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(Slashdot)   Lesson one from the Healthcare.gov fiasco: make sure your contractors actually know what features they're supposed to build   (slashdot.org) divider line 128
    More: Obvious, feds, Booz Allen Hamilton, lessons  
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3291 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Oct 2013 at 3:01 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-14 01:26:53 PM  
It's like a very long and sad Dilbert comic.
 
2013-10-14 01:28:27 PM  
Un. Mitigated. Disaster.

And inb4 "EA and Rockstar had problems too!" Please show where EA and Rockstar invested $400 in capital investment before they launched.
 
2013-10-14 01:29:09 PM  
Lesson one of software development: always blame the Functional Design Document for not being clear about what the customer wanted.

"Now, wait a minute - nowhere in the FDD does it explicitly say that you wanted a functioning web page."
 
2013-10-14 01:46:20 PM  
My daughter is on my insurance until she's 26.
My benefit caps have been removed.
My pre-existing conditions are covered.
If my insurerer doesn'r provide a minimum of care I get a refund on my premiums.

I don't see any glitches.

OH, you're talking about the 36 states that failed to institute their own exchanges, and closed their ears and shouted "I CAN"T HEAR OBAMACARE LA LA LA LA LA"?

Those states?

Yeah, they're stuck with the glitchy Federal system.  And since that slows people down registering for Obamacare, I thought the R's would see that as a good thing.

It just goes to show that there's no making some people happy.
 
2013-10-14 01:46:23 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: It's like a very long and sad Dilbert comic.


That's all of them.
 
2013-10-14 01:48:32 PM  

Elegy: Un. Mitigated. Disaster.

And inb4 "EA and Rockstar had problems too!" Please show where EA and Rockstar invested $400 in capital investment before they launched.


GTA 5 cost $265 million, so that's honestly pretty close.
 
2013-10-14 02:01:09 PM  

RedPhoenix122: Elegy: Un. Mitigated. Disaster.

And inb4 "EA and Rockstar had problems too!" Please show where EA and Rockstar invested $400 in capital investment before they launched.

GTA 5 cost $265 million, so that's honestly pretty close.


If by close you mean "more than $135m less," sure. What sort of liberal math is this?

AFAIK, 1/2 of Rockstar's budget went to marketing, so they spent something like $130 million on the single-player game itself. The single-player game that, you know, actually worked out of the box like it was supposed to. Rockstar spent a tiny fraction of that total budget on the online component that didn't work.

So no - they are not directly comparable. For $400+ million, healthcare.gov should wash my car, feed my dog, cut my yard, give me a prostate massage, and allow me to comparatively shop for healthcare all at the same time. Instead it's a broke piece of shiat that is estimated to be only 70% complete at launch, with no end to the current problems in sight.
 
2013-10-14 02:06:20 PM  

Lando Lincoln: Lesson one of software development: always blame the Functional Design Document for not being clear about what the customer wanted.

"Now, wait a minute - nowhere in the FDD does it explicitly say that you wanted a functioning web page."


Wait a minute. A design document? Bro, that doesn't sound very agile. It's all about lean these days, you know - deliver the MVP and iterate from there? We're down with individuals and interactions, not fuddy-duddy processes and tools. Working software - hey, it passed the internal tests we wrote for it, it works. This FDD thing of yours? Sounds like the sort of comprehensive documentation that the waterfall crowd was down with. Nailing down specifications in advance? Look, if the customer doesn't know what they want, we'll collaborate with them until they know what we want (and didn't they look at the backlog? Scalability isn't slated until the next sprint!) Stop trying to plan for every little thing, and just learn how to be responsive to change!

I'm not really harshing on Agile here. 20 years ago, it would have been the opposite problem: A CMMI Level 5 organization would have three levels of subcommittees to document four ISO9000 compliance monitoring procedures, and the specs would have been beautiful, but not a line of code would have been written.

The more things change in IT, the more they say the same.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-10-14 02:07:59 PM  

Elegy: Un. Mitigated. Disaster.

And inb4 "EA and Rockstar had problems too!" Please show where EA and Rockstar invested $400 in capital investment before they launched.


That tells you how stupid those states that refused to set up their own exchanges are doesn't it?

And it's nice that you got in before people started pointing out how silly your point is.
 
