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Insights / Excellian Spotlights / Excella Innovators: Vic Kumar

October 19, 2021

Excella Innovators: Vic Kumar

3 mins read

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Solving the Right Problems with the Right Technologies

For Vic Kumar—Lead Consultant and Xpert on our Innovation’s Team—coding is his passion. A child of two computer programmers proficient in Fortran and .NET, Vic was introduced to basic C Programming at age ten and followed his interest in programming into adulthood. While he is proficient in a variety of programming languages, such as Java and Python, his current favorite is Scala. Scala is a highly efficient language, reducing a programmer’s codebase by 1/6th. Essentially, it is a more modern version of Java, and its benefits range from minimizing errors to reducing the time spent debugging.

These are all advantages that matter when working in a fast-paced Agile environment, where delivering a product that works is critical. Vic can attest to this. In September of 2016, he introduced Scala at Excella on the USCIS contract. He helped to build the first reactive architectures that either Excella or USCIS had ever done.  Colleagues on the project learned Scala and discovered that the same functional and reactive concepts that they had learned were now introduced into Java a full two years later!  Excella now builds reactive software in Java, largely thanks to the early investments made in designing reactive APIs in 2016 at USCIS. 


Want to work in a collaborative, team-oriented environment? View our open roles & join our community of Xperts! 


Keeping Coding Fresh

Vic has worked on a range of projects for Excella in his six-year tenure here. But he still finds time to engage with the coding community and build projects based on his interests. Kumar is the author of 23 repositories on GitHub, all open-source resources available to the public. His most popular program is String Distance, a “fuzzy matching string distance library for Scala and Java.” Vic explained that he finds great value in building libraries on GitHub: 

During the day, I work on architecture and end-to-end programs…whereas when I write a library, I get to target a specific problem that I enjoy. This adds variety to the things [I] get to work on and keeps programming exciting and challenging.

Impressively, he’s also built applications that use coding to solve problems. These include aggregate trending news articles using the AI technique Clustering (K-means clustering) to creating an ESPN-like website for HBCUs. 


Solving the Right Problems with the Right Technologies

As a lead consultant, Vic is no stranger to interviewing. In his experience, he found himself needing more from the tools available to interview programmers. He noticed that “existing tools lacked adequate language support and were outdated, forcing [him] to visit other websites to find technical support for [his] interviews.”  

So, in 2019, he set out to create the solution he needed: Goto Code. An “inexpensive and scalable solution for corporations to interview candidates and test their coding skills with live online coding and video conference.” The solution eliminates the need for third-party applications, as it supports the most common languages. Furthermore, it provides the opportunity for coders to practice programming and grow their skillset. 


What Programmers Need to Know in 2022

Vic sees building reactive architecture as the skillset that programmers need to bring into 2022 to succeed in the industry. In his observation:

Reactive architecture is everywhere. Modern architecture focuses on pushing things to you (think notifications or other types of live information like scoreboards and feeds), as opposed to the user’s manually seeking out information. While many people enjoy using specific frameworks or enjoy copy/paste solutions, things have evolved, and companies now require dynamic solutions. Ultimately, programmers need to be able to design applications that scale if they want to stay competitive in the industry. 


Where to Find our Innovator

You can follow our innovator on his Twitter @vickumar1981 and GitHub page @VicKumar1981. Additionally, if you’re looking to get involved in Python and hear from the latest enthusiasts and experts in the DC area, Kumar organizes a group on MeetUp called PyDistrict™! 


Want to join Vic Kumar and our community of experts? Visit our career pages to dive into life at Excella, view our open roles, and apply today. 

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