Community-Driven Software Development & Mentorship


Problem

Servicemembers are part of a digitally-native generation, yet do not have access to the data systems and software needed to work in a modern era. Many unit processes are manual, with data input, retrieval, and export done via copy/paste, Word, Excel, or .pdf files. The result: DoD loses rapid flexibility or decision latitude that could have been used to gain the decisive edge in a battle while our people lose their work-life balance.

Current State:   Many servicemembers know this problem well, and have the native talents & passion to contribute to solutions that improve their jobs, but lack the resources, tooling, and guidance to do so via modern web-enabled technologies.

Future State:   The moment that a servicemember has an idea, she should not be limited to utilizing rogue, unsecured platforms to develop, and she should be able to provision, prototype, and test without any external bureucratic dependencies. Furthermore, she should have immediate access to a well-resourced community of digital servicemembers of variying experiences in order to ask questions and receive guidance from people who have already walked this path.

Service provided to bridge the gap:   If you are a servicemember wanting to contribute to a project, or have begun working on a project and are passionate about being able to launch your work into an accredited, secure environment in order to utilize real mission data, we get it. Reach out via the below methods & we will work with you or your teams to get started. Note that this does not mean we will do the job for you; in fact, if you choose to go this path, expect many late nights and hard work–but we will remove as many roadblocks as possible to help identify the lowest-risk path to success.


Getting Started With Us

Connect: Start by joining the MilitaryCoders Mattermost Group. If you do not yet have a DoD Platform One Single Sign-On username, follow the on-screen prompts to create a new login account. In here, you can immediately start connecting to find like-minded individuals that might want to collaborate on your issues. You might find someone here who is already working a similar issue that will accept you into their project immediately!

Assess: If you are unable to find anybody that already has a product in development through an accredited platform, not to worry! We are ready to help. However, we need to know a little bit more about your background & current skillset to ensure that we provide you with the appropriate path to success, whether that be through directly launching a new product, lining you up with all or part of a fast-paced training curriculum, or getting you mentorship walk through the final steps of getting our app approved to run on a military network via the Continuous Authority to Operate. This assessment involves:

  1. Complete the Software Development Immersive Assessment (1-hr). Note that this does not require you to actually complete full application…we just want to see your current ability through the assessment. Note however that this assessment is done in javascript; if you are unfamiliar, we highly recommend that you complete the prep-work first. All concepts tested on the assessment are covered in the prep-work.

  2. Using your .mil, send us an email at tron@afwerx.af.mil containing the following content:

     From: you@mail.mil
     Subject: <First & Last Name> Ready to Launch!
    
     Hello!  I recently completed the "Assess" portion of the Tron mentorship program and am ready to discuss the next steps!  
        
     I am interested in deploying an application that does the following:
     <provide a brief 2-4 sentence description of your intended project>
    
     Thanks!
    

    *NOTE*   In order to provide a scalable service to the entire DoD, we have to be extremely streamlined in our processes for launching new technologies. We are contantly working to expand our supported offerings, but cannot create custom architectures at this time. If you have already started your project, please ensure that your project can either be launched or refactored to fit into one of our supported tech stack categories.

  3. We will evaluate your score and ask you to either pursue a collection of pre-requisite online learning/review the prep work to re-take the exam before continuing, or proceed with the next step!

Launch: Once you have been assessed & approved by a certified by a Tron partner, you will be setup with an open-source or inner-source code repository, DevSecOps pipeline, and staging/development environment through DoD Platform One. Based on your past experience, the outcome of the assessment, and the needs of your proposed project, you will be given a required learning pathway in order to be eligible to move from development to production, and an open-source mentor to help guide you through this process who has walked this path before you. This is necessary because, no matter how skilled you are, developing on a military network in accordance with the DoD Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide is almost certainly going to be different than anything you have done to date.

Deploy: The best part! Once you have completed your learning pathway, proven the viability of your product, have a passing DevSecOps pipeline, understand the components of the Continuous Authority to Operate, and your mentor is comfortable with your ability to run a production system, you will be placed into a “Path to Prod” sprint with the goal of receiving full accreditation to deploy on a military network.

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