Air Force software director resigns – FCW
Air Force software director resigns
The Air Force’s first head of software, Nicolas Chaillan, will step down in October, FCW has learned. Its last day is scheduled for October 2.
“We are the largest software organization on the planet, and we have almost no shared repositories and little to no collaboration between DOD services,” Chaillan wrote in a resignation note obtained by FCW.
“At this point, I’m just tired of continually looking for support and money to do my job. My office still doesn’t have housing and funding, this year and next.”
Chaillan began his role in 2018 with the mission of making DevSecOps standard business practice and expanding the Kessel Run software factory model across the Air Force. He noted that the job was “probably the most difficult and maddening of my entire career,” but also “impactful” and “rewarding.”
Since joining the technical direction of the Air Force, the Chaillan team has notably contributed to the creation of Platform One, which aims to facilitate the creation of software factories by organizations and to more easily deploy code. of confidence for fighters with certified tools. Chaillan’s team was also behind the migration from Kubernetes to the F-16 fighter jet. (Chaillan was named the recipient of the Fed100 award in 2021 for his work with Platform One.)
Prior to becoming an Air Force CSO, he led DOD’s corporate DevSecOps initiative and served as a Cloud Security Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment at the office of the Secretary of Defense.
In the memo, Chaillan notes that the lack of funding as well as the DOD bureaucracy left his office and mission “unable to resolve basic IT problems.” Specifically, the software chief named his recent task of assisting the Joint Chiefs of Staff in their efforts on joint command and control of all areas a DOD-wide effort to ensure that data can be shared transparently across all platforms.
“They wanted me to help them deliver a minimum viable product (MVP) within four months so that we finally have a tangible deliverable to show for JADC2,” Chaillan wrote.
“After a massive undertaking and the development of a field of work, based on the demands of our fighters and [combatant commands], I had just started the job and created excitement with the teams and our mission partners, when the Joint Staff told me there was no [fiscal year 2022] funding to support the MVP after all. After all the talk and continued claims that this was critical work, the DOD couldn’t even find $ 20 [million] to build extremely beneficial fighter abilities. “
Chaillan has spoken out that DOD leaders are implementing their rhetoric. In an interview with Air Force Magazine earlier this month, he said that “department leaders always say the right things” but “it’s a little harder to walk.”
In a previous interview with FCW, Chaillan also said technical training and education in areas such as cloud security was another challenge.
“I think we have the right people and the right involvement. I think sometimes there is a lack of urgency and I feel like we are still moving a little too slowly and that’s what I want to do. a little better, ”Chaillan mentioned.
Lauren C. Williams is a senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining FCW, Williams was a tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In previous positions, Williams has covered healthcare, politics and crime for various publications, including the Seattle Times.
Williams holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.
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