09 March 2024

SPRINT: Folin Lane to Cislunar...

It was the year 1997 and there was another client meeting at the headquarters of Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, Virginia.

Traveling through Tysons Corner on Route 7, the Spring colors from Dogwoods were in full bloom. The Navy Federal HQ was tucked away in the woods just a short ride down Chain Bridge Road (123) past Westwood Country Club then a left onto Folin Lane.

The IBM Personal Computer was just now quickly replacing the old CR terminals sitting in the "Teller Windows" at 80+ branches in port locations across the USA and the world.

With NFCU overseas members branches today in Bahrain, Cuba, Greece, Guam, Korea, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain the Internet and use of banking protocols outside proprietary computing networks was just in it’s infancy.

Meeting up that early Spring day with NFCU key IT executives and our fellow Noblestar Team of outside Software Quality Assurance (SQA) experts such as David, Gia and Howard, the topics on that days agenda was the automated testing for bugs.

"No not Cicadas. You know, Vulnerabilities. Software Errors. Cracks in the Code."

Places that credit union software systems might be broken, running across the new IBM PCs networked to replace the terminals (CRT) from Annapolis to San Diego to Guantanamo to Italy.

Our innovation then in Software Quality Assurance, was about writing automated scripts that would rapidly test software.

The testing scripts developed by our Team in the SQA software, would help simulate hundreds of real people working at their new IBM PCs doing deposits, transfers and withdrawals as just one example.

Members of our Armed Forces who were NFCU customers (members), were counting on the IT personnel in Vienna, VA to help their branch managers keep their systems up-time-all-the-time, without vulnerabilities to the swarm of growing cyber exploits via the Internet.

So what?

True innovation begins with discovering a problem-set that has high value. Then figuring out if it can be solved quickly. A SPRINT.

To find a real solution to the problem-set that allows for the widget, the software, the process or the vehicle to do its job. What it was designed to do.

Whether it is software running on the IBM PC at the Teller Window at NFCU in Guam in 1977 or the sophisticated cislunar software running on a Space Force Lunar Lander on the Moon in 2024, what matters most?

Our United States next generation abilities to use software to more rapidly discover problems and test new versions is even more vital.

Now imagine, humans working with new AI-powered software applications to augment our abilities to discover and rapidly solve new sophisticated problem-sets, a galaxy away.

This is already our SPRINT destiny…

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