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Tech Talk: User Experience Design

by Alice Swan Jun 26th, 2019 EC Inside Tech Talks Technology

Do you think you’d be able to explain User Experience (UX) Design and how it fits into the application development cycle? You may be interested to know that UX Design covers the entire cycle, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.

On Tuesday June 25th, Autumn Richardson, one of Evans & Chambers’ User Experience Designers on the DID(it) team at USCIS, held a Tech Talk for the company, explaining what user experience design is and what is considered to be a well-designed application.

In addition, Autumn explored how to incorporate users’ needs into each feature to improve workflow and used examples from an application she is currently designing that helps asylum officers maximize their time to reduce interview backlogs. In a busy and fast-paced world, efficiency is more important than ever. UX Design allows us to create products with meaningful and relevant experiences to users that help them concentrate more on what is necessary to fulfill their goals for the day.


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About the EC Tech Talk Series

The Tech Talk Series is an employee-led platform dedicated to EC’s core value of continual learning. These talks aim to cover a broad range of technology-based topics to promote the sharing of best practices and ideas across EC’s project teams.

 

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EC Welcomes 2019 at Annual Holiday Party

by Alice Swan Jun 17th, 2019 EC Inside Events

On January 12, 2019, Evans & Chambers hosted its annual holiday party at The Loft at 600 F in the heart of Washington, DC. The event was the perfect occasion for tipping our hats to all of our efforts and successes in 2018, as well as to toast 2019 and all the possibilities it holds.

Throughout the night the company president, COO, and VP of Strategy gave inspiring speeches expressing their gratitude to our staff for their efforts over the past year. When guests were not dancing or catching up with each other, they were in front of the camera of our digital photo booth, laughing and creating memories.

Several gifts were raffled off during the night, such as a 55” TV and Beats by Dre Headphones. In addition, EC gave back to the community by collecting toys to donate to Toys for Tots. All in all the event was enjoyed by all, and we look forward to another year-end celebration for 2019.

Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2019 from all of us at Evans & Chambers Technology!

 

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Evans & Chambers Technology Hosts Tradecraft Thursday: Misinformation in Media and its Implications

by Alice Swan Jun 1st, 2019 EC Inside Events

Do you think you’re able to identify biased and unreliable news sources? You may be surprised to learn just how difficult a challenge that is.

On Monday May 30th, Andrew Ewing, one of Evans & Chambers’ top intelligence experts, held a Tradecraft Thursday training for the company exploring the implication of unsourced, redacted, and biased media posts and how it has impacted the credibility of news outlets. Furthermore, Andrew discussed the implications on presidential elections and journalism as a whole. With the 2020 presidential election just around the corner it is important to have a reliable and unbiased news sources to help U.S. citizens make informed decisions on possible candidates.

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About Tradecraft Thursdays 

Tradecraft Thursday is a series of employee-led internal monthly talks dedicated to EC’s core value of continental learning. These talks aim to cover a broad range of professional topics to promote best practices and a shared understanding of common problem sets within our customer spaces. Stay tuned for the next Tradecraft Thursday recap!

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Evans and Chambers Technology Hosts Tradecraft Thursday: Impact of Economic Espionage

by Alice Swan Mar 30th, 2019 EC Inside Events

Did you know that the United States regulates and restricts the release of critical technologies, information, and services to foreign nationals? You may be intrigued to know how compromised exports can weaken our national security.

On March 28th, Davidian Shirley, one of Evans & Chambers’ top intelligence analysts, held a Tradecraft Thursday training for the company discussing the impact of economic espionage and third-party access to controlled U.S. exports, as well as mitigation strategies. Davidian introduced general strategies of economic espionage against the U.S. Government and corporations and shared publicized cases illustrating how foreign adversaries gained access to sensitive information that saved their nations millions of dollars in research and development and undermined the United States’ strategic advantage. As a global superpower, the United States must be strong and effective security measures for its export system in order to protect and bolster national security.

Check out this article Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace.

