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Enabling Transition from Sustainment to Engineering within the DoD

November 2021 Podcast
Thomas Evans, Douglas Schmidt (Vanderbilt University)

Thomas Evans and Douglas C. Schmidt discuss challenges sustainment teams face when transitioning from sustainment to engineering in the DoD.

“People who do sustainment are often thrown into situations where they don’t know the overall picture, and they are able to narrow it down and fix a particular issue without understanding the entirety of the system. Engineering often requires the breadth of knowledge for that entire system. While the skills may be transferable, or transmittable between the two, it is a different mindset and a different approach to look at those two different forms of engineering.”

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Abstract

Organic software sustainment organizations within the Department of Defense are expanding beyond their traditional purview of software maintenance into software engineering and development. Instead of repairing and maintaining legacy software in already deployed systems, software sustainment teams must now shift to designing and implementing new software architectures and code. Unfortunately, many of these sustainment teams are taking on these new responsibilities without proper guidance and an understanding the people, process, and technology issues that must first be addressed in these new roles. In this podcast, Thomas Evans, a senior software architect at the SEI, and Douglas C. Schmidt, associate provost of research at Vanderbilt University and former chief technical officer at the SEI, discuss the challenges that software sustainment teams face while making this transition and strategies for success.

About the Speaker

Thomas Evans

Thomas Evans

Thomas Evans is a senior software architect and acting initiative lead in the SEI’s Software Solutions Division. In this role, Evans leads teams in the evaluation of software systems, advises and promotes ...

Thomas Evans is a senior software architect and acting initiative lead in the SEI’s Software Solutions Division. In this role, Evans leads teams in the evaluation of software systems, advises and promotes best practices, researches and prototypes software system modernization solutions, and champions the use of open architectures to save taxpayer money through competition and reuse. 

 

Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and joined the SEI in 2018 after working in private industry in the Boston area. Evans has focused his industry experience on engineering low-level software systems and creating novel solutions using emulation, binary translation, and virtualization.

 

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Douglas Schmidt (Vanderbilt University)

Douglas Schmidt (Vanderbilt University)

Douglas C. Schmidt is a professor ...

Douglas C. Schmidt is a professor of computer science, associate chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Program, and a senior researcher at the Institute for Software Integrated Systems, at Vanderbilt University. From 2010 to 2012, Schmidt served as chief technology officer of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and continues to collaborate on many projects within the SEI. Schmidt has published 10 books and more than 500 technical papers on software-related topics, including patterns, optimization techniques, and empirical analyses of object-oriented frameworks and domain-specific modeling environments that facilitate the development of distributed real-time and embedded (DRE) middleware and mission-critical applications running over data networks and embedded system interconnects.

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