Christopher Juszak

C++ programmer and team leader with 20 years of experience supporting the defense industry

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/juszak

Résumé summary

This summary is basically a copy of my “one page résumé”, but I provide additional details below the summary for anyone that is interested.

2014: Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering: Colorado State University. GPA: 4.0
2000: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: California State University, Chico. GPA: 3.661

2007 to 2022: Contract support for US Department of Defense (DoD) engineering projects,
Test & Training Enabling Architecture (TENA) User Support Team Lead

  • 2016 to 2022: Senior Manager – Systems Engineering, KBR Inc. (current)
  • 2013 to 2016: Systems/Software Engineer, Wyle Laboratories
  • 2007 to 2013: Systems/Software Engineer, BAE Systems

While working for these companies, I provided engineering support for the TRMC, which is organized under the DoD Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USDR&E). My responsibilities include developing software for various projects, leading a team of software engineers, training software engineering teams to use specialized application programming interfaces, and supporting various other software engineering projects and activities across the DoD. Major direct contributions:

  • Routine training of government/contracting teams to use the Test & Training Enabling Architecture (TENA) Application Programming Interface (API) and related software.
  • Supporting the integration of DoD facilities into the Joint Mission Environment Test Capability (JMETC) network in support of various multi-range testing activities.
  • Development of software for demonstration of simulation and instrumentation concepts.
  • Development of capabilities that are in continuous use on the JMETC network (a national infrastructure of DoD ranges and facilities). This includes the development of the JMETC Active Measurement Program OS installer, a live disk for testing and troubleshooting, and a Python-based system that performs nightly full mesh network performance testing and reporting.

2005 to 2007: Systems/Software Engineer and Team Leader, Cubic Applications
My primary role was providing expertise in the integration of TENA with Cubic instrumentation capabilities (for systems focused on training of military personnel). This primarily involved the C++ programming language. I also led a team of software engineers responsible for integrating specific sensors, building network translation capabilities, and developing TENA-related capability testing software.

2002 to 2005: Computer Scientist, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)
My role with NAVAIR focused on the application of technologies supporting range communication infrastructure, data products, and integration of range systems into multi-range test and training environments. While C++ was the primary language I worked with at NAVAIR, I also built web capabilities that utilized the “LAMP stack” – using Linux (primarily Red Hat), Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Downloadable/public version of my one-page résumé (click here)

Additional background and details

I have provided a “one-page resume format” in the summary above. For those that wish to dive into a little more detail related to my background and experience, please read on.

NAVAIR: I worked for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) from 2002 to 2005 with the title “Computer Scientist” (Point Mugu, California). NAVAIR provided me with unique opportunities to learn about military range operations (mostly related to missile and aircraft test infrastructure) and contribute to nationally distributed training activities using my software engineering skills. Leaving NAVAIR in 2005 was a decision to pursue new systems development opportunities. Since leaving NAVAIR, I have worked for four defense contractors providing engineering support to the DoD, including Cubic, BAE Systems, Wyle Laboratories, and KBR.

Cubic: During my time with Cubic (2005 to 2007), I contributed to contracting activities, business development (writing proposals), and leading a small software engineering team. Leaving Cubic in 2007 was a decision to re-focus on direct engineering support rather than the increasing supervisor and business development tasking that I was being assigned.

BAE/Wyle/KBR (support to OSD/TRMC): I started working for BAE Systems in 2007 supporting Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) contracts related to distributed software development and network infrastructure support. The Test & Evaluation (T&E) projects that I supported for BAE Systems involved many of the same technologies and people that I had worked for while supporting joint training events for NAVAIR. I started working for Wyle Laboratories in 2013, continuing to support TRMC projects when BAE Systems no longer had a contract vehicle related to these projects. In 2016 KBR purchased Wyle Laboratories and I became a KBR employee. While working for BAE Systems, Wyle Laboratories, and KBR, the primary contract vehicles I have supported have been through OSD’s TRMC, with tasking assigned by TRMC to various projects throughout the DoD.

