Federal Innovation with Attain and Oracle

Ahmed Aboulnaga
Senior Principal at Attain

Attain sat down with Oracle expert and Senior Principal Ahmed Aboulnaga to learn more about the innovative work that he is delivering to federal clients, get his take on industry and technology trends, discuss his recognition as an Oracle ACE, as well as learn more about him personally. Read on below!

What is your role at Attain?

I joined Attain in 2017 and am currently a Senior Principal. My expertise is in technical management, architecture, and consulting within Oracle, Java, and cloud technologies. Recently, I have been focused on DevOps, cloud, and cybersecurity in my current projects supporting our federal government clients.

How did you initially get started in the IT industry?

My passion started early, banging away on my first TRS-80 when I was just four years old. I started doing basic programming in Logo and turtle graphics in elementary school, and it kept growing from there.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in their career?

I can’t emphasize enough the benefit of seeking out a trusted mentor. A little bit of guidance and advice from a more seasoned individual can help steer a young professional in the right direction.

What trends are you seeing in the market and what technology do you think will have the most impact in the coming years?

One of the first that comes to mind is artificial intelligence. The possibilities for this technology are endless. In the future, we will continue to see AI being used in many aspects of our lives, such as self-automated homes or robotic-assisted telesurgery. I also believe that cybersecurity will continue rising to the forefront. Security touches every aspect of IT. Even the average consumer today is much more aware of security than in the past. Cyberattacks are becoming more advanced and breaches continue to rise. IoT devices flooding the online marketplace are usually developed poorly by low-cost shops with security as an afterthought. Enterprises also face tremendous pressures to keep up with consumer demand and technological advancements, which only adds to the risk. The rising and changing attack risks will require organizations to develop advanced solutions quickly. One of the things that drew me to Attain is that our company is continuously innovating and thinking far into the future to develop full-spectrum cybersecurity advancements, and other leading-edge digital solutions.

What are your thoughts on the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)?

I absolutely support the goal of CMMC, which is to provide a framework for the improvement of cybersecurity, ensuring that companies are adequately protecting sensitive information. I have been contemplating this for a while, and even did a presentation two years ago titled “5 Things Federal Contractors Need to do to Get Cybersecurity Right”. At that time, I recognized the low rate of compliance among federal contractors and what federal agencies needed to do to improve their security postures.

Can you share some federal client work about which you are particularly proud?

I enjoy working on complex problems in challenging environments and ultimately driving them to successful resolutions.

I once designed a maximum availability architecture to deliver 100% uptime for a mission critical system for a customer. Surrounded in a room full of enterprise architects and product vendor specialists, I received incredible pushback and resistance to my design. I had a single champion from the client who backed me. Ultimately, my design was adopted, and this platform went on to achieve 100% uptime for a full six years straight and became the model for maximum availability at that client.

Congratulations on being named an Oracle ACE! How long have you been an Oracle ACE and what does this designation mean to you?

I have been an Oracle ACE since 2013. The Oracle ACE Program recognizes individuals who are technically proficient and are willing to share their knowledge and experiences through presentations, blog posts, articles, and community forum support. I am honored to be recognized alongside 400 other colleagues from all over the world, many of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting in person.

Tell us about some of the leading-edge work that Attain and Oracle are doing together, and what you envision for the future of this partnership?

Oracle’s approach has shifted a great deal over the last half decade, with emphasis now more on the customer first. We have frequent discussions with various Oracle Product Management teams, discussing new, upcoming offerings that can help benefit our clients. We collaboratively focus on finding solutions that promote innovation, efficiencies, cost savings, improved security, and predictions of our customers’ needs. My last discussion at Oracle Reston involved detailed discussions with an Oracle Vice President and patent holder surrounding some of the advanced security capabilities embedded in Oracle’s actual chips themselves.

About the Author

Ahmed Aboulnaga 

Ahmed Aboulnaga is a Senior Principal at Attain, a digital solutions firm headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Ahmed is an expert in technical management, architecture, and consulting within Oracle, Java, and cloud technologies, having implemented enterprise solutions for government and commercial clients throughout his 20-year career. Recognized as one of four hundred evangelists in the world via the Oracle ACE program, Ahmed has authored two books on Oracle technologies, published numerous articles, and presented at major conferences on a wide array of topics covering integration, development, cybersecurity, and cloud. He has been instrumental in the success of many large-scale federal IT projects for the DOD, DHS, DOJ, and DOE.

By Ahmed Aboulnaga, Senior Principal at Attain