Octo Holds Grand Opening of oLabs™ Innovation Hub

Octo celebrated its expanded oLabs™ innovation space with a grand opening attended by Senator Mark Warner and other notable VIPs committed to serving the Federal Government.

RESTON, VA—Octo, the premier provider of emerging technology and modernization for the Federal Government, yesterday celebrated the grand opening of its new oLabs™ innovation hub. Housed in a brand new, custom-built 14,000 square foot facility at Octo’s headquarters in Reston, Virginia, oLabs is the largest privately-owned R&D facility in the DC metro area dedicated to the Federal Government.

Octo invested more than $10 million in the expansion of oLabs which now offers an enormous amount of highly sophisticated compute power including more than 15 petaflops of AI compute and 2 petabytes of FlashBlade storage among others. In addition to the many new development tools for specialized R&D and a space purpose built to facilitate collaboration between Octo’s staff and its federal customers, oLabs will be a hub for internal collaboration and product development focused on solving federal agencies’ most complex issues.

In his comments to attendees, U.S. Senator Mark Warner said, “Innovation isn’t all happening in the Valley. It’s happening in the DMV.” He said he was excited about Octo as a mid-size GovCon company inviting other companies to work side by side on innovation. “We appreciate all Octo does helping the Federal Government.”

U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Octo CEO Mehul Sanghani address VIPs and attendees during Octo’s oLabs ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Reston, VA. — BDPA NoVA photo © 2022 bdpatoday

Octo’s CEO Mehul Sanghani said, “We are ecstatic to see the official launch of this new space and all that it offers. Octo is dedicated to finding the best solutions for customers, those that make missions happen. That can only be accomplished with powerful technology resources and a commitment to R&D. Using next-gen IT and a collaborative approach, oLabs is accelerating and validating proof-of-concepts to create transformative solutions that can’t be found anywhere else in the region. This space allows us to be in alignment with our customers future goals, and also gives us a competitive advantage over our peers.”

Sujey Edward, CTO at Octo, said, “At the end of the day, you can’t solve the hardest problems in the world without three things: the best technical talent, real world experience, and next generation technology. In this space we have all three. Anything less than that is just a glorified conference room.

“Octo has invested millions of independent research and development dollars into building oLabs, the industry’s most capable center for innovation. We’ve also perfected a collaborative approach to working with our customers supported by an extraordinary facility full of exceptionally talented and passionate emerging technology professionals. Our team isn’t just technical. They have relevant real-world experience in our core domains also. They are former special operators, data scientists pulled from some of the largest companies around the world, DevOps engineers, and AI/ML engineers who understand the scenarios in which our solutions will be deployed.”

oLabs products and solutions are used and are in testing by customers including the U.S. Army, Marine Corps Special Operations Command, the U.S. Navy, and others. Customers who could not attend the grand opening are invited to tour the space. Learn more at olabs.octo.us.

Octo, Platinum Sponsor of national BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter, is a technology firm dedicated to solving the Federal Government’s most complex challenges, enabling agencies to jump the technology curve. We don’t just modernize. We create lasting change through best practices that help agencies implement and integrate at-scale next-generation technology and innovation. With a mission and service first mentality, we provide Agile, DevSecOps, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Cloud, Open Source, and Data Science solutions, collaborating to solve customers’ pressing problems. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Octo delivers proven technology vital to the intelligence community and health care, defense, national security, and civilian agencies that directly impact our nation.

— Source: Octo/Business Wire


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Octo
https://www.octoconsulting.com/

Tech ‘Team Mom’ is 2019’s Member of the Year

2019 Member of The Year (BDPA-DC)

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The Real SV: From Somerville to Silicon Valley

WASHINGTON — Terry Brox, a native of Philadelphia PA, holds degrees in Computer Science from La Salle University, Information Security from Peirce College and a Masters Certificate in Instructional Design from George Mason University. Employed by KPMG, she is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA).

terry-broxAs a child, Terry always wanted to be a teacher and although she started her career teaching computer programming in Philadelphia, PA, the opportunity to work in Silicon Valley as a Computer Scientist was the best decision she ever made. She currently resides in Northern Virginia, is married with three children, and has two grandchildren.

More “hidden figures” with countless success stories continue to evolve from Philadelphia’s Germantown and West Oak Lane communities in spite of known challenges chronicled from the late 1960’s through the turn of the century.  Skirmishes between Brickyard, Clang, Dogtown, Haines Street, Somerville, and other turf rivalries across Philadelphia were emblematic of the struggles of inner-city youth that transcended Ms. Brox’ childhood communities.

