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News | Nov. 27, 2023

NSDC Guardian becomes Supra Coder

By Ms. Bridget Bonnette Joint Task Force-Space Defense Public Affairs

U.S. Space Force Capt. Jamel Sanders, cyberspace operations chief assigned to Space Delta 15 in support of the National Space Defense Center, earned the distinguished title of Supra Coder, Sept. 27, 2023.

In a pool of over 150 applicants, Sanders was hand-selected to complete the Supra Coders Software Development Immersive (SDI) class and was the only member chosen across the NSDC.

“Sending Capt. Sanders through SDI was an easy decision and huge return on investment for DEL 15 and the NSDC,” said Lyon. “The USSF needs more talent in software development to prepare for Great Power Competition, and our operational command and control mission depends on agile support mechanisms to Watch, Warn and Win on orbit.”

The USSF SDI class transforms Guardians into Supra Coders: full-stack software developers who use their digital knowledge and skills to identify and alleviate pain points at their commands, increasing mission effectiveness across the force.

The three-month virtual SDI class prepares Guardians and USSF civilians with critical skills in software engineering to build real working programs, is followed by a three-month internship with a USSF software factory.

Additionally, the SDI class expands and nurtures internal digital talent across the force to address potential future knowledge and capabilities gaps, ultimately enhancing space warfighting capabilities in an ever-evolving digital domain.

“Throughout this intensive class, I had the opportunity to delve into various aspects of software development, sharpening my skills in front-end and back-end languages and technologies such as JavaScript, REACT, HTML, Postgres, Express, and Docker,” said Sanders. “Each module pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to grow both personally and professionally.”

During the last two weeks, Sanders collaborated with his fellow classmates to create a culminating capstone project, developing an application designed to serve as the nexus between the general USSF population and the Supra Coder community.

“Through this app, the USSF populace can request Supra Coders to create applications that directly benefit their units,” Sanders said. “It also serves as a platform to review Supra Coders’ previous work, facilitating recruiting and resume-building efforts.”

As a newly minted Supra Coder, Sanders aims to apply his newfound knowledge and expertise in the NSDC.

“I'm looking to use my skills to further develop the Java Bot or ‘JBot’ app that allows operators in the NSDC and across other Space Force units to ask questions about specific space assets to populate answers based on the Unified Data Library (UDL), WarpCore, and other sensor data repositories,” Sanders said.

Sanders will also continue to develop real-world applications that can directly affect the USSF fight.

On Dec. 15, Sanders will complete SDI's three-month agile product development team internship, during which he is learning and further developing his software product development skills.

“This internship has opened my eyes to the amount of information I have to learn when it comes to Development Operations (DevOps) in the military,” Sanders said. “It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come from using antiquated languages and processes to where we are now with using languages and program management processes that are commonly used in the private sector. Although there’s still a lot to be done to fully integrate military operations with the cyclical process of DevOps, transforming Guardians into Supra Coders through SDI is a huge step in the right direction!”

Upon completing the intensive internship, Sanders will obtain a Z-prefix, which will identify Sanders as a full-stack software developer who can perform duties managing, developing, and designing software solutions supporting both acquisition and operational communities within the USSF.

“As I reflect on this journey, I am reminded that success is not a solitary accomplishment, but a collective effort,” Sanders said. “Let’s continue to push boundaries, innovate, and make a lasting impact to the limitless possibilities of the space domain!”