2019 Agile in Government Summit

May 8 | Kellogg Conference Hotel | Washington, DC
About 2019 Agile in Government Summit

The purpose of this event is to:

  • Explore how DevOps can and is being used in Government
  • Investigate principles of agile business and how they apply to Government
  • Discuss amongst attendees what the hot topics are that they deal with in their organizations
  • Present information on how agile methods are being applied outside of software
  • Explore the changing technology of modern information-intensive businesses and the implications these have for evolving Government approaches to streamlining IT
  • Share as a community experiences, challenges and success that help organizations integrate agile approaches in order to deliver better results - faster, better, cheaper!
Conference Location

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002

Register Now!
Here's what we are talking about!
Continuous Modernization - Maintaining Long-Lived Federal Systems
By Dane Weber
Continuous Modernization - Maintaining Long-Lived Federal Systems
By Dane Weber
Presentation time
May 8th
3:00p.m.
Register Now!

The federal government maintains some IT systems that are over 50 years old and replaces others with ground-up rewrites after 5 years. There are always trade-offs to be made, but some approaches better fit the uniquely long-lived missions that are served by federal IT systems.

At a certain point, a whole-sale rewrite is the best option for replacing the stale, decaying software that leads to major headaches and eventual catastrophe. Big rewrites have big risks and big failures. Because of the stability and enduring mandates of the federal government, long-term investments in IT systems pay off and give room for smart maintenance strategies.

Rather than engaging in an intense modernization effort followed by years of minimal maintenance, a better alternative often is modernizing a system continuously, balancing operations, maintenance, and renovation. Ideally you can improve, update, and upgrade the software system one piece at a time while it continues to operate, avoiding feature freezes and scary cut-overs.

There are techniques and ways of architecting the system to enable renovation and increase safety. Automated tests are a perennial recommendation, but blue-green deployments and shadowing are valuable options. Version wrappers can reinforce the application and provide room for more dramatic changes. These will be covered along with mindsets and approaches that support continuous modernization.

Continuous Modernization - Maintaining Long-Lived Federal Systems
By Dane Weber

The federal government maintains some IT systems that are over 50 years old and replaces others with ground-up rewrites after 5 years. There are always trade-offs to be made, but some approaches better fit the uniquely long-lived missions that are served by federal IT systems.

At a certain point, a whole-sale rewrite is the best option for replacing the stale, decaying software that leads to major headaches and eventual catastrophe. Big rewrites have big risks and big failures. Because of the stability and enduring mandates of the federal government, long-term investments in IT systems pay off and give room for smart maintenance strategies.

Rather than engaging in an intense modernization effort followed by years of minimal maintenance, a better alternative often is modernizing a system continuously, balancing operations, maintenance, and renovation. Ideally you can improve, update, and upgrade the software system one piece at a time while it continues to operate, avoiding feature freezes and scary cut-overs.

There are techniques and ways of architecting the system to enable renovation and increase safety. Automated tests are a perennial recommendation, but blue-green deployments and shadowing are valuable options. Version wrappers can reinforce the application and provide room for more dramatic changes. These will be covered along with mindsets and approaches that support continuous modernization.