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IT Certs, Software Developer Training, DevOps. Career pathway?


Ruben Rivera Stafford, VA

Bit of background. I retired from the Marines in 2017 I retired as a Personnel Chief and wanted to pursue learning web/software development. I have been going to conventional schools and I'm about 30 credits from getting a degree in Software Development/security. I have attended a coding boot camp to learn Full Stack development, and I just recently got accepted to the Vet Tech program with the VA. I'm attending Intellectual Point in VA to complete the DevOps program which is three months long to include CompTia Security +, CEH, Splunk Core User. I expect to be certified from these courses in the next three months.

What should my steps be to get my foot in the door maybe entry level jobs in security, development, DevOps, in DOD?

I would love to talk to people in the field and network as well. Thank you.

By the way here's my Linkedin. I would love to connect.

10 April 2021 8 replies Career Exploration



Drew Hammitt Vienna, VA


I currently work in software development and we're intimate with some of the DevSecOps platforms in the DoD market. As a Marine, you may be familiar with NWIC-Lant and their efforts with the Marine Corps Business Operations Services System (MCBOSS). Geocent is the prime on that contract, if considering a vendor role. Another possibility - as mentioned previously - is Platform One. You might also consider Navy Black Pearl. All three are DevSecOps platforms on which clients can land applications. If looking for a commercial company, there are many private companies attempting to bring Agile methodology akin to Facebook, et al., software development to the force.

15 April 2021 Helpful answer


Paul Murphy Stamford, CT

Hi Ruben -

When I'm looking at resumes to hire a developer for my team, I look for a link to their public repositories. This will tell me how they code - and it doesn't really matter which language. I just want to see that they write clean and resilient code (with error checks). You can get a free account at, then put your academic projects there. If you have time to contribute to an open source project, that would be a real plus in getting you an interview.

Best of luck!

4 May 2021 Helpful answer


Chad Elliott Herndon, VA

Hi Ruben,

First of all, you're located in the right place because the IT jobs in the DC area are off the charts, especially the government consulting gigs.

Having worked in (government) software development in DC for the past 10 years, here's what I would do if I were in your shoes. Step 1) Create a rock-solid resume. Step 2) Hit up all of the job search boards of the usual suspects, like Accenture, SAIC, Leidos, Booz, Man-Tech, Deloitte, Lockheed, etc, etc, etc. Step 3) Apply for as many 'entry-level' positions as possible. Just snag that first job however you can. Then use it to refine your craft and get the entry-level skills you need. If you don't see room for growth after the first year, find a next-level position elsewhere. If you have an active security clearance, be sure it's on your resume. If you don't, then consider applying to only positions that include clearance sponsorship. Not sure where your passion lies, but get a few certifications if possible. For example, if you like development, then get something like the Oracle OCP cert for Java. Obviously that Security+ will be helpful as it's pretty much mandatory now.

I think you're on the right track. All you really need to do now is dive in and make it happen. I wouldn't wait for school completion or anything else to apply for the right job. Remember, job interviews require a different skill-set than the actual job. It never hurts to get as much practice as you can.

Hope this helps.

27 April 2021 Helpful answer


Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!

23 April 2021 Helpful answer


John Porell East Hartford, CT

Hi Ruben,
You are definitely on the right track. Consider networking with people on the advisory board and as Deb mentioned above there are many large and small organizations with needs for people in this field. You may want to create multiple resumes that focus on the different aspects of DevSecOps. Create one specifically focused on the security aspect and another focused on the Code Delivery aspect. I would also recommend learning about agile coding practices (Scrum) and reading about the many tools in this space. A good way would be to look at Gartner or Forrester white papers if you can get access to them. You should also consider applying in the related field of Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) - there is significant overlap in the skills and knowledge base.
Good luck

14 April 2021 Helpful answer


Deb Yeagle Tampa, FL

Hi Ruben-
Thanks for your service!
I have an IT background and have not worked directly in DevSecOps but I have written proposals for DoD contracts in that area. In my recent Linked In research, I came across an interesting organization that you might want to follow on Linked In, if not already doing so: DoD Platform One.
As you think about a career in DoD, consider the pros and cons of working directly for DoD as a civilian vs. working for one of many DoD contractors in your chosen field. And further, if you look at the industry side, then consider pros and cons of working for a small business vs. a large business - there is a big difference in culture, innovation, etc.
I will send you a Linked In invitation if you'd like to connect. I see you are currently based in my hometown of Stafford / Fredericksburg VA!
Good luck and thanks again!

13 April 2021 Helpful answer


Rick Spiewak Annapolis, MD

I highly recommend that you take a look at: and the various documents and links under the DSOP heading.
You should also follow Nicolas M. Chaillan on LinkedIn to stay up with this effort.
This is the heart of DevSecOps at DoD.
You will also see a strong emphasis on containers and kubernetes. This is an area you should find a way to familiarize yourself with, perhaps implementing some of your projects in containers. While DevSecOps isn't a big supporter of Docker for production, it's easy to use on your own workstation as a learning tool for containers.
I recommend investigating the hybrid approach (if you work in Windows) of implementing Microsoft's new version of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2) as way to have easy access to both OS's. For example, you can run a project from Windows which launches Linux containers right on your own workstation.
A great cross-platform development tool is Visual Studio Code.
Note - all of the above is basically free - it just takes your time!
And, if you haven't already observed this - working in software development requires at least a touch of OCD!


Deb Miller Bardstown, KY

Ruben, please consider USPS. We have excellent IT and HR positions throughout the US. We also have graduate. Emerging Professionals Program and Internship Program.

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