS) commissioners fired in the wake of the extravagant 2010 Western Regions Conference, finding the General Services Administration did not provide adequate justification for letting them go.

Along with those directly involved in the planning process, former Region 8 Commissioner Paul Prouty and Region 7 Commissioner James Weller were fired after the acting PBS commissioner determined that they should have realized the conference costs were "questionable and excessive" and taken action. Continue reading