My day-to-day work activities include managing software tasks for several projects through a Jira (issue tracking) and Bitbucket (git code repository) based system. This includes working with a team of geographically distributed developers on products related to testing interfaces for instrumentation and simulation systems. I provide direct development contributions as well as participate in code reviews and testing of other projects. I also maintain several projects related to the testing and troubleshooting of a nationally distributed network infrastructure. The primary language I work with is C++, but I also work with C#, Java, Python, and other languages.

Education details

Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering
Colorado State University, Fort Collins. GPA: 4.0, 2014

I worked on my master’s degree while working for BAE and Wyle Laboratories. I was doing a lot of travel at the time, so I took one class per semester and enrolled in Colorado State’s remote learning program. When I was not on travel, I attended classes in person. When I was on travel, I attended classes remotely.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
California State University, Chico. Magna Cum Laude, GPA: 3.661, 2000

Before attending classes at CSU, Chico I worked on all my general education credits at a public community college (Shasta College) in Redding, California. Originally, I was an Environmental Resources major that had never touched a computer until I was 15. Before Shasta College, my high school experience included a home-schooling program and passing a high-school proficiency exam so I could start taking community college classes. At Shasta College, I was required to use a computer to write-up reports, which started my fascination into “how computers work” and led to me changing my major to Computer Science and eventually transferring to CSU, Chico. While attending classes at CSU, Chico (and before), I had several jobs that I do not include on this resume as they are no longer “pertinent”, however those jobs are still “part of me”. I have worked in retail (e.g., Office Max), at a ski resort (NorthStar at Tahoe), as a substitute K-12 teacher (at various schools in northern California), and numerous temp jobs (e.g., warehouse work, delivering construction materials, etc.). All these early jobs contribute to my unique perspectives and how I understand and deal with challenges that I am faced with today.  

Work history

Principal Technical Professional – Software Engineering (i.e., Software Engineer)
KBR & Wyle*, Fort Collins, CO
September 2013 to current

I develop software and provide distributed engineering support for US military projects; primarily in the Test & Evaluation (T&E) of weapons system interoperability, utilizing standards for Modelling and Simulation (M&S) and range instrumentation. This includes interface development, training, and supporting engineers in the use of the Test & Training Enabling Architecture (TENA) and related capabilities. I work with industry standard programming languages (e.g., C++, Java, and C#/.NET) and operating systems (e.g., Red Hat Linux and Windows), DoD technologies, and capabilities related to M&S, range instrumentation, 3D visualization and analysis, etc. I also provide event support for nationally distributed DoD activities (utilizing JMETC/SDREN infrastructure), including phases of planning, preparation and execution. I developed products for network testing, troubleshooting, and the continuous monitoring of national network infrastructure performance.

A large part of what I’ve been doing since covid disrupted some activities is providing training and support to software developers in the design and implementation of distributed systems (using C++, C#, and Java). This includes interface design and utilizing specialized SDKs and APIs to develop applications (primarily related to range instrumentation monitoring and control, and entity-level simulation). Prior to the covid19 pandemic, most of the training and support I provided was onsite. Since then, most of the training and support I’ve provided has been via web conferencing technologies such as Microsoft Teams (part of “DoD365”). I also support other DoD teams as needed, providing static application security testing (SAST), networking monitoring and testing capabilities, data management capabilities, etc.

Software Engineer
BAE Systems, Fort Collins, CO
October 2007 to September 2013

I built network gateways between M&S architectures (e.g., TENA) and tactical communication protocols (e.g., Link-16). I trained software teams in preparation for the development of new DoD range interfaces. I developed a specialized DoD “live disk” that enables network testing and troubleshooting using existing DoD computers without affecting their controlled configurations. I provided engineering support for numerous DoD projects (e.g., the Joint Distributed Infrared Counter Measure (IRCM) Ground-Test System (JDIGS), the B-1 Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL), the B-52 Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT), the Joint Integrated Air & Missile Defense Office (JIAMDO) Joint Sensor Integration (JSI) FY2010 event, etc.). I helped integrate numerous new sites into the JMETC infrastructure.

