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View Diary: A Software Engineer's take on Healthcare.gov (145 comments)

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  •  California is a different beast (8+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately federally we had one shot at the requirements, budgeting and planning process and the intransigence of the Republicans to pass ANY new law or budget means that whatever was set in stone on day one was the end all be all of the entire project.  In California they have a state legislature that is amiable to the law, and thus they can react accordingly.

    The number one thing I've seen kill software projects is rigidity.  If there is no flexibility, either through reducing requirements or increased budgeting (mostly more time) then the process is doomed to fail unless it was meticulously planned (and it's NEVER meticulously planned) and small in scope (and Healthcare.gov is not in any way small in scope).

    Every successful project I've been on has had some flexibility, whether that is reducing the feature set or having the ability to delay the release, etc.  No matter how well you plan, projects of this size that require years to complete will have some things that change the scope of requirements over the process.  If you can't react to that due to systemic organizational problems (i.e. our Congress) then you are destined to fail.

    I've shipped products that sold millions despite having features stripped at the last minute because we couldn't finish them in time, and I've worked on projects that failed spectacularly and wasted millions of dollars because marketing insisted that every feature was maximum priority and that meant every feature worked equally poorly when we overran the cost estimates.

    •  If you feel you have the solution to the problem (0+ / 0-)

      Why do not you make your servies available to get it fix,i had too retool my megamillion formula ,because of they added 19 more numbers too the  draw

      •  I'm not sure I follow? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think I indicated I had a solution to the problem.  You can understand what the problem is without having a solution.  In fact, my entire point is that it's a difficult problem without a clear and easy solution.

        I'm sorry if I came off as someone that was armchair quarterbacking, I certainly do not envy the poor engineers who are likely working 16+ hour thankless days and I definitely do not have a silver bullet to fix their problems (though I wish I did, and if I did I'd gladly offer it up).

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