2013-10-14 02:08:12 PM  

Elegy: RedPhoenix122: Elegy: Un. Mitigated. Disaster.

And inb4 "EA and Rockstar had problems too!" Please show where EA and Rockstar invested $400 in capital investment before they launched.

GTA 5 cost $265 million, so that's honestly pretty close.

If by close you mean "more than $135m less," sure. What sort of liberal math is this?

AFAIK, 1/2 of Rockstar's budget went to marketing, so they spent something like $130 million on the single-player game itself. The single-player game that, you know, actually worked out of the box like it was supposed to. Rockstar spent a tiny fraction of that total budget on the online component that didn't work.

So no - they are not directly comparable. For $400+ million, healthcare.gov should wash my car, feed my dog, cut my yard, give me a prostate massage, and allow me to comparatively shop for healthcare all at the same time. Instead it's a broke piece of shiat that is estimated to be only 70% complete at launch, with no end to the current problems in sight.


I was only mentioning that a rough comparison.  It's also a video game, something of minor importance, vs. the insurance exchange, something that's pretty damned important to a lot of people.

Also, you're only partially right about that online component.  You could just as easily say the whole game was multiplayer except the campaign component.  Either way you're using the same engine and the same mechanics, so you can't really separate the 2.
 
2013-10-14 02:11:37 PM  
The system isn't prefect two weeks into the launch despite it not taking effect for over two months and people have just as long if not longer to sign up. Therefore it's an unmitigated disaster. That's funny

Let's not mention that one party and multiple states have done everything they can to fight it since they decided to fight Obama on everything since his first election

Only in Republican America are people dumb enough to believe this
 
2013-10-14 02:22:58 PM  
This is no different from the private sector.

In 08, we were going to roll out a completely new software package for the call-center I worked at. The idea was that they'd get the phone data and auto populate fields during the opening spiel so it would save us time. (Never occurred to them that the phone data might be wrong...)

A week before the software was to roll out, and I catch this gem over a speaker-phoned conference call between the client, call-center director, and lead developer at the software firm. I knew we were in trouble when the lead developer asked,"So how do the agents actually USE this software?" I told my boss to print out a shiatload of paper tickets for roll out so we'd have them ready; he was the only supervisor on the account so prepared, and even he thought it would be unnecessary.
 
2013-10-14 02:24:06 PM  

vpb: That tells you how stupid those states that refused to set up their own exchanges are doesn't it?


So it's stupid to trust the federal government to set up a working website that is the centerpiece to the successful implimentation of the Obama administration's signature piece of legislation, even when they have a grossly inflated budget of almost half a billion dollars.

Great. Stupid to trust the federal government. Got it.

So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?
 
2013-10-14 02:40:42 PM  

Elegy: vpb: That tells you how stupid those states that refused to set up their own exchanges are doesn't it?

So it's stupid to trust the federal government to set up a working website that is the centerpiece to the successful implimentation of the Obama administration's signature piece of legislation, even when they have a grossly inflated budget of almost half a billion dollars.

Great. Stupid to trust the federal government. Got it.

So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?


It's because the private sector is no better, and only ignorant or willfully ignorant people believe otherwise.
 
2013-10-14 02:41:09 PM  
Very few people do smart development anymore.  I'm certainly not excusing this mess by saying that.  But considering I started my IT career in requirements gather and full lifecycle development, I can't say I'm very surprised.

There should not be one piece of that system that cannot be traced back to a requirement.

And they clearly did no (or extremely slipshod) user acceptance and volume testing.
 
2013-10-14 02:43:06 PM  

Lando Lincoln: Elegy: vpb: That tells you how stupid those states that refused to set up their own exchanges are doesn't it?

So it's stupid to trust the federal government to set up a working website that is the centerpiece to the successful implimentation of the Obama administration's signature piece of legislation, even when they have a grossly inflated budget of almost half a billion dollars.

Great. Stupid to trust the federal government. Got it.

So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?

It's because the private sector is no better, and only ignorant or willfully ignorant people believe otherwise.


Doing Oracle support, I see the work that both private and government sectors do through the issues they submit.  As you said, there's very little difference between the sectors.

The one edge that private has is that they're usually more up-to-date on versions and patches.
 
