Tag Archives: Don O’Neill

Defense AT&L: May – June 2015


To print a full copy of this issue, click here. PDFs for individual articles can be printed from the articles themselves.


To print a full copy of this issue, click here. PDFs for individual articles can be printed from the articles themselves.

Software 2015: Situation Dire


To print a PDF version of this article, click here.

Author: Don O’Neill

The increasing dependence of industry and government on an immature software profession whose promise exceeds its delivery has become a source of risk that teeters at the tipping point. The convergence of software, national security and global competitiveness interactions and their fragile dependencies could unleash a destructive synergy of propagating and cascading effects. All this is happening while both industry and government continue as free-rider software users who lack both the ability and will to act.

Continue reading

Avoiding Proprietary Problems A Software Clean-Room Method


To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.

Author: Don O’Neill

Heads up! With 80 percent of government software procured as commercial off-the- shelf (COTS) and accorded limited or restricted rights, government acquisition managers need to be alert to intellectual property considerations. When modified and extended through government funding, COTS software becomes government off-the-shelf (GOTS) software entitled to government purpose rights. Unless the government acquisition manager insists on it, a contractor may engage in false claims practice by improperly marketing and selling GOTS software products as COTS. So instead of receiving the benefits of government purpose rights, the government may be charged a commercial product licensing fee and accorded only limited or restricted rights. Neglecting intellectual property rights can be costly!

Continue reading

‘Technical Debt’ in the Code The Cost to Software Planning


To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.

Author: Don O’Neill

It is time that “Technical Debt” assessment and measurement be recognized in defense acquisition and procurement and that its anticipation, avoidance, and elimination be incentivized. Accomplishing this is essential to the sustainability of the defense software industry. Technical Debt enthusiasts are themselves in technical debt regarding its definition. It is time to put a finer edge on this definition and update it. The early, archaic, and somewhat awkward definition, introduced by Ward Cunningham in 1992, is, “Not quite right code which we postpone making right.”

Continue reading

A Disruptive Game Changer to Achieve DoD Austerity


To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.

Author: Don O’Neill

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s recent challenge to “improve tradecraft in services acquisition” as part of his Better Buying Power initiatives appears aimed at the software engineering function and the prime contractors who struggle to comply with the Recruit-Train-Retain objectives laid out in the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. As a result, there remain unclaimed benefits and unmet needs stemming from earlier neglect.

Continue reading