I’m thrilled to share that I’ve accepted a position as “Computer Science Principal” at MITRE Corporation.

MITRE is a federally funded non-profit organization that performs technology centric research and development for the United States Government. Technically, MITRE operates multiple Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC).

From the mission statement, “As a public-interest company, MITRE’s mission is to work in partnership with the government applying systems engineering and advanced technology to address issues of critical national importance.”

I’ll working on the design of Mission Planning Systems for the foreseeable future.

And yes, I’ll continue to blog ! (Hopefully even more !)

The specifics of my work will be classified, but my use of software development technologies and practices won’t b, so I’ll continue to blog about them.

MITRE is an amazing center of software development technology and MITRE has encouraged me to continue blogging. This can say / can’t talk about filtering won’t be anything new for me. Blogging has always required the sorting of what was public information and what was NDA.

What technology stack will I be using ?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you probably know that as a developer, I’m not religiously bound to any specific language, platform, or philosophy. If you browse the open positions at MITRE you’ll find .NET, Java, Python, Ruby RoR, iOS, NodeJS, C/C++, PHP, Android, MatLab, NoSQL, Hadoop and a lot of other technologies. MITRE uses whatever is the right stack for the task at hand.

Part of my job will include working with the MITRE Advanced Technology group to determine the right tools for a given application, but I’m expecting, at least for the foreseeable future to be deep in C#/.NET, iOS, and C/C++

Where ?

So, after over 15 years of living in New England, working from a home based office and traveling to the west coast to my employer – I’ll be joining the Greater Boston area commute.

MITRE has a flexible work environment but my role will really require a lot of face time with my team at MITRE and stakeholders from the US Government, so I’ll be spending a couple of hours in the car most days.

To ease the pain of the commute (and cut a few hundred dollars a week from my gas bill) I bought a new car with a good media system, BlueTooth & XM radio. I also reactivated my subscription at Audible.com – so I’m open to audio book recommendations !! (Or anything else to ease the commute !)

So ?

Being out of work is painful (at least for me). Being in the job market when you’re over 50 is a challenge and the more senior you are in your career the fewer potential positions there are in the job pool.

With the exception of two young software developers recruited straight form college , everyone I met with at MITRE had been there a long time. The shortest tenure was almost 10 years, the longer ones almost 35 years. So, it must be a great place to work, perhaps somewhere I could spend a couple of decades.

Just as a side note : the interview was epic !

Rick Spiewak, who I met at Microsoft events when I was at Microsoft, contacted me on Twitter after see a post about my leaving Zend Technology. Rick is a Lead Software Engineer at MITRE on the Mission Planning effort and an authoritative voice inside MITRE on .NET technologies. Rick suggested I consider joining MITRE (THANKS RICK, dinner is on me when I see you !)

Huge Kudos to Joe Hurley in Talent Acquisition at MITRE who was on the ball, easy to work with, moved the process quickly and communicated effectively from first contact through the offer. (It’s SO MUCH rarer than you might think.)

After a couple of phone screenings I was scheduled to visit MITRE to interview.

My interview lasted NINE HOURS and included delivering a technical presentation on a topic of my choice (I presented on a massively scalable use-case in NodeJS)!

A nine hour interview might sound like a drag but it was really a blast – it’s awesome to “talk tech” with a room full of really bright people.

One of the things I loved about working at Microsoft was getting to work with the really smart people in the Developer Division. MITRE will offer me the same kind of intellectually challenging people.

Needless to say – I’m VERY excited 🙂