2013-10-14 02:44:41 PM  

Elegy: Please show where EA and Rockstar invested $400 in capital investment before they launched.

GTA 5 cost $265 million, so that's honestly pretty close.

If by close you mean "more than $135m less," sure. What sort of liberal math is this?


No, it's $264,999,9600 more.

I got a kick out of the guy that doesn't know the difference between $400 and $400 million complaining about "liberal math".
Maybe we're supposed to think he doesn't deal with money in increments smaller than a million.

gifrific.com
 
2013-10-14 02:50:03 PM  

Krieghund: I have no real substantive argument to make, so I'll attack the simple typo he made and hope no one notices I have nothing of value to the conversation.


FTFY champ.
 
2013-10-14 02:59:38 PM  

Elegy: Krieghund: I have no real substantive argument to make, so I'll attack the simple typo he made and hope no one notices I have nothing of value to the conversation don't need to point out how dumb you Elegy is since everyone else already did. So I'll just laugh at him.

FTFY champ.


Fixed your fixing.
 
2013-10-14 03:02:12 PM  
I deal with contractors and software crap for the government and am really not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow after my nice vacation. Same shiat, different agency.
 
2013-10-14 03:03:32 PM  

Elegy: So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?


the US military just wasted $5 billion on camouflage that doesn't work. does that mean the US military is a failure and should be abolished?
 
Skr
2013-10-14 03:11:38 PM  
This is just the open BETA testing phase of the new insurance website.
 
2013-10-14 03:11:40 PM  

FlashHarry: Elegy: So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?

the US military just wasted $5 billion on camouflage that doesn't work. does that mean the US military is a failure and should be abolished?


Don't forget the tanks we don't want.
 
2013-10-14 03:17:59 PM  

RedPhoenix122: FlashHarry: Elegy: So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?

the US military just wasted $5 billion on camouflage that doesn't work. does that mean the US military is a failure and should be abolished?

Don't forget the tanks we don't want.


Abolished?  It's right there in the Constitution.  "provide for the common defence".  If you think that doesn't mean "spend all of our capital on it, and some tax breaks for the rich", you might be a stinkin' Commie-Nazi.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-10-14 03:19:55 PM  

Elegy: Great. Stupid to trust the federal government. Got it.

So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?


If you had comprehended TFA or even read the headline you would grasp that the lesson was that the government didn't regulate the private companies who created the website sufficiently and the private sector screwed up the job they were given.

It's stupid to trust private companies top operate without strict regulation.
 
2013-10-14 03:19:58 PM  

FlashHarry: Elegy: So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?

the US military just wasted $5 billion on camouflage that doesn't work. does that mean the US military is a failure and should be abolished?


That wasn't really my point, and you're tilting at windmills.

I was just pointing out that calling states "stupid" for trusting the federal government to set up a working exchange while assuming the federal government is going to get the rest of the ACA implimentation correct is a logically inconsistent argument.
 
2013-10-14 03:21:17 PM  

FlashHarry: the US military just wasted $5 billion on camouflage that doesn't work. does that mean the US military is a failure and should be abolished?


All government spending is stimulus.
 
2013-10-14 03:21:35 PM  

Lando Lincoln: It's because the private sector is no better,


The government outsources nearly everything IT related to the private sector, so your claim makes no sense.
 
2013-10-14 03:22:03 PM  
I finally got through the hoops and hurdles, filled out my application, clicked on submit, and what did I get? A PDF I couldn't read because Evince doesn't know how to render adobe's bullshiat JavaScript laden, html rendering PDF format. I'm not installing acrobat reader just for that crap.
 
2013-10-14 03:22:47 PM  

FlashHarry: Elegy: So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?

the US military just wasted $5 billion on camouflage that doesn't work. does that mean the US military is a failure and should be abolished?




Apparently it means we're defending military waste on a failed camouflage program by comparing it to failed government software projects. Both of which spawned from a government that is currently failing to pay its bills.

You could say it doesn't bode well for our future.
 
2013-10-14 03:23:23 PM  

Skr: This is just the open BETA testing phase of the new insurance website.


Yeah, pretty much. I guess the non-video gaming Americans are now coming to understand what video gaming Americans have known for a very long time: don't expect the software to work well from the get-go - you have to wait for at least two patches to come out for it to work well.
 
