Thursday, October 24, 2013

A few healthcare.gov What If's

What if, at the start of the development for healthcare.gov the team split the source code into two source trees? One containing a small amount of sensitive code, and the other contained the bulk of the project which wasn't private.

And what if this second source tree was made available on Github or at svn.healthcare.gov?

And what if every programmer in the world could peek in on the source code and track it's development?

I can imagine the Internet self organizing around this. I can imagine people giving feedback, finding bugs and recommending fixes. I can imagine we'd hear programmers sounding the alarm that the system wasn't scalable long before it failed a load test. I can imagine people donating their time to make the site a success. I can imagine there would be a lot less finger pointing when the website had issues.

Of course, I'm a fan of sharing when it comes to code, so I'd naturally see this relatively simple act as a powerful one.

2 comments:

  1. One problem, I think, was treating the project like some kind of moon launch. Rather than try to roll it out as a monolith, far better would have been a structured or phased roll out. Say, a few features at a time, to a few states, fixing the problems along the way, until the whole thing was complete.

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  2. Say, a few features at a time, to a few states, fixing the problems along the way, treat cancer

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