Listen up

Here's our list of reasons for doing our annual Federal List issue

The most direct, most efficient form of communication is a list. Whether it’s a shopping list, a to-do list, a comma-separated values list, David Letterman’s Top 10 list or Craigslist, the act of compiling names, things or ideas one after the other has a magical effect on us all.

A list grabs our attention quickly and serves almost as a call to action. (Ask any magazine editor mocking up a cover for the newsstand. Heck, ask Craig Newmark!) Here at Federal Computer Week, we have long harbored the concept of a Federal List, which, even if you don’t get the pun, captures the many threads that run through our coverage of government technology.

This year’s special issue is designed to move the conversation beyond our current fixations. You might well ask why. And I might just as well give you our list of reasons.

1. Expand the horizons. We offer pointers to the wealth of resources that are reshaping the technology landscape. It’s not just about hardware and software anymore. It’s about information and the new ways we go about collecting and sharing it.

2. Keep looking ahead. Our writers and editors have focused a lot of attention this year on the ins and outs of such issues as the yet-to-be-named federal cybersecurity coordinator, government procurement and acquisition reform, electronic health records, and the government’s use of social media. Here’s our chance to gaze into the future and see what’s coming next.

3. Showcase our wide-ranging expertise. The editors of Government Computer News and Washington Technology don’t just share office space with us. We meet every day to discuss news developments and what they mean for our readers. See what our colleagues have to say about pace-setting dot-gov Web features and the trend-setting companies that serve the government technology market.

4. Take stock of your interests. We now have many more ways to identify — and respond to — the topics that matter most to our readers. We get daily statistics on users of, and visitors can chime in on any story we post online. Here are lists of the top stories this past spring and summer, and the ones you commented on most.

5. Have fun. We asked our readers to send us their job descriptions in the form of tweets. You’ll see their 140-character responses sprinkled throughout the issue. And cartoonist John Klossner fills the back page with his own list: “5 clues that your IT project isn't going to get the green light.”

Next step: Send us your counter-lists. We’ll post them on and print the best ones in future issues of the magazine.

About the Author

David Rapp is editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week and VP of content for 1105 Government Information Group.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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