Friday, October 18, 2013

Revisiting ObamaCare IT: Race to the Top - of Incompetence

I'm listening to Brian Lehrer on NPR talk about the Obama roll-out disaster and the corporate disaster speak we are hearing -- exact tone we hear from Bloomberg/Walcott on that kid who is missing for 2 weeks.

For the record, I posted ObamaCare IT: Race to the Top - of Incompetence on Oct. 10 where I pointed out that it was not overload on the web site but the design/architecture of the system which I pointed out my old pals in the Computer Science Dept at Brooklyn College could have done a better job of doing.

I challenged that Obamacare people would be able to fix this since I know from my work on computers that fixing architecture on the fly leads to worse disasters. I pointed out that in building systems you need to start at the simplest stage, test it to make it foolproof and move up the ladder of complexity.*

I believe that in months or even a year it won't be working and they may have to start from scratch. And good programers know to test it out -- and they could have rolled it out one step at a time. For instance -- open the site for info without having to register. Then open it for registration only and stagger the states. Next step allow some data entry. Test and close down at night to fix.

Then last night I hear Robert Gibbs, Obama's former press secretary lambaste them for this can call for Kathleen Sibelius' resignation. Me thinks he should look to his former boss who after all is where the buck stops. Gibbs must have read Ed Notes -- he says the fault is the architecture of the system.

The guy on Lehrer is points to massive management failure all the way to the top.

And how much to Republicans feel like idiots? As Brian said, it they had just shut up the attention on the failures would have given them enormous fodder. So today is day 1 and watch them shift gears and focus on the roll-out disaster. And well they should.

We in education know the outrage of the impact of White House decision-making as all their ed deform initiatives begin to go down in flames. Makes many of us sympathetic to some of the tea party points of view about government run by arrogant idiots who think they're geniuses.

*Simplicity was the lesson I learned from the late Jim Scoma, a NYC math teacher who was the best programmer I ever met. He was hired by our pal Ira Goldfine, another former teacher who headed the ATS Programming unit which had professional consultants working there who scratched their heads when a junior high school teacher was working beside them. Jim was like a dog with a bone who wouldn't let go -- he never gave up and looked at solutions from every angle. This is what makes programming fun - and exasperating. I miss it but it is so time consuming.

1 comment:

  1. Someone needs to take responsibility for this massive failure. And when Obama lies, his ears get bigger. After learning that the shutdown bill now includes language that will shut down the future of those wanting to become a teacher, I am disgusted. You and Diane and SUPPORT PUBLIC SCHOOLS on FB were the only media covering this. Not a word from Randi??? I am now weary of de blasio and others not keeping their promises. But I will cross my fingers.


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