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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Columbia company solves Affordable Healthcare Website problems

    You need to solve some coding on a problematic website.  Where do you go? Silicon Valley? Nope, how about a Columbia based company called QSSI.  Howard County is not the first place you might think of for being a hotbed of digital technology companies but you would be wrong.  You may remember that Howard County earlier this year was "ranked 8th in counties with populations of 250,000 to 499,999, with the survey measuring online service delivery, infrastructure, architecture, security, transparency, citizen engagement and governance models."
      QSSI has three locations in Columbia.  One is on the top floor of the building downtown that also houses the Horizon Foundation.  I have often been in an elevator in that building with young men from QSSI having conversations that sounded like some complex computer code. With many of the young men appearing to be of Indian descent one guess was that it must be some Indian hi-tech company. There also seemed to be some higher level of security for that floor of the building.   One was never too sure what the company on the 12th floor did but now we know.   In addition to being brought in to fix the computer website problems with the Federal site they now have been hired by Maryland to fix the problems with the State healthcare website.  We might not be Silicon Valley yet but with our close proximity to the National Security Agency and the Applied Physics Lab you can bet we have more hi-tech firms in our area then you might imagine.

    Another sign of our hi-tech culture is the recent announcement that the Howard County Library was awarded a grant to expand its HiTech Initiative.  According to the announcement the grant is " a STEM education initiative for teens that provides hands-on, project-based classes in such skill areas as computer programming, 3-D animation, green energy, nanotechnology, music/video production, ebooks, game app design, cybersecurity, and robotics."


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