Simmons Lough is a software architect committed to transforming the way the federal government builds, maintains, and delivers software solutions. He earned his stripes during the start-up movement of the early 2000s. During that time, his lean teams lacked the resources to hire specialists, so they worked together to produce high quality code with speed and accuracy. The secret to their success: collaboration, automation, and data. In other words, DevOps.
At the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Simmons is now helping the Office of Finance Management Systems move towards a similar culture of speedy and collaborative development. The USPTO exists to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.” DevOps culture is the perfect blend of progressive science and useful art, making the USPTO a fitting agency for DevOps.
Simmons’ core project at the USPTO, Fee Processing Next Generation (FPNG), collects all of the 3 billion dollars in annual revenue that keeps the agency running. In partnership with the OCIO’s cloud and delivery automation infrastructure, the FPNG team is embracing DevOps as a key component of its IT modernization approach. The scope is focused, but powerful, and demonstrates how the federal government can give Silicon Valley a run for its money. FPNG provides an example of how federal agencies can use DevOps to improve and transform their software development processes.