Founded in 1975 by Earl A. Pace, Jr. not too far away in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia, BDPA (formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates) gives Ms. Brox an opportunity to give back to her communities while doing something which she dreamed of doing since childhood.

This year as a volunteer and sponsor, Ms. Brox served as a Coach, a Mentor, and “Team Mom” to 2019’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team from the National Capital Region. Training, coding, and application development sessions were conducted on weekends. BDPA-DC’s HSCC Student Member finalists successfully captured their third national HSCC coding championship in Atlanta, GA during BDPACon19.  Twelve other U.S. HSCC teams competed.

The trade association’s annual Tech and Media Reception and Community Technology Awards is Thursday evening, November 21, 2019, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Samsung Electronics Future Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

— Source:  BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C.

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RSVP before Monday November 18th

2019 Community Technology Awards

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WASHINGTON — National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPAdc.org) is hosting an evening of professional networking and Holiday Soirée with Tech Industry executives on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at Samsung Electronics Executive Briefing Center, 700 PENN S.E., Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

2019 High School Computer Competition Champions
2019 National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Champions from Washington, D.C.

This year’s annual Tech & Media Reception, Community Technology Awards,  and Holiday Soirée is co-hosted by Samsung Electronics. In closing out this exciting decade, the association is honoring the region’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) national coding championship team (above), celebrating the 55th Anniversary of The Washington Informer, and celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the H.O.P.E. Project DMV.

2019 Community and Technology Award Winners

2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards

2019 Industry Sponsor of the Year

2019 Community Service Award

2019 Member of the Year

  • Terry Wilson-Brox, KPMG
    Tech ‘Team Mom‘ for 2019 National HSCC Coding Champions
    Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA).

2019 Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Ron Hamm , President, HCG
    Government Relations (GovRel) contributor to bdpatoday

2019 President’s Technical Career Awards

  • Anu Fomengia
  • Dernard Hawkins
  • Lynette Hinton
  • Sedley Randolph
  • Phyllis Ussery
  • Brittany Walker

Earl A, Pace, Jr. | Co-Founder, BDPASince 1975, BDPA’s mission sets continue to pay it forward into its fifth (5G) decade to bridge application development, cybersecurity, information technology (IT), and telecommunications competency gaps between Industry, Academia, governments and traditionally underserved communities.

Local BDPA Chapter goals across the National Capital Region (NCR) are set forth to provide access to technology and career training programs. Events with regional sponsors and mission partners include educational outreach programs for professionals, junior developers (Jr. Devs), young adults, and youth technology programs across the Greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (DMV) in direct support of economic development, technology inclusion, and workforce development initiatives.

Reservations for this year’s reception and BDPA Professional Membership drives for 2020 remain open until Monday, November 18, 2019. Discover more by visiting the trade association’s landing pages, publications, and archives → https://bdpadc.org

Select here to RSVP before Monday, November 18th


BDPA-DC Captures National Coding Title

ATLANTA, GA—The High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team from National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPADC.org) captured this year’s national coding and app development title during BDPACon19, the Association’s annual coding combine, 41st National Technology Conference, and Tech Career Expo, hosted by National BDPA in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year, 12 teams advanced from their respective regions to compete nationally for scholarships and internships with National and local BDPA mission-partners and sponsors. For 2019, the top three teams (clockwise, L-R) are BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia), BDPA St. Louis (Missouri), and BDPA Southern Minnesota (Rochester, MN.) Click to enlarge photos.

Throughout the year, local BDPA chapters conduct Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) training programs for youth in their communities. These programs are designed to expose students to computing concepts, information technology, and provide them additional expertise to develop web or mobile applications. Some chapters participate in regional competitions throughout the country to further prepare their students.

Regional HSCCIn May, Bowie State University co-hosted this year’s Regional Innovation Summit and HSCC with BDPA-DC and Patriots Technology Training Center. Participating BDPA chapters are able to send one team of 3 to 5 students to the annual national technology conference (BDPACon) and coding combine to compete against teams from other BDPA Chapters from other regions.

The National BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jesse Bemley, of Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, GA has grown to over 20 teams of various high school students from chapters throughout the nation. It was designed to introduce youth to fields of Information Technology (IT), encourage them to seek technical certifications with higher levels of education, and groom many of them to become our next generation of IT professionals.

