We’re solving big problems
Millions of people use Federal Government services every day. Veterans apply for health care. Immigrants apply for naturalization. Too often, outdated tools and complex systems make these interactions cumbersome and frustrating.
To improve these services, USDS hires top technologists into term-limited ‘tours of civic service.’ By working alongside civil servants, they help build better tools for the people.
Shipping code, delivering services
Our small, highly empowered teams use their expertise to develop human-centered solutions to the Federal Government’s most pressing technical challenges. Explore a few of our projects.
Eight million lines of COBOL and 2.5 million lines of assembly running on 15 mainframes. Four percent of the entire American economy is fueled by Medicare payments and 57 million people depend on it for their healthcare.
A customized, plain language tool gives Veterans step-by-step guidance for submitting a strong application to upgrade their discharge status.
We worked with CMS to build an API that enables beneficiaries with different needs to grant access to developers that can help them monitor for drug conflicts, refill prescriptions, and track progress towards desired healthcare outcomes.
The Quality Payment Program API makes it easy for clinicians to submit quality metrics to CMS and for the government to review and return feedback promptly, which leads to greater health outcomes for patients and a more positive experience with value-based care for providers.
Since kicking off in 2016, the Hack the Pentagon program has engaged ethical hackers across the globe to help the Department of Defense identify and remedy thousands of security vulnerabilities.
Our defense team spent 18 weeks building a critical software system with small teams on rotation to Afghanistan, working directly with NATO advisors and leadership.
By the people, for the people
Every person, from all walks of life, interacts with their government. We hire technologists from diverse backgrounds to improve the services that millions rely on. Meet a few staff members who have signed on for tours of civic service.
“It’s not about how can we maximize digital ad space or make conversion rates better, but how we can use technology to really make a difference in someone’s life.”
“Making sure we can improve, design, and iterate on a printed piece of paper, while explaining policy in a more human-centered way was a challenge I wasn’t expecting.”
“I was inspired to join USDS because technology can do more than entertain and amaze us. Combined with good government, it can be a force for good in people’s lives.”
“Improving the aging technology that government and its services runs on was an extremely compelling goal.”
“At the Defense Digital Service I help make the lives of service members better, and safer.”
“If you are thinking about totally disrupting your comfortable lifestyle and moving to Washington, D.C., for a family adventure like we did...”
“And my resolve to contribute to the movement was only strengthened when I heard about how USDS works, their values, and the awesome things they had delivered.”
“Everyone is here because they care about people and they want to change things for the better. They're not just coming for a paycheck and that makes a huge difference in the work environment.”
“I was a little concerned about whether I could make a difference in three months, but after my experience here, I wholeheartedly recommend that you should consider doing it for as long or short a duration as you can.”
“Serving a tour of duty with USDS is not only good for the country but also a great opportunity for you as a technologist.”
“It is a rare, one of a kind opportunity. It is the ability to work at the highest level of government in the United States to impact people at a scale that is unrivaled.”
“Everyone I worked with at USDS brought talent, a can-do spirit and a belief that together we could make the country better.”
“I think that President Obama instilled in all of his staff the sense to do what is right, not always what is easy.”
“But when you serve at USDS, you wake up every day, serve your country, and have the opportunity to change the lives of millions of Americans.”
“Making responsible decisions about complex issues requires representation at the table where the decisions are being made.”
“I have many avenues to create impact at USDS, which is what keeps it interesting and fulfilling.”
“I’ve been involved with so many things I am proud of, but probably the most meaningful contribution is making the civil service stronger.”
“Your country and the American people need you now more than ever.”
“I am intrigued to see what will be able to engage me and feel as impactful as my time here!”
USDS in the news
- Meet the Nerds Coding Their Way Through the Afghanistan War
- Feds come hunting tech talent in Silicon Valley
- Hackers target Marines to find vulnerabilities before U.S. adversaries
- How tech workers in the government could make everyone’s life easier: ‘Get rid of the paper’
- How a Star Wars Crab Became a Federal Agency’s Twitter Avatar
- This simple technological fix helped veterans get health benefits
- Uncle Sam wants you to join the United States Digital Service
- U.S. Digital Service, Obama’s White House ‘startup,’ finding its way under Trump
- The Pentagon’s ‘nerds’ take on the cloud
We are a community
When you join USDS you become part of a vibrant, supportive group of humans. Check out our social media channels to see more USDS moments.