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Intelligence in an App

Intelligence in an App
There is no escaping the need for apps. The Intelligence Community is jumping on the app bandwagon, making Intel app development a hot new field for software developers and new tech graduates.

BAE Systems Senior Principal Software Engineer, Marilou Lim, has had a remarkable and dynamic career. She started as a trial attorney before embracing her passion for technology and software development. As a software developer, Lim had experience developing and maintaining government databases and networks. But as technology has evolved, so have customer requirements, and developers like Lim have adapted.

Just like the business world, the IC requires mobile solutions to rapidly inform decision makers on the go. The IC is currently pushing for many of its legacy systems and smaller databases to be migrated to data-driven applications, to provide easier accessibility. These apps must provide seamless experiences for their phones, tablets and computers supported by cloud-based infrastructure.

“The IC is eager to leverage technology,” said Lim. “The IC has unique and specific mission requirements requiring customization, hence the need for app development.”

Today, Lim is one of a growing number of specialists, know as Object Oriented Developers.

“An Object Oriented Developer uses modern techniques in providing technical solutions, transforming traditional databases into more automated analytic solutions,” said Lim.

While traditional, or conventional programming, is organized around rigidly-defined production steps, Object Oriented Programming (OOP) allows developers to define the data type of a data structure, as well as the types of operations that can be applied to the data structure. OOP enables developers to create relationships between one object and another, which can enhance data searching, and can allow for better information sharing amongst the application’s users. App developers can also rapidly adapt programs to meet changing customer needs. The result is a more extensible and reusable system that provides an immediate cost benefit.

“Apps built using OOP can be easily tweaked to support changing mission priorities in much shorter development timeframes,” said Lim. 

There are some major differences amongst commercial apps, and those used by the IC. The differences are largely centered on security. Most commercial apps allow access to a user’s private information to enhance its utility. Think about the apps you have on your personal phone. Some access your address book, calendar, photos and much more. But these apps can also be hiding malware, which can access your personal messages, determine your location, initiate calls, access your camera and even transfer keystroke information back to developers. Due to the potentially sensitive information accessed and exchanged by apps within the IC, all IC-approved apps require strict security vetting. 

“The development design and implementation of all apps used within the IC have to be compliant with applicable Federal and Agency regulations,” said Lim.

In the near-term, one of the biggest needs for the IC and its contractors is to hire and train more qualified Object Oriented Developers to meet customer demands.

“Software development is for self-motivated people with interest in information technology,” said Lim. “It is an art that includes logic.”
It is a popular career path for many college graduates with Bachelors Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology or Math. But, there are also plenty of boot camps or intensive training courses available for software developers looking to broaden their skill sets or seeking new career challenges.

“Object Oriented Programming is the hot new fad in the software development world, and an absolute requirement for anyone looking to work within the government space or the Intel Community,” said Lim.

If you are interested in learning more about exciting career opportunities for Object Oriented Developers, check out our careers site.