Corporate sponsors and mission-partners from the National Capital Region that helped paved the way toward this year’s national championship include AG Grace, Inc.; Assured Information Security, Inc. (AIS); Air Force Civilian Service (AFCS); Best Buy; Blacks In Cyber; Bowie State University; Connected2Tech, LLC.; D.C. Courts System; D.C. SBDC; Defender Academy; Eccalon, LLC; Enlightened, Inc.; Federal Government Experts, LLC; GDIT; H.O.P.E. Project DMV; Howard University; Inclusive Innovation Incubator (IN3); Joint Educational Facilities, Inc. (JEF); KPMG; The Microsoft Store;  Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC); Morton Media; National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Oracle; Patriots Technology Training Centers; Premier Enterprise Solutions, Inc.; R&K Cyber Solutions; Samsung USA; SiriusXM Radio, Inc.; U.S. Air Force; U.S. Army; U.S. Coast Guard; Vergo Productions; Washington Association of Black Journalists (WABJ); WOOD Consulting Services, Inc. and select Department of Defense (DOD) agencies.

The Team has scheduled a special open house and press conference on Saturday, August 10, 2019, from 9:00 am to 12 noon at their Gallery Place training facility in Washington, D.C. Invitations may be requested via email:  media@bdpadc.org or info@bdpadc.org.

For additional information, visit BDPAdc.org and BDPA2019.com.

— Photo credits: National BDPA and bdpatoday

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Regional STEM Summit attracts PMs and Junior Developers from Industry

WASHINGTON — High school and middle school students from across the National Capital Region attended the 23rd annual Youth Summit on Technology produced by Patriots Technology Training Center (PTTC) at Bowie State University. Parents, teachers, and sponsors from NSBE, NSBE Jr., and regional BDPA Chapters joined hundreds of students attending cybersecurity workshops, technology panels, and STEM exhibits during this year’s STEM summit.

“Empowering Students Through Technology” has been PTTC’s mission for over 20 years by increasing the number of students, primarily 5th through 12th grades, entering into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) post-secondary fields of study and career paths.

Patriots Flight Simulation competitions

Their award winning program includes an annual Youth Summit on Technology, Summer Camps, and the Patriots STEM Carnival.  PTTC also engages in Amusement Park Design, Biology/Chemistry/Math, Biomedical, Cyber Security, Flight Simulation (above), Lego Robotics, Science Bowl,  Solar System, and Video Designing competitions for participating. PTTC students have attended Regional and National Society of Black Engineers conferences and regional BDPA Innovation Summits.

Program managers and developers from the Defense Department, public, and private sector organizations participated in this year’s STEM workshops, tech industry panels, or served as judges during BDPA’s regional coding competitions.

National BDPA’s Northeast Region co-hosted its annual regional High School Coding Competition (HSCC) with BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C.’s (BDPA-DC) annual Innovation Summit at Bowie State University.  During this year’s Advance Program Briefing to Industry (APBi) and fireside chat, Navy Commander Erica Dobbs, DISA; Joy Huggins, Defender Academy; Eileen Gadsden, E-Region Enterprises; and Raymond Bell, Jr. of HOPE Project DMV shared their diverse backgrounds with members. Their recent success stories revealed how well their respective organizations uniquely continue to successfully navigate complex digital transformations with legacy technology, aging policies, and cultural challenges while assimilating traditionally underrepresented communities into tomorrow’s tech workforce.

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National BDPA’s HSCC program, launched by Dr. Jesse L. Bemley in 1986, will feature this year’s regional finalists from participating chapter cities during national scholarship rounds  in Atlanta, GA during #BDPACon19, August 1-3, 2019. BDPA-DC’s 2019 regional HSCC teams were co-sponsored by AIS and bdpatoday. Select here to co-sponsor local teams and order new swag for this year’s journey to Atlanta!

— BDPA photos ©2019 bdpatoday

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AIS | BDPA-DC, save the date!

4G ending as 2018 Closes — What’s Next?

WASHINGTON — National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPADC.org) and Samsung Electronics America reached 40-year milestones in 2018.  To that end, opportunities for new fifth-generation workforces powered by start-ups with innovative capability sets and 5G technologies could yield greater benefits for the tech industry.

bd18fGreater rewards are available for communities who understand Industry’s urgent need to embrace new processes and solutions across vertical markets such as transportation, health, manufacturing, and finance.

This year’s top stories, photos, and STEM vignettes from Industry, BDPA sponsors, and local BDPA Chapter mission-partners are featured here at bdpatoday.com and on the trade association’s playlists (https://populartechnology.tv) and galleries (https://pinterest.com/bdpatoday).


