10
   

A strange time to be a software engineer...

 
 
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 03:26 pm
@maxdancona,
My complaint on the political side is this: Part of the theme against Romney during the 2012 election, was his love of off shoring jobs. This month we find out that the US govt off shored the creation of website to a Canadian company. WTF?

The US is the home of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, HP, IBM and Dell. Why did we look outside our borders when we have people here in the US that could have done this? So much for bringing jobs home to the US!
parados
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 03:27 pm
@McGentrix,
McGentrix wrote:




Time constraints? They had 3 years.

No, they didn't have 3 years McG. There were elections, votes in the House, court cases that all delayed action on this.
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 03:31 pm
@parados,
Delayed action for the creation of a website? Is there any mention that the contract was placed on hold during the last 3 almost 4 years? Unless there was some sort of stop order on the contract, I don't see how any of those things would have stopped the creation of a website.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 03:44 pm
@Baldimo,
The bidding on the contract didn't occur until Sept of 2011.

Quote:
I don't see how any of those things would have stopped the creation of a website.
So you would have preferred they spend billions before we knew it was going to continue or not?
Baldimo
 
  0  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 03:53 pm
@parados,
Was there really any doubt it was going to go through? So they had 2 years to get the project done and still couldn't pull it off. It isn't helping the issue to be sure. I wonder why they waited 2 years to start the bidding on the contract. That left 2 years for dev and testing? The sad part of that, is that they were using open source code, that should have made their jobs easier not harder, they didn't have to start from scratch on the code.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 03:59 pm
@Baldimo,
They were having to create code to access several government databases. They were doing it from scratch since it had never been done before.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 04:03 pm
This has some interesting flow charts of some of the data involved and where it comes from.

https://www.cdt.org/blogs/chris-rasmussen/2607privacy-and-security-affordable-care-act%E2%80%99s-data-hub
0 Replies
 
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 04:38 pm
@parados,
Sorry Parados but it wasn't from scratch code. They reused an open source code named "Data Tables". http://www.dailydot.com/politics/healthcare-gov-open-source-code-theft-credit/

Do you really think this was the first code that was written to access different networks? Do you know how networks work? The article also mentions that they didn't start work on the site until this spring. Now I can't confirm that info, but if they waited till 6 months before the launch, what the hell was HHS doing for the year and a half before that?
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 04:42 pm
@maxdancona,
Max one of the requirements for an applicant in computer programming, esp editing routines, isd an IQ below 42

..accounting for all the wrong guesses with "isd". Fellas, any of you who might by chance peruse our a2k, it's a common misspelling (meaning to spell wrong) and owes to (that means on account of) the proximity (or nearness) of the "d" to the "s" (or in fact do you even touch-type (that means without looking at the keys)
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 05:30 pm
@Baldimo,
You realize that is only a very TINY part of the overall code. It is just part of the web page and how it shows tables. It would be less than .1% of the total code.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 05:31 pm
@Baldimo,
Quote:

Do you really think this was the first code that was written to access different networks?

Yes, it was the first code to access those 3 networks in order to process one person.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Oct, 2013 01:26 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

They were having to create code to access several government databases. They were doing it from scratch since it had never been done before.


That sort of issue has torpedoed more than one UK gov IT contract that I know of. "Yeah we can do it" turns into "Oh dear" months or years and millions of non-returnable pounds later, or sometimes "It works OK on our test setup" turns into "Oh dear, the real world isn't like we thought"
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Oct, 2013 07:37 am
@maxdancona,
I understand and it is intriguing. I wonder if those in the hearing have any idea what they are talking about or are just reading a script. It is somewhat humorous to me that congress it at all interested in quality control.
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Oct, 2013 07:39 am
@roger,
Quote:
Any idea why congress is taking such testimony?


The only reason it can think of is to make political points.
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Oct, 2013 07:49 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I am just pointing out that since upwards of 40% of software projects fail, and there are many examples of spectacularly bad software rollouts, many of us in the industry for any time have experience with this.


That has been my experience also. I implemented software for over 10 years in more than 30 companies and it rarely worked without significant fixes. Most of the other software people I know say the same thing. This software will be fixed, probably in a couple months. The only thing unique here is the political visibility. Should they have tested more? Yes, obviously.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Oct, 2013 01:44 pm
@IRFRANK,
I watched some of the software writers testify to the house. What I got from the testimony Was the software people denied any fault and blamed the one all business blame when they get their tit in the ringer. The government. They were writing the code and they should have tested it. If they needed more time they should have said so. But as long as republicans are having the hearings business can do no wrong no matter how much they fuk up. Remember the leaking oil well in the gulf? The oil companies are still trying to cover how much damage was done with that little fiasco.
IRFRANK
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Oct, 2013 03:16 pm
@RABEL222,
This was a huge software project, to say the least. It appears to me that the big issue is integration, making the parts work together. That responsibility lies with the top level mgt, which was the govt. they were over their heads and rushed it to release for political reasons. They are paying for that mistake. They will get it fixed. What gets me is that none of this has anything to do with the ACA as public policy. All these hearings are political and have nothing to do with fixing anything. I'm not defending the top level managers. They are responsible. But, just fix it. The big lesson I see here is don't mix software management and politics.

In front of that committee, what else do you expect other than finger pointing?
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Oct, 2013 03:17 pm
@RABEL222,
BP just paid a 50 million fine for withholding test results.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Oct, 2013 05:26 pm
@RABEL222,
There are two things that need to be tested.

1) That all of the software components are tested individually and work according to their individual designs.

2) That all of the software components are tested together and that the entire system operates together to meet the overall design.

Each software team is responsible for doing the first type of testing. Each individual team might not have been responsible for the second type of testing. This is known as integration testing. Integration testing generally needs to be done separately, and if a specific team wasn't contracted to do integration testing, they would not plan for it.

In my opinion, for this type of large project with multiple players, it is best to have one team responsible for doing the integration and integration testing. The other teams should be on-call if there is a problem... but they wouldn't do anything unless the integration team requested it.

The team responsible for integration should have been very clear to everyone. And this team should bear the responsibility.
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Oct, 2013 06:41 pm
@maxdancona,
Exactly, I agree 100 percent. My understanding was that part 1 was done. Part 2 was the responsibility of the govt and was not done very well. I admit I don't have complete information. Doesn't mean I don't have an opinion. 😊
0 Replies
 
 

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