Software Engineer
Cubic Applications, Inc., Hampton, VA
April 2005 to September 2007

I led a team of software engineers for the integration effort of the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) LVC Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-yield Explosive (CBRNE) Environment; an integration of capabilities developed to enable warfighters and first responders to train like they operate in a CBRNE environment without actual exposure. I managed a project to develop a general suite of software engineering tools to aid in the development, testing, and integration of distributed network applications for USJFCOM M&S projects. I worked with engineers at Alion/BMH to develop a TENA development course. I supported the Alaska Training Range Evolution Plan (ATREP), providing software engineering support for the Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) TENA Gateway and the TENA Individual Combat Aircrew Display System (ICADS) Interface.

Computer Scientist
Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Point Mugu, CA
July 2002 to April 2005

My time was divided into “tours” supporting Range Communications (physical/network infrastructure) and Range Data Systems (software-based data analysis products). I provided software engineering support for nationally distributed DoD training events (e.g., Western Range Complex Horizontal Interoperability Event (WRC-HIE), Combined Joint Task Force Exercise 04 (CJTFEX-04), and Joint Red Flag 2005 (JRF ‘05)). I provided support for specialized DoD software (some of which I helped develop). I developed a web-based system called Scribe for monitoring distributed application status and health across the WAN (using C++, TENA, MySQL, and various web-based technologies – including the Apache web server and PHP).

* KBR acquired Wyle in 2016. At that time, I went from a Wyle employee to a KBR employee supporting similar DoD projects.

Featured software projects

I am providing this section as an example of some recent software projects that I have been the primary developer for.

ADS-B to TENA Adapter (CLI Linux app written in C++)

I developed an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) to TENA application to translate live aircraft information (identification, position, etc.) into TENA Stateful Distributed Objects (SDO). The original requirements for this application were to provide a low-cost capability that would provide “targets of opportunity” for tracking systems (i.e., to provide the pointing information for tracking system interfaces). The ADS-B Adapter has also been used to support various testing and demonstrations requiring live data. The ADS-B Adapter utilizes TENA and portions of the dump1090 project. I use an ADS-B antenna to provide impromptu testing, demonstrations (via Microsoft Teams), etc. (routed through a software defined radio and Raspberry Pi computer to the ADS-B antenna).

SimDemo/SimpleScenario (Cross-platform CLI apps written in C++)

I developed these applications to demonstrate the use of communication interface APIs (TENA) in basic simulation interactions involving a simple scenario with a shooter, munition, target, and engagement messages. This application produces data that can be viewed in a 2D/3D display system, illustrating API concepts visually and in code. This application has been used in numerous demonstrations and trainings geared toward software developers that build simulation capabilities. I was the original developer of SimDemo, which is now maintained by the TRMC user support team with contributions by other team members. This app utilizes CMake for cross-platform build file and installation packaging generation.

RadarPub (CLI written in C#)

Like SimDemo, I developed RadarPub to demonstrate the use of communication interface APIs (TENA) in instrumentation systems (whereas SimDemo focused on simulations). RadarPub implements the TENA radar tracking system interface used to monitor and control radar systems. RadarPub simulates basic interactions to provide a tracking system surrogate for testing other applications that normally would interact with live systems. This includes providing system status, accepting pointing commands, and simulating track generation. RadarPub is used with live data sources (e.g., the ADS-B Adapter) or simulated sources (e.g., SimDemo) along with other tools in demonstrations and trainings. I was the original developer of RadarPub, which is now maintained by the TRMC user support team with contributions by other team members.