2013-10-14 03:23:39 PM  

Krieghund: No, it's $264,999,9600 more.


What is this, I...

Would you mind writing your math out for me, please?
 
2013-10-14 03:24:31 PM  
RedPhoenix122:

I was only mentioning that a rough comparison.  It's also a video game, something of minor importance, vs. the insurance exchange, something that's pretty damned important to a lot of people.


Yeah, it's "only" a video game - which is orders or magnitude more complex to develop than a web site.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-10-14 03:24:36 PM  

Elegy: I was just pointing out that calling states "stupid" for trusting the federal government to set up a working exchange while assuming the federal government is going to get the rest of the ACA implimentation correct is a logically inconsistent argument.


No, calling them stupid for criticizing a job they couldn't do at all themselves is pretty consistent.

And yeah, you pretty explicitly tried to claim that some minor website problems meant that Obamacare was terrible.
 
2013-10-14 03:25:09 PM  
home.earthlink.net

This guy could have helped with getting the requirements communicated properly

/people skills
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-10-14 03:26:56 PM  

GRCooper: RedPhoenix122:

Yeah, it's "only" a video game - which is orders or magnitude more complex to develop than a web site.


Really?  Have you ever developed a web site that handles financial information for millions of people?
I think that would be more demanding than a game.
 
2013-10-14 03:28:21 PM  
Regardless of your feelings on Obamacare, I don't see how anyone could possibly defend the cluster this website is...
 
2013-10-14 03:31:08 PM  

vpb: Elegy: Great. Stupid to trust the federal government. Got it.

So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?

If you had comprehended TFA or even read the headline you would grasp that the lesson was that the government didn't regulate the private companies who created the website sufficiently and the private sector screwed up the job they were given.

It's stupid to trust private companies top operate without strict regulation.


If you had read the article, you wouldn't have missed this gem.

The contractors behind the Health Insurance Marketplace were hindered by a lack of IT specifications, which didn't arrive from the client (the federal government) until this spring, which forced developers and engineers to code an enormous Website in a matter of months. Had the Feds locked down their feature set and specifications earlier in the process, it might have resulted in a more complete, less glitch-prone Website on launch day.

And this one:
Perhaps if they'd [the federal government] spent a bit more of that $400 million on infrastructure capacity, things would have gone a bit more smoothly.

And this one:
the administrators behind the Health Insurance Marketplace decided to entrust the Medicare and Medicaid agency with ensuring that everything would work in sync. That proved disastrous, as the agency reportedly didn't have the experience to handle that sort of workload

But you're right. According to the article the federal government bears no responsibility at all for this fiasco.
 
2013-10-14 03:32:05 PM  

mjones73: Regardless of your feelings on Obamacare, I don't see how anyone could possibly defend the cluster this website is...


I see two kinds of people:

People who have no idea how gov't, the private sector, business, and/or software development really works
People who do have an idea, grumble, and move on to being angry at the cluster Congress currently is
 
2013-10-14 03:32:19 PM  

Shryke: Lando Lincoln: It's because the private sector is no better,

The government outsources nearly everything IT related to the private sector, so your claim makes no sense.


Elegy: The government said that they'd have a working insurance website on October 1, and they didn't, so why should we trust them to regulate our insurance industry?

Me: Because private entities suck just as badly at rolling out new software, so it's not like there's anyone better at this stuff.

You: But private entities were hired to create the software that was rolled out, so therefore we can't trust private entities to create anything correctly, and we can't trust the government to hire private entities that can do the job correctly.

Me: Um, okay. Sure.
 
2013-10-14 03:32:42 PM  
Obamacare: 4 years and ~$700 million dollars later (with no testing period) and it fails....nice boon-dongle. Just wait till the first security breech when a bunch of peoples private information/medical records are stolen and the amount of fraud that will take place.

/all going to happen within 1 year.

//project was only supposed to cost $98 million
 
2013-10-14 03:34:50 PM  

vpb: GRCooper: RedPhoenix122:

Yeah, it's "only" a video game - which is orders or magnitude more complex to develop than a web site.

Really?  Have you ever developed a web site that handles financial information for millions of people?
I think that would be more demanding than a game.


