Archive for January 2016

What You Missed At Pizza My Mind

coverosssHappy 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.

Society of Women Engineers

Good afternoon CNU! We’re starting right into our third week of the Spring semester and many new and exciting things are coming up! Today’s blog post is all about the Society of Women Engineers, SWE for short. Last week, I had the privileged of talking to Professor Lynn Lambert, who is the faculty adviser for the new organization.

About SWE

SWE is an international organization that was established in 1950. Their mission is to: “Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, while demonstrating the value of diversity.” Professor Lambert mentioned that nationally, fewer than 20% of undergraduates in engineering are women and the disciplines in our department are especially affected. SWE was set up to give women a place to talk to other women engineers and form a community.

How SWE Came to CNU

CNU had the beginnings of a SWE years ago but it never really took off. This year, a few students came to Dr. Lambert and asked if they could get an organization started up. Department chair, Dr. Riedl supported the idea and at the first Pizza My Mind of the school year mentioned that if anyone was interested in such an organization to let him know! The department talked about several kinds of organizations since there are many out there that are similar but decided on SWE. “The incredible thing about SWE is that when we [Dr. Lambert on behalf of PCSE] wrote to them [SWE Hampton Roads], they mentioned that they would allow all six of our department’s majors to count for membership! This was the organization that allowed the most amount of CNU’s women to join and that was the main reason why it was chosen over the others.”

Hopes for the Future

“I really want the students to decide the direction that they want it to take. They have talked about several interesting ideas. We’re considering starting a mentorship program and already have a considerable number of professional mentors from industry and from federal labs who have volunteered to mentor our students. Some other members want to do an outreach program with girls scouts! There are many great ideas floating around, a few members want to do tours of labs and engineering/science companies and labs. I truly cannot wait to see how far SWE goes at CNU.”


Last Friday, SWE hosted a kickoff meeting in the DSU. The young women within the department who expressed interest in the organization were there along with some professors. SWE also invited women who are a part of a SWE organization that have graduated with a degree in engineering. There were two guest speakers (pictured above on both sides of Dr. Lambert) who spoke about their experiences with SWE and all the wonderful things that it has brought into their lives. It was at this kickoff event that I had the opportunity to talk to Haley Currence (pictured below on the right), president of the new SWE chapter at CNU. Currence is a part of the class of 2019 and working towards her degree in computer engineering!


The Process

“In April, the SWE chapter at CNU will officially be chartered! When we were trying to get enough members to make SWE an official club at CNU, both CNU and SWE asked for a minimum of 10 women to get the club started. It was an incredible feeling when we got the notification that 22 women in the department showed interested in being a part of this and signed up. I was really overwhelmed in the beginning because it was just an idea that we had, we never truly thought that we would be starting a major club at CNU. This organization could be on campus for years to come and it’s surreal thinking that I was a major part of getting it started. I am beyond honored to have been a part of this.”

The Importance

“Being women in this department, it’s tough. It’s like being a minority on top of being another minority. I would like to see a support system built through this organization. I really want to emphasize the importance of unconditional support to the women and sticking together in a male dominate department. I would like this organization to encourage female students to not sit quietly and let male classmates next to her answer the question. I would like to see this organization build a community that empowers women to be courageous and be proud of being smart. We’re engineering majors, and that’s pretty awesome.”

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind

Happy Monday Captains!! I hope that everyone’s ready to get back into the swing of things after a cold weekend in. Last Thursday’s Pizza My Mind seminar was presented by the MITRE Corporation. MITRE is a non- profit company that provides defense and intelligence, aviation, cyber security, homeland security solutions and much more!

MITRE’s Andreas Tolk, who is a liaison for the company came to give the presentation. He started off by talking about the company’s background. MITRE was established in 1958 to serve the public interest, meaning that they are a non profit organization Tolk mentioned the company’s spirit of innovation and their deep understanding of systems engineering.

After finishing up with what the company does and its background, he moved on to talk about the job openings. They currently employ 7,300 people. He continued to mention the types of characteristics that MITRE looks for in prospective employees. Some of the characteristics include: critical problem solving skills, a strong background in science, mathematics, social sciences and systems engineering.

Currently there are two programs within MITRE that have openings, the Internship Program and the Apprentice program. Those interested in the Internship Program will be happy to hear that the position is paid. The program offers interns to be members of a team within the company. The types of things that interns are involved with are sponsored or MITRE research programs. In addition, these intern teams eventually become part of project teams. The ultimate goal for these intern teams is to be evaluated for positions as MTS. He finished off this part of the presentation by mentioning that the summer Internship in Hampton has 8 or so positions currently available and that MITRE is soliciting for resumes now through April!

Well that’s it for now! Make sure to tune in for the following post about CNU’s newest organization, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). One last thing, if you’re interested in learning more about MITRE, they will be at the job fair on Wednesday, January 27th!

What You Missed At Pizza My Mind

Presenters Nicholas Casetta and Ian Marcelo

Presenters Nicholas Casetta and Ian Marcelo

Happy Friday and welcome back Captains! This year’s very first PMM was presented by Liebherr, the world’s leading manufacturer of construction machinery.

Nicholas Casetta, Senior Manager of the IT department kicked things off by telling the 128 CNU students that Liebherr is a family owned business that was founded in 1949 by Hans Liebherr. Currently, there is a 3rd generation Liebherr in charge of over 130 companies worldwide and over 40,000 employees! Casetta went on to mention how diverse the company is, it does everything from mobile cranes, mining equipment, domestic appliances and even hotels.

Casetta then focused on the mining division within the company because of the Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News co. (LME)was established in 1970. Its proximity to CNU is roughly about 10-15 minutes. Currently, the company produces over 50 trucks a year but the plan is to have that number double in 2016. The product range consists of hydraulic excavators, off highway trucks, dozers, wheel loaders, and mobile cranes. He mentioned the product range to show the audience that the business is evolving within itself and changing based off of customer demands.

The LME IT department currently employs nine people. These nine are split up into two groups, Infrastructure and Helpdesk, and Business Processes and ERP Support. Liebherr is looking to do a lot within the next few years, there are already significant projects defined. Casetta went on to talk about the current and future opportunities that are available within Liebherr. Some include the BI Migration Project, where there is a current opening and the PML Project, where there will be a future opening. He finished off his part of the presentation with mentioning that there are many other projects in line.

Ian Marcelo, who is a Senior System Analyst at LME came up to the microphone to specify what the BI Migration Project was. BI stands for Business Intelligence, their goal is to migrate the current BI environment from SL server 2008 to SQL server 2012. He strongly spoke about the hands on experience one would gain with the Microsoft BI stack of development tools and operational analysis. Marcelo finished up with mentioning that the internship being offered would be for 6 months. One would be provided training and would work alongside himself and Casetta.

To finish off the presentation, the floor was open to questions where someone asked about opportunities overseas. Although they are currently not looking for overseas assistance, they assured the audience that the project offered will have global impact!