Obama's New Engineers

Posted Friday, June 19, 2015 at 12:47 PM

"President Obama is revamping the government and he's using engineers to do it!"

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Obama's New Engineers

PostedTuesday, June 30, 2015 at 3:38 PM

Brianna Marshall
Brianna Marshall
Obama's New Engineers

Photo Marc Nozell [CC-BY-2.0], via Flickr


Author: Brianna Marshall

Engineers are active in every element of everyday life. That traffic light you’re waiting for, an engineer programmed it. That water bottle you’re drinking out of, an engineer figured out the best way to make it. The vitamins you took this morning, an engineer decided exactly how they should be made. The far-stretching arms of engineers can sometimes be surprising but engineers are in everything and are everywhere. Engineers are even extremely important in government; just ask our current president, Barack Obama. President Obama is recruiting well educated and qualified leaders in technology to help revive and revamp the current government.

One of these new government employees Eric Maland who was the 13th engineer to be hired at Amazon and the first operations director at Twitter says he never imagined living in DC but his desire to “fix things that are broken” led him to the nation’s capital. (If anything is broken you can bet an engineer will be there very soon to fix it.) President Obama also recruited Lisa Gelobter who is currently the chief digital service officer of the US Department of Education and helped manage Hulu and BET. She said that once she heard the president’s sales pitch she did the only logical thing she could do which was to join his team.

President Obama gave the order to hire 500 engineers and technology specialists by the end of 2016. This gave Mickey Dickerson, the former chief of the technology office of the U.S., 18 months to complete this huge task but he was up for the job. The fact that engineers are taking over Washington reveals just how much engineers are valued all over the country. So far they have hired 150 out of the 500 and their numbers are increasing everyday as they slowly do what they can to remake the digital systems of the government to make it more efficient. Groups of people are working to redo government websites (such as the famed Healthcare.gov website) to make them more user-friendly and promote “a more user-friendly and responsive government” according to the president. He wants to promote “a government that can work with individuals on individual problems”. With this goal in mind engineers are creating the systems that will allow us to interact with our local government officials more and have access to important information at the tip of our fingers. 

The problem that the president is attempting to address is that the current systems that run the government are aging and so are the people that keep them running. These 500 engineers and specialists will open new doors and improve the current systems while integrating the techniques that make Silicon Valley so successful.  Imagine how wonderful it could be to have government services that operate as smoothly as your smartphone! With a few more engineers in DC that dream may become a reality.

For more information see: http://www.fastcompany.com/3046756/obama-and-his-geeks

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