I've been in video games development for going on 20 years, and I was also one of the PMs responsible for transitioning AOL from the CD client to the web.

So, why do YOU think a web site is more complex?

/we launched with millions of hits on day one with full account/card on file support
 
2013-10-14 03:35:09 PM  

vpb: Elegy: I was just pointing out that calling states "stupid" for trusting the federal government to set up a working exchange while assuming the federal government is going to get the rest of the ACA implimentation correct is a logically inconsistent argument.

No, calling them stupid for criticizing a job they couldn't do at all themselves is pretty consistent.

And yeah, you pretty explicitly tried to claim that some minor website problems meant that Obamacare was terrible.


Now you're being really inconsistent.

You just told me that the states that set up their own exchanges are doing great, and it was stupid of the other states to rely on the federal government for a working national exchange.

Now you're telling me states couldn't "do the job" of setting up exchanges.

Which is it?
 
2013-10-14 03:35:59 PM  
Thank you Super Chuck...
 
2013-10-14 03:36:20 PM  

mjones73: Regardless of your feelings on Obamacare, I don't see how anyone could possibly defend the cluster this website is...


It's pretty simple. It's a new software system. It's pretty rare for a new software system to work well from the get-go. They'll work out the bugs.

Now perhaps you can tell me how some people can point to this and claim that getting more affordable insurance to more people is not worth some temporary website problems.
 
2013-10-14 03:36:57 PM  

Elegy: But you're right. According to the article the federal government bears no responsibility at all for this fiasco.


You've never encountered the five why's in manufacturing have you.

Elegy: which didn't arrive from the client (the federal government) until this spring


Why'd the requirements take so long? Who sent out the RFQ? The President? The House? I can tell you from experience that no matter how much you think it's federal requirements, it's probably a host of committees and subcommittees that took forever to do it because, after all, the chair's son's business needs a boost from the contract you're about to give him.

Also, IF (and if, because I'm not bothering to look it up) the requirements were done in committee, then everyone is an idiot for thinking it would be done on time when not even the shutdown or default can get this Congress to do anything more than pass what people scream about on TV.
 
2013-10-14 03:37:43 PM  

Peki: mjones73: Regardless of your feelings on Obamacare, I don't see how anyone could possibly defend the cluster this website is...

I see two kinds of people:

People who have no idea how gov't, the private sector, business, and/or software development really works
People who do have an idea, grumble, and move on to being angry at the cluster Congress currently is


I'd be the latter.
 
2013-10-14 03:43:45 PM  

Lando Lincoln: Elegy: vpb: That tells you how stupid those states that refused to set up their own exchanges are doesn't it?

So it's stupid to trust the federal government to set up a working website that is the centerpiece to the successful implimentation of the Obama administration's signature piece of legislation, even when they have a grossly inflated budget of almost half a billion dollars.

Great. Stupid to trust the federal government. Got it.

So why are we so psyched about having the federal goverment up to its elbows in regulating healthcare, if its stupid to trust the federal government to do what it says it will do?

It's because the private sector is no better, and only ignorant or willfully ignorant people believe otherwise.


Technically this is s situation where the government trusted a private sector contractor to do a job and they screwed it up.
 
2013-10-14 03:51:14 PM  
I like how fear of Death Panels has been downgraded to outrage over a 404 page.  Truly a stalinist nightmare.
 
2013-10-14 03:51:16 PM  

vpb: GRCooper: RedPhoenix122:

Yeah, it's "only" a video game - which is orders or magnitude more complex to develop than a web site.

Really?  Have you ever developed a web site that handles financial information for millions of people?
I think that would be more demanding than a game.


Talk to Blizzard. Millions of user accounts with Authenticators attached to them. And all of them have personal information attached to them. Like addresses, bank information, etc.

I actually had an idea. It would not be too hard to have people sign up in stages. Ist stage you get your credit report signed up for and get a free copy in the mail. After you look it over and correct discrepancies within a certain period of time then you sign up for the Obamacare. It would give the system a rest and trickle people in. however the whole you screwed by a certain date if you don't get it was not a wise thing to do.. The republicans want the same year given to the average joe as the big corporations. I guess Obama wants the ability to tax the hell out of people sooner then later.
 
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