Biden: "We're not technology geeks"

Toward the end of this article, Joe Biden is quoted as follows:

Say what? You just assumed it would work as hoped?!?

Is this not about the goofiest thing he’s ever said?

Joe: Your job is to manage “technology geeks” (or perhaps more accurately, to cause them to be properly managed). To say that you & your boss handled this by simply assuming it would go well looks like a spectacular admission of incompetence.

Nope… not even close

The only thing I saw that pinged my radar as an IT guy is the supposed change in the last weeks of the project to require a user Id to browse the available options. As an IT guy I can totally get how this would adversely impact the error-free rollout of the product.

On the other hand, I can see how the requirement to require or not require user IDs to browse could be hotly contested, and thus not decided until the last minute. Sure, on the one hand you’d like people to be able to make theoretical plans. On the other hand, users are stupid. There would be a certain percentage of them who would deliberately, or by mistake, browse for plans using the wrong theoretical inputs, and then be SHOCKED! when the actual rates are different than the rates for the (wrong) information they provided in the non-ID-requiring sample site. Thus making easy fodder for the – correct or not – reflexively anti-Obama pundit organizations.

I think I finally understand why so many Democrats are desperate for Hillary Clinton to run in 2016. The thought of Joe Biden being president must be terrifying. He’s pretty much the Sarah Palin of the Democratic Party. The only way he’ll ever get into the Oval Office is if he pushes Obama down an elevator shaft or something.

I don’t see how it’s crazy at all. I’m pretty sure this is how all non-tech people work. They assign the job to people they think are competent, and then expect them to do the work.

I very much do not blame the president or vice president for what happened. Although it would have been brilliant–as it got the focus off the mandate, while being something that will be fixed.

And assume that an important job is done properly and on time, without checking anything prior to a critical deadline?

This is management incompetence.

Yeah, you know, it makes me sick to say this but Obama has seemed to have taken that whole “Plausible deniability” thing and ran with it.

Once again I am surprised that someone let Joe Biden speak to the public. Obama needs to ask one of the Secret Service agent to punch Biden in the arm every time he speaks outside of Congress or Cabinet meetings.

Wasn’t there something about feet dragging for anything even remotely related to this program, conveniently by people who wanted this system to fail? I seem to remember threats of shutting down the government over this and constant demands to move the bar and negotiate changes and concessions to the plan. I wonder how those contract programmers handled all those daily changes?

Well, much like “Mr Blanding’s Dream House”, constant changes seem to have affected their work:

"[In more than four hours of testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, officials of companies hired to create the website cited a lack of testing on the full system and
last-minute changes by the federal agency overseeing the online enrollment system.

Angry exchanges between Republicans who oppose Obamacare and Democrats defending it erupted repeatedly, while the contractors insisted their work went fine even though the software buckled when
the system went online on October 1.](" -CNN, today

…of course, I like the remake from the Tom Hanks version, especially this quote:

“No, this wasn’t an easy one, but the foundation was good, I’ll say that. And if that’s okay, then everything else can be fixed.”

Oh, I agree. The Congressional Malfeasance to under-serve the American people is quite evident and I hope actionable.

If ONLY tomorrow was Election Day and people had the ability to register choices against the [del]Shutdown Sh-theads[/del] Tea Party candidates, so this sort of thing could never happen again…

How do you stress-test a website that you expect to get several hundred million hits on the first day?

Boy, SDMB regulars, aren’t you just pleased as punch we didn’t elect a complete MORON like Sarah Palin as Vice President?

There are automated QA systems that are built specifically to stress test systems implementations like this. They didn’t need to invent any new technology here. Do you really think that Amazon, Google or Facebook just throw up changes to their systems without a formal testing methodology including stress tests? I do it for the systems under my responsibility as well just like all competent IT and business managers insist on.

And you feel this justifies Biden’s approach of just assuming the system would be up and ready to run?

You’re not seriously suggesting the right way to test a large and important software system is to throw it out there to the public and watch it crash and burn - are you?

Time has a list of his top ten gaffes. I don’t think this one comes close. I doesn’t even approach his shotgun theory of home defense.

It’s impressive that this one didn’t even make it into the top ten:

I imagine that Google, YouTube, iTunes, and any number of other high-traffic websites might be able to offer a few pointers on this.

Incidentally, I remember reading a few days ago that the government was going to get help from Google, Oracle, and RedHat to help fix the website. Perhaps it’ll help, but I can’t help thinking of the old adage, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” That’s an awful lot of 800-pound gorillas in the same room.

It wasn’t the traffic that made it not work. It just didn’t work.

I once was part of a team evaluating a failed IT project. My major contribution to the report was to note how the head of Finance made a point of noting that he wasn’t “one of the propeller-heads”, ie, not an IT person. OK, it is legitimate to state that you, as a supervisor, are not an IT guy.

However, if you are overseeing an IT project, and you regard the experts you are supervising as “propeller heads”, it is not at all surprising that your project fails. Contempt for the people you have working on your project is about as certain a guarantee of failure as you can find.

I hope not. Oracle set up Oregon’s exchange website, which apparently has even more problems than the site.