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Air Force Chief Software Officer Nicolas Chaillan Resigns

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Nicolas Chaillan has announced his departure in a candid LinkedIn post, saying: “I am becoming ‘technology stale’. With so much distraction just trying to push the laggards, I have stopped learning and engaging in innovations: I have been innovating and creating world premieres my entire career, over 189 of them.” The post included his accomplishments as the first Air Force Chief Software Officer, under Dr. William Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Arlington, Virginia.

In his goodbye message, Chaillan did not refrain from criticizing senior leaders: “A lack of response and alignment is certainly a contributor to my accelerated exit. There have been continuous and exhausting fights to chase after funding “out-of-hide,” because we are not enabled to fix enterprise IT teams within Program Offices. Worse, some are starting to use the size of the DoD as an excuse to claim that Enterprise Services cannot succeed in the Department. That is false and we have demonstrated it with Platform One. The Department of Defense, overall, needs to stop staffing Enterprise IT teams as if IT is not a highly technical skill and expertise.”

Chaillan also wrote that the DoD continues to use “outdated water-agile-fall acquisition principles to procure services and talent instead of leveraging “Capacity of work” agile contracts to staff teams.”

Chaillan is also the co-lead for the Department of Defense Enterprise DevSecOps Initiative with the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer.

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