Photo of Steve Albers
Pronouns: He/His
Community of practice: Engineering
City of origin: Moline, Illinois
Tour status: Staff

Steve Albers


What inspired you to join USDS?

Originally I was interested in USDS for personal reasons: the projects are high-impact, and working at USDS was a chance to grow professionally. But in the end it was the chance to make a difference in people’s lives that sold me on the job.

What’s your career story?

Growing up, my father was a mainframe programmer for the Army, so I was exposed to punch cards, green bar paper, and terminals at an early age. I got a business degree in college, then spent a few years playing music professionally in bands. Eventually I came around to realizing Dad had been on to something good, and switched over to software development. I’ve been doing it for almost 30 years now.

What’s your super-power?

I am super-good at noticing great ideas from teammates and advocating for them.

What do you love most about USDS?

First: I get to work with some of the smartest, most empathetic people I know. Second: I’m proud of the work we do and the impact it can have.

What was the last great book you read?

I read a lot for work. USDS doesn’t subscribe to a single technological approach – we work hard to pick solutions that make sense for each of our agency partners. So I regularly spend my reading time learning about things like running COBOL on mainframes, or cloud platforms I haven’t used before.

How did you handle the quarantine?

I bought a green fabric backdrop that helps keep a little separation between Zoom calls and my home life.

How does your work make an impact?

We are helping CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) make sure their systems and processes can keep up with the pace of change in healthcare. Medicare has been around since the 1960s, and some of the systems that support it are nearly that old too!


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