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View Diary: Healthcare.gov: 500 Million Lines of Code! That's Insane! Update (78 comments)

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  •  Regarding a "tech surge" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine

    More bodies can actually help, as long as they're properly directed.

    On the coding side, some defects are straightforward to fix, they just take time.  Put your new guys on that, with explicit direction on what to do, and verify their work.  Properly organized, especially if you use some Europeans and Asians, you can get work processed around the clock, with verifications by the folks who built the system in normal US hours.

    On the testing side, bodies are even more useful.  It is not uncommon in this kind of situation to have a large stack of code in "fixed but not verified" state.  You don't need to be technical, you just need a test script with success and failure conditions.  Many of these can be re-used to test a variety of bugs, if they focus on getting tasks done or walking carefully through forms, api's and functions.

    What you do, is you pull a developer off of the grunt work who has decent communication skills and organizational chops.  The kind you'll make a project manager eventually, or who has been one, but who also understands a bit about QA.

    You have that individual spend their time organizing the new warm bodies by skillset and assigning them to various stacks in the defect backlog, each with oversight from a veteran who deeply understands the problem area.  

    Yes, you lose time from your most experienced (but at this time also the most burned out) people, and your progress slows briefly.  But once the framework is in place, your experts still spend 60-80% of their time doing whatever they were doing, and they get a half dozen people working with them that can cover about 30-40% of their capability EACH.  Do the math.

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