DAHLGREN, Va. –
The term “factory” brings to mind a physical place that produces and delivers desired products to the masses. In a similar way, a software factory develops and implements software products and processes across industry and government sectors, while establishing a common software ecosystem.
Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) Software Factory-Forge Chief Software Officer Douglas Radoye describes a software factory as a concept warehouse consisting of engineers, tools, services, data and processes that enable software planning, development, testing and operations. Radoye is part of an inclusive group of engineers and software developers from Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) that support The Forge – a government owned and led surface combatant software factory sustainable in a physical and virtual environment ecosystem.
The goal of the software ecosystem is to leverage new or existing functionality for combat system development capability, weapon system development capability or any capability that can be deployed to any shipboard platform for the fleet. “The intent is to create this ecosystem where the government leads development of software, owns the narrative of the software development and uses data to make informed decisions,” said Radoye.
Radoye works collaboratively with a team of engineers on the various aspects of software factory development, coordinates software architect teams and agile teams, implements the planning of the launch stages for delivering the software product line to the fleet and ensures that each team contributes effectively. Additionally, The Forge software factory is intended to be based on a cloud computing system while maintaining remote capability and connecting to other software factories.
The NSWCDD team has the opportunity to work in conjunction with PEO IWS Forge leadership and experts as well as essential personnel with extensive knowledge from across industry, government and other warfare centers to support the software factory. “We’re providing subject matter experts that are the forward leaning change agents to bring modernized processes that we want to see in the fleet in real time and to enable this ecosystem to thrive” said Forge Engineering Manager Steve Murphy in the Future Combat Systems Division at NSWCDD.
In order to deliver capabilities and modernize processes for software development, The Forge team is looking at creating smaller cycle times to increase the quality of working software.
“We maintain our technical rigor and give the fleet quality capability much faster,” said Murphy. “It provides us the opportunity to develop the capability and push it to as many ships that are able to receive it as quickly as possible.”
Additionally, the NSWCDD team supports an innovation space in College Park, Maryland referred to as the Outpost, which acts as an epicenter for the entire workforce to host software development discussions and technical interchanges. NSWCDD is working with PEO IWS to provide tours to Navy senior leadership, Department of Defense (DoD) senior leadership and academic institutional groups to demonstrate and talk about the developmental stages for The Forge software factory and its intended use cases.
Radoye explains that the Outpost is “a physical location used for innovation and collaboration. This place creates the culture that supports modern software development practices and technologies.”
The Forge team welcomes many senior leadership officials from across the Department of the Navy, DoD and from several other military and government sectors on an almost weekly basis since opening its doors to tours in February.
These tours raise awareness of The Forge team’s collaborative outcome focused efforts and innovative work. “Having the chance to demonstrate and discuss The Forge software factory allows us to highlight the path forward for Navy software development,” said Radoye.