DAU hosted "Let's Talk Agile - In the Stars with Space CAMP," a best practice webcast panel Feb. 3, 2021, with teams from Platform One (P1) and Space CAMP (Commercially Augmented Mission Platform), including counselors and government leads, to share their achievements and experience gained as they transform the digital force through rapid software development, collaborative innovation and servant leadership.
The session included a discussion between speakers, Space CAMP Government Lead 1st Lt. Samuel Kreimier and 1st Lt. Christopher “Cody” Paul, Acquisition and Contracting Strategy Team Lead for the Platform One Program Office, Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division, and an audience-driven Q&A session.
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“As the Space Force was standing up and growing, we found an opportunity to continue working on space-based applications and find a way to tackle different problem sets within the Space Force and really be the software factory within the Space Force,” Kreimier said. “It’s really awesome, you have General Raymond and other top leadership saying ‘this needs to be a digital force’… we need to figure out how to be agile, lean and all the things to make a small military branch fast and effective.”
Space CAMP is a software factory focused on the continuous and secure development and deployment of United States Space Force (USSF) mission applications to the warfighter. This program was identified by Mr. Nicolas M. Chaillan, Air Force Chief Software Officer (CSO), as an exemplar DoD DevSecOps (Development, Security and Operations) Software Factory.
Space CAMP is a software node to P1 (the DoD Executive agent for DevSecOps) for Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)). Due to its embrace of the eXtreme Programming (XP) essence of agile software development, the program is able to frequently produce quality code that can adapt to rapid changes and meet the high-level of security standards necessary for maintaining a Continuous Authority to Operate (C-ATO).
The applications developed at Space CAMP follow the user-centered design, a process through which designers continuously engage with users and employ a mixture of investigative and generative methods and tools to understand user needs. Space CAMP gets at the heart of agile development — warfighters and coders decide where the biggest problems lie, then chip away at those issues bit by bit, instead of waiting for the perfect new system to be complete. New code is fluidly developed, tested, and then deployed; requirements are set based on immediate and evolving needs as well as whether the group has the resources to address them.
Like Space CAMP, the modern, cloud-era sister platform of P1 has a vision for digital readiness, speed in development and a collaboration of like-minded networks. These processes result in rapid, recurring capability delivery to the warfighter, ensuring that products built will benefit the end-user.
The Department of Defense believes this iterative process is an efficient way to develop and deliver upgrades, completely different from traditional release cycles.
“I think traditionally when we talk about sustainment and software, we should really be thinking about continuous engineering,” Paul said. “There’s always going to be an upgrade, there’s always going to be some kind of push or new feature that needs to be developed. Think of it from a perspective like your iPhone. Every once in a while you get an update on your phone saying version 14.2, 14.3, 14.4, is being ‘pushed.'”
Paul further added that once an application is in deployment, it doesn’t just go away and sustain forever, there is a need to continuously evolve that application with new features and new functions, much like mobile technology -- a process that must be embraced by the DoD to shift the culture and mindset away from continuous engineering.
Additionally, Space Camp is challenging the cultural resistance to change by identifying and tracking people with the skills and the passion for coding that might not be nurtured in other career fields. Space CAMP embeds interested individuals into their process and provides an opportunity for growth in an environment that requires both problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This bottom-up operation program takes people who have talent and their ability to make change and puts them in the position to take advantage of opportunities.
For full video please visit https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/preview/partner_id/2203981/uiconf_id/39997971/entry_id/1_2orubk94/embed/dynamic and for more information on the Space CAMP initiative, please visit: https://spacecamp.il2.dso.mil/#/home, and Platform One (P1) please visit: https://p1.dso.mil/#/.
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