Roundups / Startups

These were your 10 most-read DC tech stories of 2019

Education, acquisitions and expansions caught your interest the most this year. Enjoy this shortlist of the year's most popular stories on DC.

D.C. views. (Photo by Flickr user Palácio do Planalto, used under a Creative Commons license)
We’re two weeks out from a new year and a new decade.

From the hundreds of stories we published this year, topics like a Taye Diggs sighting, that time the DC Tech Meetup site was hacked and this feature on a Howard University student were among some of this reporter’s favorite stories to write. In 2018, we covered acquisitions so often, we also launched a monthly column called M&A Moves earlier this year.

Take some time to reminisce on what mattered to the #dctech community in 2019. Here’s a list of what you read the most this year:

10. DC isn’t lacking tech jobs, but is in need of workers with specific tech skills

As part of’s How to Get Hired Month in February, we pulled some data for D.C. that shows stats about the amount of IT-related jobs, what industry is booming and what skills need more love. As 0f May 2017, the D.C. metro area had 42,910 people in computer and mathematical occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; all but 2,370 of those jobs were in IT-related fields. Cybersecurity was still the number one sought-after skill in immediate demand at local tech companies.

9. Why Gen Z’s new best friends should be the Boomers

In a guest post from Kristina Svensson-Piavent, founder and CEO of Yuduyu,  she discusses how Generation Z and Baby Boomers can collaborate effectively in the workplace to learn from each other. She also shares some pointers to do so, such as easing up on the stereotypes, listening more and being open to learning new things.

8. Meet the Capital One tech executive who’s spearheading diversity initiatives across the company

Julie Elberfeld, senior VP of Shared Technology and the executive sponsor of diversity and inclusion for technology at Capital One. (Courtesy photo)

In this Q&A with Julie Elberfeld, the senior VP of shared technology and executive sponsor of diversity and inclusion for technology at Capital One, she shares insight on how she climbed the ranks as a woman in tech and leading efforts to increase diversity at the large corporation.

“Inclusive practices embedded in the company culture provide a strong foundation for our tech leaders to build the most innovative and empowered teams, where everyone is welcome, and does their best work,” Elberfeld said at the time.

7. Virginia Tech brought its solar home to Northern Virginia for the summer

Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS solar home. (Courtesy photo)

Over this past summer, Virginia Tech relocated its FutureHAUS solar home to Alexandria, Virginia. The house was on display near the location of Virginia Tech’s future Innovation Campus, which is in proximity to the site of Amazon’s second headquarters. FutureHAUS was conceptualized, researched and developed by over 100 Virginia Tech faculty members and students. The solar home is 900 square feet in size, and sits on a 2,800-square-foot plot of land equipped with a patio and garden. It’s completely solar powered, and equipped with 67 smart tech devices including automated sliding doors, a voice command response system and a sink that releases the exact amount of water you need.

6. George Mason University now has a fleet of 25 food delivery robots roaming on campus

A fleet of Starship robots. (Courtesy photo)

Autonomous delivery startup Starship Technologies and Sodexo partnered to bring 25 food delivery robots to the George Mason University community back in January to deliver goods for a delivery cost of $1.99. Some participating retailers include Blaze Pizza, Starbucks, Dunkin’ and Second Stop, GMU’s on-campus grocery store. The robots are able to carry any items up to 20 pounds, meaning a user could order up to three grocery bags full of food and still only require one robot.

5. D.C.’s 2019 Awards nominees

In October, we officially announced the nominees for the Awards, happening this week on Dec. 18. This ceremony honors people and companies making a big difference within our local tech communities. We will be celebrating the 12 technologists who were chosen as the inaugural RealLIST Engineers and announcing the winners of seven different awards categories. Expect networking, food, drinks and fun.

Join us — and take 40% off your ticket price with the code awardsflash.

4. Google announced plans to double its footprint in Reston in 2020

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a $13 billion U.S. expansion plan that will include doubling and moving its Reston, Virginia, office earlier this year. The media giant has plans to lease about 90,000 square feet of space in the Reston Town Center, where it currently resides, and could be moving into the new office as early as mid-2020.

3. Accenture acquired a Seattle-based cybersecurity company

Back in June, Accenture acquired Deja vu Secuirty, a Seattle-based cybersecurity company that specializes in security design and testing of enterprise software platforms and internet of things (IoT) technologies. The company has become a part of Arlington, Virginia-based Accenture Security, the office managing the professional services giant’s cyber defense offerings.

2. AWS launched a partnership with two local colleges on a cloud computing degree program

NOVA and GMU students at AWS’s Public Sector Summit in 2019. (Photo via @NOVAcommcollege on Twitter)

As part of its expansion plan into Northern Virginia, Amazon launched a partnership with George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to create a bachelor of applied science pathway in cloud computing. Admitted students now have the option to study for two years to earn an associate’s degree from NOVA before continuing their education at George Mason, where they would receive a bachelor’s degree. The degree program will begin accepting students in the fall of 2020 and admitted students will receive a membership for AWS Educate, where they can gain hands-on experience with cloud tech and tools.

1. D.C.’s 2019 RealLIST Startups

Surprise, surprise — our 2019 D.C. RealLIST for startups nabbed the top spot for both DC’s most-read story of 2019 as well as our most-read story EVER, beating out last’s year’s RealLIST. Each year we curate a list of 20 of the community’s most promising young companies, and it’s almost time to publish this list again in January; look for a call for 2020 nominations soon early in the new year.


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