YosemiteSAM (CLI app written in C++)

I developed YosemiteSAM to demonstrate the use of communication interface APIs (TENA) in simulation systems requiring a munition source. This was developed primarily for demonstration but has been used in various testing as well. YosemiteSAM fires simulated missiles at targets from a SAM site, sends engagement messages (fire and detonate), and calls remote methods on simulated targets to request changes in damage state. I was the original developer of YosemiteSAM, which is now maintained by the TRMC user support team with contributions by other team members.

PlatGen/SittingDuck (GUI/Qt app written in C++)

I developed PlatGen to support legacy TENA Standard data types, which was forked into SittingDuck to support modern standard data types. These apps are basic entity generators that produce data based on various parameters set by the user (e.g., identification, entity type, number of entities, update rate, etc.). The entities will optionally respond to detonation messages and/or remote methods to change data state, ultimately destroying the entities, and providing simulated targets for other systems under development. These apps are primarily used for internal testing, however PlatGen is used in various testing and troubleshooting for JSN/SDREN based events. SittingDuck is replacing PlatGen as new data standards are adopted. I was the original developer of PlatGen, and I have led the development effort of SittingDuck (all our source code is managed in git/BitBucket repositories with integrated Jira-based task tracking).

JAMP image creator, JPT, and JLD (various scripts using bash, Python, etc.)

The JMETC Secret Network (JSN) provides services on top of SDREN and utilizes the JMETC Active Measurement Program (JAMP) to perform nightly performance testing and generate reports for the JSN connectivity team. The JAMP concept was adopted from the SDREN Active Measurement Program (SAMP) and utilizes NUTTCP endpoints as SAMP did. Adopting these concepts, I was the developer for scripts that would create installation images for the JAMP hosts, which are installed at 55+ sites across the US. These Linux based images implement DoD Security Technical Implementation Guidelines (STIG), apply various optimizations, and include special tools for performing various network testing and troubleshooting. We have gone through two major rollouts of this program (originally CentOS6 based and now CentOS7 based). I was also the developer for the JMETC Performance Testing (JPT) tools, a collection of Python scripts that perform nightly tests between the JAMPs and collect and format test results for analysis by network engineers. JPT reduced test time of the predecessor program significantly by employing techniques and algorithms allowing multiple tests to occur simultaneously without cross-test interference. I also developed the JMETC LiveDisk (JLD) which allows any computer on the JSN to be booted into a Linux OS with a configuration like the JAMPs without affecting the host configuration (i.e., without modifying its hard drive). This has saved significant time in test and troubleshooting by providing near zero-cost deployment of our specialized capabilities to any computer host on JSN.

Other notes

  • Clearance: I currently have a Top Secret (TS) DoD clearance.
  • Team leadership: Besides training outside organizations on TENA, related tools, and various concepts, I also coordinate the development activities for our internal software support team. This is facilitated by Atlassian products including Confluence, Jira, and Bitbucket primarily. All our code is maintained in git based Bitbucket repositories and tasking is coordinated using Jira. I coordinate regular meetings with our geographically distributed team utilizing Microsoft Teams.
  • Virtualization: I have utilized Amazon Web Services (AWS), including AWS-Gov, to deploy various hosts and services (via EC2 and LightSail instances). I also routinely use VirtualBox for various experiments, testing, and development.
  • Operating Systems (OS) and Integrated Development Environments (IDE): On Windows, I have primarily used Visual Studio for development. On Linux, most of my experience is in the Red Hat ecosystem (including Fedora, CentOS, etc.), but I have also used various other distributions as well (e.g., Debian, Ubuntu, etc.). For Linux development, I have used Eclipse in the past, but I have been using Visual Studio Code for more recent projects.
  • Programming languages: I consider myself primarily a C++ developer (driven by requirements in recent years), but I use other languages as well (e.g., C#, Java, Python, etc.). For quick scripting tasks, I mostly use bash scripts. Any C-style language I can usually pick up quickly, and I have experience in many other languages from past projects (e.g., PHP, JavaScript, etc.). Since I have mainly used C++ over the last couple years, most of the libraries I’ve used recently will fall into the C++ ecosystem (e.g., the C++ standard template library, boost, and Qt).
  • Side projects: I try to keep my skillset relevant through various side projects and/or professional experiments. A recent professional experiment example was the development of an android app for a wearable device (RealWear) that transmitted location to an AWS-Gov instance running a mqtt sever (Eclipse Mosqitto), then through an “mqtt to TENA” gateway for visualization in Naval Research laboratory’s SIMDIS 2D/3D product. A slightly older project within OSD/TRMC was the “Drive the boat” challenge designed to challenge contractors to provide solutions that utilized web services to navigate simulated boats through various channels. My solution was written on an Android app and utilized a self-hosted open street map (OSM) to provide imagery. The app allowed the user to rapidly set waypoints to direct the simulates boats through a challenge course provided by the server. A more current project (under development) focuses on link margin analysis (LMA) to analyze and optimize telemetry antenna receive locations for tests that occur over large geographic regions (e.g., for testing of hypersonic vehicles over the Pacific Ocean).

