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Kit Plummer
Software Engineer :: Techitect :: Evangelist
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Well, today was the last day of four-plus years with my previous employer. I think I’ve done fairly well at maintaining sanity (personal and those around me) for the past few years while our projects rollercoastered through existence.

I’ve written software and built systems that do and will defend our nation, protect our troops, and optimize our police and firefighters. I’ve seen some of the coolest technology imaginable. I’ve made people smarter…and grown myself as a technologist; more importantly, enlightened as a citizen.

I want to thank those who’ve helped me and stood in my way with the same fervor. You’ve made me the person I am and will be as I help my new employer achieve its goals and objectives.

Sometimes the truth needs to be told regardless if anyone is listening.

  • People who sleep on the job should be fired
    • I don’t know how many times I’d walk by a cube and watch someone doze away. If you are that tired – go to bed earlier. If you are that stressed – find a new job.
  • Intra-corporate empires are bad.
    • Departmental structures prevent flexibility. And putting ROAD (retired on active duty) people in positions of authority is just not logical.
  • Hardware – Software finger pointing is just stupid.
    • It should be about system ownership and not broken down to the segregation of hardware and software systems. There is no such thing as a software-only system.

Ah hell…I could go on and on, nevermind. Enough dirty laundry. But, one more.

  • Government/military use of Open Source is happening. Java will be embedded in missiles, control lasers, link cockpits, task robots. Open standards are the solution – not patents. The Enterprise and the Battlespace aren’t that different.

I’ll take “will” over “skill” any day. I’ve watched way too many smart people wallow in the bureaucratic quagmire of federal contractordom – rather than rise above with effort and energy. Frederick Brook’s “hustle” rings true. A small team of hard working individuals will always produce more than a room full of Ph.D braniacs. Fortunately, I’ve been able to work in the former environment – working my butt off (with midnight Taco Bell, and scorching desert flight tests included). It really wasn’t until I started trying to capture my work to pass it on, that I realized exactly how much we’ve accomplished.

So, here’s to the “small” team that has given me the opportunity to shine and move on. I couldn’t be more proud – and am envious of the work that lies ahead of them. Good luck Scott, Kelly, Aaron, and RenĂ©e. To my ex-employer – realize what you have and embrace it, promote it and compensate it.

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