Best IT Events for March

Are you looking for new and interesting ways to escape the snow and sleet? Check out this round up of IT events in the DC area this month. Hope to see you there!



User Experience Professionals Association – DC Chapter (UXPA DC)

The Evolution of Design Thinking at Capital One

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

6 PM – 8 PM

Arlington, VA

Continue reading

GoodGovUX: Inspiring the Age of Civic Design Enlightenment

I’m not alone in saying, last week’s sold-out GoodGovUX kick off event was a successful first step toward realizing the mission of: “Driv[ing] the adoption of a common set of UX best practices within the government agency and government contracting communities.”

Continue reading

Top 5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Tableau Dashboard

Data Vector


When designing a dashboard in any business intelligence tool, performance is often the last requirement addressed. Poor performing reports with long load time are hard to use and can result in low adoption by users. It requires much less time and effort to address performance as part of dashboard design, rather than apply performance improvement standards in Production.



So you are getting ready to apply best practices to speed up the performance of your Tableau Dashboards and you’re looking to know which best practices will improve your performance the most. We have chosen to highlight how to apply these best practices in Tableau, but these standards should be applied across all business intelligence tools. There are many best practices to consider when designing a dashboard, but we will highlight the top 5 for best performance results:

Continue reading

GoodGovUX: Why Government Employees Should Care about UX

User Experience



User experience (UX) is not just a passing trend. Good UX is essential for good government. That’s the topic of the GoodGovUX kickoff event next week on February 24 at the Artisphere in Arlington. The event is aimed at improving how government and contractors build digital experiences through greater focus on UX.



So what is UX? defines UX as “the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.” Ensuring a good UX requires a deep understanding of your users, including their needs, values, abilities and limitations.



So why is UX so important for federal employees and the communities they serve? Here are three reasons:

Continue reading

So You Want To Be a PMP?

We’ve all seen those three letters at the end of someone’s email signature. “PMP”. But what do they mean? No, it’s not some text slang that only hipsters know. PMP is officially known as The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) most widely recognized certification; the Project Management Professional. Critical in Federal project management, the PMP helps make you a more marketable (and promotable!) employee and provides you with a toolkit and resources for the critical components of project management.


Attaining your PMP is no small task! You aren’t a kid anymore, staying up late cramming for your next algebra exam. If you’re anything like me, you have been putting the PMP off – listing as a goal for “next year” over and over again. Being intimidated by the level of work is understandable. But believe it or not – you are more ready than you think. Here are a few tips for achieving that goal.

Continue reading

Buried Alive! How to Manage the Documentation Avalanche

Snow Boots


Many project managers (PM) often ask themselves, “Why are we creating this document?” Frequently, the document is required according to a checklist, or is useful to someone performing a task. In both cases, it is critical to assess and discuss the value of creating documents upfront to ensure that you are using your time and resources effectively. As a PM, how do you ensure value is understood and articulated during document creation?

Continue reading

Defining DevOps

Chances are if you have been keeping up with the latest tech trends, you have heard of DevOps. The benefits of DevOps are easy enough to understand: faster time to market, increased stability and quality, and more time to build valuable products. But when it comes time to put theory into practice, many still grapple with the basic question of what exactly is DevOps?


Jeff Galllimore WFED flagThis month, Excella Co-Founder and Partner Jeff Gallimore took to the pen and the airwaves to answer this very question.  In this post, published on his blog “IT’s A Nice Life,” Jeff evaluates several popular definitions of the term and offers his own synthesized definition.


Jeff also sat down to speak with John Gilroy of Federal News Radio’s Federal Tech Talk about how to define DevOps, where the term got its origins, and (most importantly) examples of where DevOps has saved money on complex software development projects. Click here to listen to the entire interview.


Tell us what you think!  How would you define DevOps?




Best IT Events in February

2015 is in full swing and there are lots of great IT events happening in the DC area!  Here is a round up of what’s happening in February. Hope to see you there!



DC Python

Python for Forensics and Food Trucks

Tuesday, Febraury 3, 2015

7 PM

Washington, DC



Agile Leadership Network (ALN DC)

Test Automation on Large Agile Projects: It’s Not a Cake Walk

Thursday, February 5, 2015

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Vienna, VA



Continue reading

What is the Role of a Product Owner?

Product Owner


One of the most glorious things about Scrum is that anyone can do it. While that’s a statement with no strings attached, it doesn’t mean anyone that buys my book for six easy payments of $79.99 or anyone that takes my eight-week program can implement Scrum on their team. It means that with some observation and a little independent study, anyone can become part of a Scrum team and actively participate. However, in order to operate at maximum effectiveness, a Scrum team should have its core roles filled by individuals that are knowledgeable and experienced.


One of those key roles is the Product Owner. Let’s break down just what this person can do for you and your Scrum Team.


Continue reading

Tech Trends for Associations: Insights from the ASAE Technology Conference 2014

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) held its 2014 Technology Conference & Expo last month at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. This annual conference is designed to provide CEOs, technology c-suite executives, directors, managers, and other technical professions with an opportunity to gain knowledge and insight into the technology issues most related to their work.


We attended this conference to meet with association professionals and get a better understanding of their technology needs. We learned a lot – here are our top 5 takeaways!

Continue reading