Happy Friday Captains!! After what felt like the longest week ever, we finally made it to Friday. Yesterday, Coveros founder and CEO, Jeffery Payne, came to CNU to talk about his experience in starting numerous successful software companies and the agile software development, DevOps, and cybersecurity opportunities that exist at Coveros for both graduating students and interns.
Coveros is a software company that builds security-critical software applications using agile methods. Payne’s personal background is that he has been in the business of starting up companies for the past 25 years. However, he is most proud of Coveros because of its uniqueness. He received both his BS and MS in Computer Science at the College of William and Mary. After graduating, he had a job lined up with a big company, but realized that he wasn’t happy there. Not too long into this job, he quit and started up his first company in 1992 and hasn’t look backed since.
Coveros was started up about 8 years ago to build software applications, specifically for people who are needing security in their codes. This company builds and delivers secure software applications using agile methods, and they are “located” in Northern VA, outside of DC. The term located is used loosely here because Coveros technically doesn’t have an office. It’s something that distinguished Coveros from other companies, they are a virtual organization. The logic behind this is that: “We’re technologists, why do we need a physical space?” Every new Coveros employee gets a brand new laptop, cellphone (with a plan included) and free home wifi. Coveros provides these three things in place of a physical office space, how neat is that?
A few of the services that Coveros offers include: agile development and testing DevOps implementations, agile transformations, agile coaching and mentoring. Coveros prides themselves in being a 50/50 company, meaning that they work both commercial and federal government jobs.
Payne likes to think of Coveros as a 2.0, meaning that it’s the new and improved version of what he started all those years ago. It’s an entrepreneurial company, they expect that everyone in the company have ideas and act upon them. Payne stressed the fact that Coveros doesn’t hire based on skills, they do not care what you know from a technology perspective, because the syntax is the easy part, its the problem solving that’s difficult. For that reason, he mentioned that Coveros heavily looks for critical thinkers and hardcore software people who want to build software applications.
One of the benefits of working at Coveros is the opportunity for professional growth. Payne stressed the importance of growing the company from within. He said that at Coveros “[they] groom [their] people internally and quickly through a very focused a career growth plan.” He went on to mention how successful Coveros is in keeping their employees by simply treating them right. At their first company, they went a full 7 years without someone leaving the company and he believes that a strong employee/boss relationship is vital to a company’s success.
If any of this sparks an interest in you, here is what Coveros is looking for in future employees. They are searching for full time hired as well as summer interns. They want people who have a desire to learn from industry recognized software experts. Those who value a flexible and entrepreneurial environment. Coveros is searching for those who are constantly wanting to learn new skills both in technology and business. And most importantly, someone who is willing to get in on the ground floor of an innovative company.
The intern program provided by Coveros is real work. Interns will be put on a team with other employees and Payne mentioned that in just one summer interns will be able to develop a software program from start to finish. He guarantees that interns will be able to come back to CNU and feel like they “can kick butt.” He mentioned that on various occations, interns have said that they learned more in one summer at Coveros than they learned in the first 3 years of school. This is due to the fact that in the program, they take all that critical thinking and theory that is learned in school and apply it to real problems. This is a paid internship for roughly about 2 months out of the summer vacation with the possibility of a full time hire after the internship is complete.