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Brittany Ballenstedt

Blogger Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.
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For Tech Pros, There Is Such Thing as a Free Lunch

March 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While a competitive salary and opportunities for professional development are among the benefits most highly desired by in-demand technology professionals, there are some workplace perks offered frequently by private sector employers that federal agencies simply can’t match. The most popular? A free lunch. That’s according to this month’s edition of ...

Science and Tech Students Cite Mild Interest in Federal Careers

March 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When it comes to competing for highly-skilled, entry-level talent in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, there’s good and bad news for federal agencies. The good news: College students majoring in STEM fields have roughly the same interest in federal careers than their non-STEM counterparts. The bad news: Federal ...

OPM Unveils Strategic IT Plan

March 12, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday unveiled a new information technology plan to help the agency refocus efforts to modernize retirement programs, USAJOBS and other federal human resources systems. The Strategic IT Plan aims to address technology needs across OPM, with particular focus on modernizing federal HR systems affecting ...

'Work Is Not a Place; It’s What We Do,' Telework Official Says

March 11, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Were you one of the 160,000 federal employees who pledged to telework last week as part of the annual Telework Week? One agency leading the way in federal telework adoption – the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – had more than 1,200 employees teleworking at some point last ...

Innovation Fellows: Round Three

March 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House on Thursday announced it is looking to fill a new roster of external entrepreneurs and technologists willing to serve short-term assignments to tackle some key government challenges. Round three of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program will pair up talented individuals from outside government with top civil servants ...

What the Fed-Friendly Budget Means for IT

March 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration’s 2015 budget blueprint released Tuesday stresses the need for a top-notch federal information technology workforce to enable the government to deliver on its goals for smarter IT services and focus IT projects less on compliance and more on delivering impact. “To do this, we need the best ...

2015 Budget Would Boost Investments in STEM Education

March 4, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget blueprint released Tuesday proposes a number of changes to improving and strengthening the quality and quantity of workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. One proposed change is a governmentwide reorganization of STEM education programs that have traditionally been fragmented across various agencies. ...

Telework Yields $32 Million in Snow Day Savings

March 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Monday marks the fourth snow closure for federal agencies in the Washington, D.C. area this winter season, and, ironically, the start to this year’s Telework Week. For federal employees who telework, the closures still meant business as usual, and their efforts have yielded millions in savings for government agencies. New ...

Telework Keeps DISA Up and Running

February 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Wednesday marked another day of snowfall in the Washington, D.C., area that left federal employees with the option to take unscheduled leave or telework to avoid the slippery commute into the office. Most of the Defense Information Systems Agency's employees were prepared the evening before. That’s because employees received an ...

Three Agencies Stretch Their Funding With Shared Services

February 27, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal agencies need not reinvent the wheel when it comes to consolidating and sharing services such as information technology. A few agencies are leading the way in this area to help stretch funding and resources, though the potential for more collaboration still exists, according to a new report by the ...