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Recoding Government: Finding the Tech Change Agents Who Drive Federal Innovation

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama // Carolyn Kaster/AP

In 2007, when Barack Obama laid out his vision for an administration under his rule, the Illinois senator promised hope and transformation for the nation. But for federal employees, long the target of ridicule and name calling on Capitol Hill and by the general public, the most welcome news might have been his pledge to "make government cool again."

As Obama’s presidency is drawing to an end eight years later, Nextgov decided to explore whether that coolness factor ever realized. In one sense, yes. Innovation has been at the forefront of the Obama administration, enticing Silicon Valley technologists and innovators to consider public service. Initiatives like the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and the startup-like 18F within the General Services Administration have helped bring in the best and the brightest technologists.

But more important; there’s been a change in the perception of government roles. Where federal employees were once seen as bureaucrats and paper pushers, thanks to new technology, government employee job functions are transforming.

Nextgov’s “Recoding Government: Changing Roles in Federal Innovation” set out to explore how certain technology roles have changed and to identify those pushing the envelope in data science, development, user experience, project management and cybersecurity. These innovators know that to stay relevant, they need to continue developing their skills and be mindful of the changing times and fast-evolving technology.

Download the report here

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