STSI to Sponsor RetroRuby Event

Mar 09, 2017 by bmorris Comments: 0

STSI is proud to be a “Ruby” level sponsor for RetroRuby, a one-day open space unconference on March 11, 2017.  The event focuses on the Ruby programming language and related topics – spanning DevOps, front-end/JavaScript, team culture, and more. If you are lucky, there may still be tickets available at The unconference format means that topics are proposed and decided by attendees the day-of. There is little in the way of rehearsed one-way presentations, and more open space conversation. Several STSI staff will be in attendance to learn about emerging open source technologies and practices. Read More

STSI to Sponsor AgileDC 2016

Sep 26, 2016 by bmorris Comments: 0

STSI is sponsoring AgileDC again this year. Two STSI participants will be speaking at the conference, presenting on DevOps practices. We have found the event to be quite worthwhile for staff development. The one-day time commitment is easy to schedule around. The multi-track, rapid-fire format of talks allows everyone to find relevant topics throughout the day. Read More

STSI Releases Video on Agile Process

Jul 06, 2016 by bmorris Comments: 0

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security asked vendors to explain their agile practices via a 3 minute video, with an emphasis on implementing agile practices, engaging with end users, and handling change. At STSI, we prefer to work in the open, and are thus opening up our submission as a public video, available on youtube. Although in response to a DHS request, the video captures some key points about agile adoption and our user-centered process. Read More

STSI to Sponsor DevOps Days DC

May 05, 2016 by bmorris Comments: 0

STSI is proud to sponsor DevOps Days DC, a technical conference on June 8-9, 2016. More information on the conference is at: STSI is committed to helping government agencies with DevOps adoption, and supports the local community of practitioners. DevOps tools and practices are an important enabler of agile development, allowing teams to iterate quickly by automating and integrating software development and operations. Read More

STSI Awarded EPA CISS Contract Vehicle

Mar 07, 2016 by bmorris Comments: 0

STSI was awarded a contract with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Comprehensive Infrastructure Support Services (CISS) vehicle. STSI is the lead firm on a small business team formed via a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA). The CISS contract is an EPA-wide vehicle spanning four GSA schedules. The multiple award $211 million BPA covers facilities management; safety, health & environmental management; security management; and IT and general support. All EPA offices, regions and labs can make use of the BPA. Read More

“DevOps for the Rest of Us” at DC Continuous Delivery Meetup

Feb 10, 2016 by bmorris Comments: 0

DevOps is a fashionable buzzword these days. Everyone wants DevOps, but few can agree on the details of what it is or why it is so important. STSI consultants Chris Cassatt and Ben Morris will deliver a talk on “DevOps for the Rest of Us” at the upcoming DC Continuous Delivery meetup on the evening of February 17. The talk is geared toward a wide audience: project managers or analysts who want to understand the value of DevOps, or developers who are new to DevOps. We address the nebulous definition of the “DevOps” buzzword, then dive in to real demos. This talk is based on one we gave at AgileDC this past fall. Download the slides. Read More

STSI Releases EPA National Lakes Assessment Prototype

Dec 30, 2015 by bmorris Comments: 0

STSI released the NLA Data Explorer prototype, which improves how EPA shares the National Lakes Assessment dataset. The EPA National Lakes Assessment is a statistical survey of the condition of our nation’s lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. The prototype application allows you to explore that data. You can view the data for a given lake and can gain context about the data. By clicking on a field, you get a definition of what it contains, as well as some descriptive statistics as to how the lake compares to other lakes. This prototype application was developed by STSI as part of a response to a Request for Information published by the EPA. The EPA has done a great job of making raw data available as a set of CSV files. This prototype expands on that, allowing would-be users of the data a chance to “kick the tires” and understand the contents of the dataset.     The code is open source and available on GitHub. Read More

STSI Sponsors AgileDC

Oct 27, 2015 by bmorris Comments: 0

STSI sponsored the annual AgileDC conference, which brings together software developers and consultants from the government and commercial worlds. In all 7 consultants attended the conference. Some take-aways: Our presentation on ‘DevOps for the Rest of Us‘ by Chris Cassatt and Ben Morris was well received. The audience appreciated the live demo and well-structured format. The multi-track format was great to allow attendees to tailor their experience based on personal interest and value. It was fun to see 100 STSI branded give-away bags being carried around the conference. We’ll be back next year! Read More

STSI Awarded New Task Order under NRC Modernization Contract

Sep 30, 2015 by admin Comments: 0

STSI was awarded multiple task orders to assist the NRC Office of the Chief Financial Officer.  The NRC faces a challenge of maintaining consistent budget and labor data, which can complicate budget development and management decision making.  STSI will help NRC to restructure their tools and process for labor data and related software through the requirements development and high-level design recommendation phases of the Task Assignment Control (TAC) Legacy System Replacement (LSR) project.  In addition STSI will work to identify a cost-effective business intelligence solution for the Centralized Labor Reporting (CLR) Project. The scope of the tasks include: • Collect & review existing system & business processes • Gather clear requirements from all stakeholders • Perform a comprehensive feasibility study to assess all relevant solutions • Develop in-depth design specifications and detailed project schedule • Prepare migration plans for data and task phase transitions Read More

Lessons Learned from a 1-week App

Jul 10, 2015 by bmorris Comments: 0

A couple weeks ago, 18F released a request for quote (RFQ) for Agile Delivery Services. This represented a new approach to federal IT contracting. For typical federal proposals, you spend weeks or months writing dozens (or hundreds) of pages describing how you’ll deliver. (But maybe you are better at writing than delivering.) For this proposal, we didn’t submit paper. We submitted code. Specifically, we developed an application that  leveraged the APIs at We had to do so in one week, which was later extended to about 2 weeks total. Creating an app from scratch in 1-2 weeks is tough, but we did it! We’re proud of the app we created, and the quality of the code. Our top 5 lessons from our team retrospective were… Slack Time is Great: We were originally marching toward a 1 week deadline, which was then extended before the week was up. That extra slack time let us add some fun features, including a cool tree visualization, that made the app feel more complete and polished. Lesson: Some buffer time helps teams – and running at 100% will actually slow production. Tests are a Life Saver: Our test coverage was very good. Sometimes it […] Read More