On Obamacare – and the failure of projects.

The failure of Obama cares major software product shows the complexity of designing good software. This was not some simplistic website, but a combination of technically demanding backend systems and intense negotiation with insurance brokerages. It is a simplistic dichotomy to say that MBA types don’t speak the same language as software engineers – and the gap is difficult to bridge, but unless there is some sort of ‘agile’ involvement of technical people with the business unit, then the project will fail. It staggers me how some incredibly bright people have no appreciation of the risks and opportunities in software development, particularly in ‘mission-critical’ systems, and how bad techies are at communicating in the language that business people understand. This is less a software problem and more a management problem.

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