Zacharie T. Hall: Getting firsthand feedback...from Kandahar Province

Name: Zacharie T. Hall

Age: 28

Organization: Army Department

Title: Computer Scientist, Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center

Nominated for: Volunteering to go to Afghanistan so that he could get a better understanding of what soldiers needed and how technology could help.

First IT mentor: I couldn't possibly choose just one. I consider myself very fortunate to have colleagues who are passionate about technology and supporting a cause that is greater than them.

Latest accomplishment on the job: Working with the soldiers at the combat outpost in Kandahar Province. It was very rewarding to get firsthand feedback from soldiers using what we were working on.

Career highlight: Spending three months at a company-sized outpost in Kandahar Province. Probably the most eye-opening experience of my life.

Your advice for a government IT wannabe: You must not be afraid to challenge the status quo.

What you enjoy most about working in government IT: Most of all, I appreciate being given a pretty large amount of responsibility relatively early in my career. Also, I value the experiences I probably wouldn't have had anywhere else, including working with soldiers who put themselves in harm’s way every day.

Three favorite job-related bookmarks or apps: Dropbox.com and the apps Remember the Milk, Catch Notes and Google Calendar. And, of course, my Android phone.

Dream non-IT-related job: Fighter pilot

Read the next Rising Star profile or view the full list of winners.

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