Software engineers make America safer

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- When the North Koreans make noises about hitting a U.S. territory like Guam, the people who live there understand they have protection from enemy missiles. THAAD is the program's name. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense against short, medium and intermediate-range missiles. "It's very humbling to think about the situation that the work we do on a daily basis could have such a positive impact as to be able to save people living in a city that otherwise might have been killed by an aggressor," said David Phillips, the CEO of Huntsville's Cohesion Force.

The company provides software engineering services for multiple crucial defense programs. THAAD is one of them. "We definitely live in an environment where what we do is part of a team sport, if you will, where different companies work together to accomplish the mission that will save lives," said Phillips.

THAAD is just one mission that is like that, while another would be the Patriot Pac 3 ballistic missile defense system. Writing the software, the code that makes the computers know what to do and to do it quickly is the difficult job. "Humans are much smarter than computers and we can come up with better results than computers. But the challenge is we just can't do it as fast as computers can do it," said Phillips.

So the job for all the 22 people who work at Cohesion Force is to make sure the computers they service are ready for the mission. It's obviously a critical task. "That kind of makes you want to get up and go to work in the morning," said Phillips.