Rustam Lalkaka, Co-founder of Anapsis
Gallons of ink (pixels?) have been spilled on what went wrong with the rollout of healthcare.gov. As a software engineer who has spent time working on both sprawling, mission-critical projects at Microsoft and building healthcare-focused SaaS at Rock Health-funded Anapsis, here are my two cents.
To draw a bastardized analogy between software development and civil engineering:
1) The White House and Congress have decided we’re going to build a new interstate highway system.
2) It’s going to be ready on October 1st, 2013.
3) All cars are required to use the new roads on that date.
4) An agency that has never before managed a large scale physical infrastructure project is handling the general contracting.
5) Construction is bid out to a firm that is talented in the art of government contracting, but just so-so with the process of building roads.
6) No one really understands how the legacy on/off ramps the new system is supposed to interface with work or how they were built. The engineers decide to wing the integration.
7) Because the road construction is (inevitably) late, there’s no time to try all the different route and merging combinations before October 1st hits.
8) The bureaucrats tasked with oversight don’t know how to drive, so none of this sounds all that concerning.