"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, October 7, 2013

Three Years?

Three years.   Billions of dollars.   The future of American healthcare, the American economy, and possible America itself riding on the implementation of Obamacare.   And this is what they came up with?
What should clearly be an enterprise quality, highly scalable software application, felt like it wouldn’t pass a basic code review. It appears the people who built the site don’t know what they’re doing, never used it, and didn’t test it.
I actually experienced many more problems than the screenshots I captured. Had I known I was performing a Quality Assurance assignment, I would have kept better documentation of typos, unclear directions, bad grammar, poorly designed screens, and other crashes. My bad!
It makes me wonder if this is the first paid application created by these developers. How much did the contractor receive for creating this awful solution? Was it awarded to the lowest price bidder? As a taxpayer, I hope we didn’t didn’t pay a premium for this because it needs to be rebuilt. And fixing, testing, and redeploying a live application like this is non-trivial. The managers who approved this system before it went live should be held accountable, along with the people who selected them.
Our Professional Solutions Group has created many mission-critical, custom software applications where scalability, reliability and quality are paramount. For instance, we built the Logistics Support System for International Humanitarian Relief for the United Nations where lives are dependent on accurate, timely data on a global scale. I know what’s involved in creating great software, and this ain’t it. Healthcare.gov is simply an insurance quote system. As a software developer, I’m embarrassed for my profession. If FMS ever delivered such crap, I’d be personally inconsolable. This couldn’t pass an introductory computer science class. 
This is going to be a huge public relations mess that could doom the whole initiative.
I always thought that Obamacare would be a fiasco in the end, because the incentives built into the concept were so skewed toward moral hazard, adverse selection, etc.   But it never occurred to me that they could screw up the most basic aspect of it... creating a website to sign people up.  

President Putt-Putt, the world's smartest man, really doesn't know how to do anything but bullshit, does he?

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