Other Experience

Owner/Operator of Historic Tour Company
Fort Collins Tours, Inc.

January 2011 to August 2020

Fort Collins Tours was a family owned and operated tour guide business located in Fort Collins, Colorado from 2011 to 2020. Our mission was to provide expertly guided adventures within Colorado’s Front Range that were safe, fun, and educational. I developed our web-based sales system, I developed marketing materials, and I performed numerous other tasks involved in small business ownership. We had roughly six to twelve employees at any point over a period of nine years. Our most popular offerings were our “ghost tours”. Other tours were related to Fort Collins’ many food establishments, historical tours, and various other specialty tours. In that time, we gave hundreds of tours to thousands of people. Our business was impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions. Many of our stops were at business locations that had to be shut down. Government restrictions made some of our routine stops impractical or impossible to visit so we made the difficult decision to dissolve Fort Collins Tours in 2020. Our online ticketing & sales infrastructure was originally designed and implemented by me using Amazon Web Services (AWS) virtual machines and a Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) stack primarily leveraging Drupal with custom plugins. Later, we integrated our ticketing system to use FareHarbor. We exclusively used original photography in all our marketing materials and performed all our own graphic design work using the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) and other open source projects. This graphic design work was used in flyers, posters, signs, and billboards throughout northern Colorado and contributed toward the popular and profitable operation of Fort Collins Tours for nine years.

Some miscellaneous experience

Before and during the professional experience I listed above, I had numerous jobs, hobbies, and experiences that contribute to my abilities today. As a teenager, we raised some of our own livestock, giving me experience with of the process of raising, killing, cleaning, and cooking poultry and other animals. I had numerous jobs that you probably will not associate with a typical software engineer. I worked every aspect of cutting down trees, splitting, and delivering firewood. I helped build several structures. I had numerous part- or seasonal-time jobs, from working on a ski resort as a snowmaker (NorthStar at Tahoe), to delivering building materials for new construction (Pacific Supply Company). I worked in retail sales as a technology department supervisor. I worked at a university in the public affairs office (California State University, Chico). I worked for temp agencies, taking on various jobs (many of which I have probably forgotten by now). I was also a substitute teacher for a while (one of my favorite jobs), taking jobs in any grade level from preschool through high school. Throughout these years I have also had various “side projects”, from building custom furniture to building custom electronics (e.g. with Arduino based devices, more complex single board ARM-based computers, basic electronics, more complex sensors, etc.). I have assembled dozens of computers over the years for professional and personal projects. To balance work life, I kayak, hike, mountain bike, etc. All these odd jobs and hobbies have contributed to my knowledge and to my appreciation of how systems and people interact. These experiences continue to play a vital role in my appreciation and understanding of computing environments, software, and how people interact with technology.

I also posted some additional information about me on the “About” page on this website.

I also posted some info about “tech talks” I’ve given here: https://www.geohub.com/technical-talks/