4C Insights

Developing cutting edge software for the world’s militaries

2021-11-08

4C Strategies’ Exonaut® software was developed to bring new digital capabilities to the Swedish Armed Forces. What began as a pilot project 20 years ago is now the de facto standard for military training management on its 19th release. Used daily around the globe, it supports armed forces in growing their training capabilities through effective exercise planning, monitoring, analysis, and exploitation of data.

Development, design and data science teams are located in Orlando, Warminster and Malmö, working both collaboratively and on channelled projects for the British, Australian and US Armies, the Norwegian and Swedish Armed Forces, and the US Marines and NATO, among others.

We find out what they do.

Andreas Olså – Senior Software developer, Malmö, Sweden

I work with back-end web development. I also have increasing responsibility for everything we do on the development side. Working with the military brings complexity and challenges that don’t exist in the same way in other fields. Security must meet the strictest standards to comply with our clients’ production settings. There is a level of secrecy and security that makes the job of a developer at 4C a bit special, for instance, we’re not allowed to discuss the specifications of our software security requirements, even here at the office.”

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Josh Rice – Technical Project Manager, Warminster, UK

“As a technical project manager, I get to scope, own and develop cutting edge solutions; working together with 4C developers and military consultants to ensure we are delivering what the army needs. Most recently, we launched MyMIMIR, a Strava-like app for soldiers to help them gain an understanding of their capabilities and provide them with insights into how they can improve. It’s great to be involved with something that’s engaging individuals and supporting the army’s readiness as a whole. MyMIMIR is currently in testing on military exercises. The feedback we receive will be incorporated to improve the user experience of the tool.”

Ryan Campbell – Software Engineer, Orlando, USA

“I’m part of an agile team developing training solutions for the US Army and the US Marines. It’s a really dynamic environment, where what you do one day is rarely repeated the next. We’re challenged to solve solutions, individually and collaboratively, and share feedback and learnings with the team. I get to put my head down and crank out code, but can also call on the expertise of people who’ve been working with the software for 15-plus years. I’m proud to be developing a meaningful, cutting edge product that will make a difference for the military.”

Vedrana Zeba – Product Owner (former requirements analyst) Malmö, Sweden

I spent two years working as a Requirements Analyst, which meant spending a lot of my time engaging with customers and developers. As a graduate of computer science, I could apply my skills to defining customer needs and translating them into requirement specifications, followed by validating implementations and writing documentation. I really enjoyed the project management part of this, so I’ve taken the next step, becoming an Exonaut Product Owner with my own development team.

Neill Bayley – Senior Consultant, Warminster, UK

“I’ve been working with military software for over 15 years. I enjoy the challenges involved with it. For example, our solutions have to work in extremely remote environments like the African Savannah and integrate with multiple simulators when on or offline, all while meeting the strictest security parameters. Typically, I do a lot of configuring of dashboards for customers from data collected via our APIs to ensure the right data is presented to users for view and analysis.”

Johan Wurtz – Chief Information Officer, Stockholm, Sweden

“There’s a lot of cool things going on at the company as we take our software to the next level. At the moment a lot of my time is taken up with the new APIs we are developing, as well as integrations with Microsoft Azure. The product itself is in a multi-tenant environment, so diverse customers share the same physical structure with no cross-communication. This lends itself to dynamic DevOps, with fast updates and bug fixing. It makes the job more enjoyable and ensures a better product.”

Andreas Hedskog – Founder and Head of R&D, Malmö Sweden

”We are constantly looking to innovate with our software in order to remain at the cutting edge. But there is also a higher purpose to what we do – the tools we supply ultimately save lives. From a technical perspective, the systems we build must be able to speak to simulators, which is quite a special task. Even many highly experienced software engineers have not come into contact with this type of development. These are exciting times now as we are currently building the next generation of Exonaut, moving from a product suite to a platform. Ultimately, this will use data more effectively through AI and allow for substantial customisation and integration with other systems.”

Read Andreas’ story on the 20-year history of 4C and Exonaut.

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