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About Tradecraft Thursdays

Tradecraft Thursday is a series of employee-led internal monthly talks dedicated to EC’s core value of continental learning. These talks aim to cover a broad range of professional topics to promote best practices and a shared understanding of common problem sets within our customer spaces. Stay tuned for the next Tradecraft Thursday recap!

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AWS DeepLens and Machine Learning TechTalk

by Alice Swan Feb 28th, 2019 Cloud EC Inside Events Tech Talks

At this week’s Tech Talk, Jim Davis, a senior software developer for Evans and Chambers Technology, shared some of his experiences at the 2018 Amazon Web Services Re:Invent conference.

The discussion covered the basics of machine learning, as well as DeepLens, a deep-learning high-definition camera developed by Amazon as a sandbox and introduction into the world of machine learning. Jim demonstrated the different machine learning types (supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning) and gave examples and industry use cases for each. Jim’s Tech Talk also included a live demo of setting up DeepLens out of the box, which covered how to install and customize project templates freely available on the AWS site.

Jim also highlighted other takeaways from the AWS conference, such as AWS’s growing serverless services (API Gateway, Lambda, DynamoDB, RDS, etc.) and how Amazon has turned cloud computing into the powerful market segment it is today.

 

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About the EC Tech Talk Series

The Tech Talk Series is an employee-led platform dedicated to EC’s core value of continual learning. These talks aim to cover a broad range of technology-based topics to promote the sharing of best practices and ideas across EC’s project teams.

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A Peek Inside Evans & Chambers’ Culture and Activities

by Alice Swan Feb 8th, 2019 EC Inside Events

Here at Evans & Chambers Technology (EC) we are invested in hard work, company growth, and strong ethics. As part of that investment, we show our gratitude and appreciation for all the dedication from our team. EC hosts several events each year with employees and their families to  celebrate our culture and employee morale.

Last year, we swooshed into happy hour for a March Madness game, and we set up a friendly employee rivalry by taking guesses on which team would win the game and by how much. Next, employees and their families glammed up for the Virginia Gold Cup in their pastels and crazy hats to give back to our community and grow our EC network. After glamming up, it was time to get down and dirty for our braver EC team members at the Tough Mudder. The Tough Mudder was epic! It included 10 miles of mud and ice baths, rope walks, and monkey bars, all the while having about 5 pounds of mud hanging off our backs. After all that commotion, employees enjoyed some much deserved relaxation at the DC Jazz Fest, bringing the summer to a close.

The EC family welcomed the fall with the Odyssey boat cruise on the Potomac, where we participated in  fun games, won cool prizes, ate delicious food, and played musical chairs! During the year, we snuck in a few happy hours to celebrate our accomplishments each quarter. We finished the year strong with our annual holiday party full of gratitude, cheer, determination, and motivation to keep EC excellent and to give a special thanks to our exceptional employees and the services they provide our customers!

 

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Employee Spotlight

by Alice Swan Feb 5th, 2019 EC Inside

Congratulations to Dave Rabrun for being awarded the Evans & Chambers Excellence Award at the last quarterly All Hands Meeting. The Excellence Award is given each quarter to an employee whose job performance consistently exhibits each of Evans & Chambers’ core values.

Dave is the lead developer for NTIR, an enterprise OSINT system that is developed in the unclassified environment and hosted in C2S. Most notably, Dave spearheaded the development of a cross-domain configuration management process with DevOps best practices to ensure the unclassified and C2S environments stay in sync. His efforts enabled the team to complete the system’s initial deployment to the customer’s C2S environment ahead of schedule. When he’s not moving digital mountains, Dave spends time in the office assisting our intern developers as they gain skills and experiences to prepare them for entry into the workforce.

 

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Evans & Chambers Technology Hosts Tradecraft Thursday: The Impact of Rogue Nations’ Nuclear Proliferation on a Global Scale

by Dorian Zimmerman Nov 14th, 2018 EC Inside Events

Recently, Davidian Shirley and Andrew Ewing, counterintelligence analysts with EC, held a Tradecraft Thursday talk. Their presentation, “The Impact of Rogue Nations’ Nuclear Proliferation on a Global Scale,” highlighted the importance of understanding how a rogue nation’s ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) can affect global economies, international sanctions, and political dissonance.