Network with Industry & BDPA Members during CES 2019 | Join today at BDPA.org

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Meet the Corps’ New CIO

PENTAGON — On 10 April 2018, the Defense Department announced U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Lorna M. Mahlock’s  nomination for appointment to the rank of Brigadier General.  Mahlock was serving as the deputy director of Operations, Plans, Policies, and Operations Directorate, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, District of Columbia.

Today, Brigadier General (select) Lorna Mahlock is the Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the U.S. Marine Corps.  She pins on her first star early August 2018.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she immigrated to Brooklyn, New York and enlisted in the Marine Corps. She was selected for the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program, graduated from Marquette University and was commissioned in December 1991.

usmc-adDesignated as an Air Traffic Control Officer, she earned certifications as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Tower Local Controller and a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Instructor.   She has commanded and led at various levels globally and in combat including but not limited to Air Traffic Control Detachment Commander; Executive Officer – 1st Stinger Battery; Director – Marine Corps Instructional Management School; Air Control Officer – G3 Future Operations; Company Commander – Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and IRAQI FREEDOM 01; Operations and Executive Officer – IRAQI FREEDOM 02; Director – Marine Air Command and Control System Experimental; Commanding Officer – IRAQI FREEDOM 8; Information Management Officer; J3 Land Operations Lead and Division Executive Officer, Headquarters European Command; Marine Corps Office of Legislative Affairs and Assistant Chief of Staff G6.

She holds a Masters Degree in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma at Norman; a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies with distinction from the Naval Post Graduate School, Newport, Rhode Island; a Masters in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College and a Masters Certificate in Information Operations from the Naval Post Graduate School.  She also is a graduate of the United Kingdom Defense College Higher Command and Staff.

Source and photos: USMC

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Register today for BDPACON18

An All-“HU” Team wins BisonHacks 2018

shaunelle_thomasWASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 30th and 31st, I experienced firsthand that Diversity and Inclusion are indeed one of the best ways to produce some of the most creative and innovative ideas!

We are happy to say that we are the winners of BisonHacks 2018! Sara Rufael, Howard University; Shondace Thomas, Howard University; Elizabeth-Yvonne SandersHampton University; and I formed a group at BisonHacks by fate! Because of our diverse majors, universities, experience, background, and different points of views we had to agree and compromise on many things!

bisonhacks2018bWe agreed on two innovative ideas; however, we realized that the ideas were not feasible based on the hackathon’s time constraints! In synopsis, I loved how this experience tested my mental agility, teamwork skills, and my adaptability. Also, I learned that engineers should definitely collaborate with individuals from other majors! Thank you Simeon Kakpovi for being our mentor! Thanks a million, Zuri Hunter and BisonHacks team for hosting this event so that students can collaborate and present innovative ideas with realistic business models!

Also thank you to Mapbox, Howard University, Howard University School of Business, Johnson & Johnson, Major League Hacking, Optoro, Spotify, Google, and all of our sponsors who made this event a reality (Swag was great!)

— Story and photos:  Shaunelle A. L. Thomas

Select here to pre-register!

OCULUS Rift Software Development Kits Available for Developers

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Rift SDK 1.0 Shipping to Developers with Final Rift Hardware

If Virtual Reality (VR) developers are shipping a Rift title in 1Q16 (first quarter, 2016), they will need early access to Rift hardware and new platform features to finalize games or applications. The Rift SDK 1.0 and runtime include features tied to the consumer product, so Oculus has currently limited the release to developers putting final touches on launch titles.

oculus-riftIf planning a launch title and don’t yet have hardware, developers can now upload a preview of their apps through the Oculus submission tool, and Oculus will be in touch with next steps.

Oculus is shipping more Rift hardware out to developers every week in the run up to launch. In the meantime, DK2 and SDK 0.8 continue to be the right platform for early Rift development — one only needs SDK 1.0 if development teams are imminently shipping.

New customers and Industry are anxiously looking forward to seeing new VR experiences on Rift when it launches in Q1!

The Oculus Team

Red Hat Acquires Ansible for DevOps IT Automation

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eWeek by Sean Michael Kerner
Full Article

RALEIGH, NC – Although Red Hat is picking up Ansible to complement its existing IT management tools, it isn’t dropping its use of Puppet. Red Hat announced it is acquiring privately held IT automation vendor Ansible, whose open-source platform is well-known and deployed in the DevOps community and is competitive with both Chef and Puppet. Ansible’s primary product is its Ansible Tower platform, an enterprise-grade IT orchestration and automation system.

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