AUSTIN, Texas – Last Thursday, Army Futures Command (AFC) leaders met with Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap Inc., to discuss how the Army is embracing tech industry-inspired software development models to maximize digital capabilities on the future battlefield.
The visit took place in downtown Austin at the Army Software Factory, an AFC-led initiative to prototype a future force design that empowers Soldiers to solve problems through software engineering at the edges of the battlefield.
The innovative program pairs experienced software developers from the private sector with Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians from various career backgrounds to demonstrate how expert mentorship and hands-on training can foster more adaptable, agile and future-ready Army talent.
“We’re trying to build in flexibility,” said Col. Vito Errico, Director of the Army Software Factory, who presented an overview of the program’s objectives and methods, including its beneficial incorporation of government-industry collaboration.
Errico explained that the Army Software Factory represents a novel yet highly effective effort to gather requirements for the Army of 2030 while designing for the Army of 2040. The program’s activities were intentionally shaped to support the Army’s overarching goal of building formations that empower Soldiers at the lowest levels to solve problems with modern technology.
“Really, what you’re talking about is a culture shift,” Spiegel observed, commenting on the Army’s aim to develop greater internal software development capabilities in order to balance internal proficiencies with external support mechanisms.
During the visit, Spiegel, who is a co-founder of the social media app Snapchat, spoke with Soldiers working on Army-centric app development projects and shared his thoughts on tech development and employee engagement best practices with members of AFC leadership.
Through idea-sharing engagements such as these, AFC and the Army Software Factory are ensuring that the Army can keep pace with new technologies as they evolve, including in the influential tech industry space.
Visits by tech industry leaders also provide Army Software Factory Soldiers and Civilians an opportunity to interact with and draw inspiration from pioneering tech innovators, whose accomplishments often illustrate the power of boldly executing creative ideas.