In their talk, they analyzed and discussed six rogue nations: North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, and Iran. These nations have altered political and economic actions to their benefit by acquiring nuclear capabilities. In order to mitigate global threats, Intelligence analysts must have a profound understanding on how nuclear capabilities can be leveraged to the betterment of rogue nations.

The audience developed a better understanding throughout the presentation on how numerous rogue nations have leveraged WMDs to obtain both preferential trade agreements and submission from lesser states. Other world powers such as China, Russia, and Pakistan willingly supply rogue nations with WMDs to fight proxy wars with America and its allies.

Davidian and Andrew offered examples from Iran and North Korea of how they have leveraged their nuclear capabilities. In 2015, the P5+1 United Nations Council voted to repeal the sanctions levied against Iran in hopes of dismantling Iran’s nuclear enriching program in Bushehr. In 2018, North Korea leveraged its nuclear capabilities to get South Korea, China, and the United States to start negotiations on sanction dissolution.

Tradecraft Thursday is a series of employee-led internal monthly talks dedicated to EC’s core value of continual learning. These talks aim to cover a broad range of professional topics to promote best practices and a shared understanding of common problem sets within our customer spaces. Stay tuned for the next Tradecraft Thursday recap!

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Evans & Chambers Technology Hosts Tradecraft Thursday: Elicitation 101

by Dorian Zimmerman Oct 17th, 2018 EC Inside Events

This past month, EC held another Tradecraft Thursday talk presented by Andrew Hansen, a Counter-Intelligence Analyst here. Andrew discussed “Elicitation 101” which is a common method used in the intelligence community to try to extract information from others in the field.

Andrew provided many examples during the lecture about how others might use elicitation to draw out information they are looking for. Two techniques Andrew discussed were flattery and feigned ignorance. People like to feel important as well as help others learn. Elicitation takes advantage of basic human tendencies, which is why it can be so effective. Andrew helped the audience understand when they are more at risk because elicitation can be planned or extemporaneous. The pinnacle of the talk was to show the audience how to protect themselves. If they understand what someone may use or do against them they will be better suited to recognize and combat these tactics. Andrew ended the discussion by sharing counter-elicitation techniques and how the audience can deflect an elicitation attempt.

Tradecraft Thursday is a series of employee-led internal monthly talks dedicated to EC’s core value of continual learning. These talks aim to cover a broad range of professional topics to promote best practices and a shared understanding of common problem sets within our customer spaces. Stay tuned for the next Tradecraft Thursday recap!

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Evans & Chambers Technology Hosts Tradecraft Thursday: Accelerating Open-Source Intelligence Through Big Data and Cloud

by Ashley McBride May 9th, 2018 EC Inside Events

In April, EC continued its monthly series of Tradecraft Thursday talks this time hosted by Mr. Joshua Ortiz, Director of Quality Management. Joshua’s topic, “Accelerating Open-Source Intelligence Through Big Data and Cloud” focused on how big data tools are enabling analysts to triage extremely large amounts of information efficiently in order to provide timely recommendations to our nation’s leaders. He was excited to inform the audience that EC is actually unique because it provides these solutions from end to end. The EC engineering team develops software and utilizes tools to capture and present data, while our analysts use the triaged information to build intelligence products.

Joshua provided an example of how entity extraction is helping to deal with triaging data. Years before, to correlate the terms ‘terrorist’ and ‘building’ over even one gigabyte of text data, it might take a team of analysts months to complete. Today, this task can be done in moments. These tools return time to the analyst and the mission. Joshua ended the briefing with a demonstration of image recognition software which demonstrated how big data tools can scan and identify facial images in moments, again allowing the analysts to consider exponentially more data when building out products that will be used for critical national security decisions.

Tradecraft Thursday is a series of employee-led internal monthly talks dedicated to EC’s core value of continual learning. These talks aim to cover a broad range of professional topics to promote best practices and a shared understanding of common problem sets within our customer spaces. Stay tuned for the next Tradecraft Thursday recap!


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