Friday, September 18, 2015

Architects of I.T. Failure

An inspector general has compiled a report on what went wrong with the launch of HealthCare.Gov, the famous website that didn't work when it was supposed to. Megan McArdle reports:

"You can take this report as a searing indictment of the agency and its contracting personnel. I took something rather different away from reading it:

The architects of the law were incredibly naïve.
Federal contracting rules are crazy."

Her points about the contracting rules are well-taken, but they just point back to the "naive" issue. Everyone knows what federal contracting is like. You'd have to be "naive" to think that these rules wouldn't place your giant I.T. project at risk.

I keep putting "naive" in scare quotes, because I keep thinking it's not quite the right word. I don't think the people who designed this law were recent college grads. They weren't naive in that sense. They were learned men with advanced degrees, with more interest in social engineering than in software engineering.

Finally, I'd say they were the type
inclined to believe their own hype.

No comments: