October 2013
Software is Hard: The Healthcare.gov Problem (14 October 2013)

Software is Hard: The Healthcare.gov Problem

14 October 2013

No one should be surprised by the technical problems that have plagued the new health insurance exchange website, HealthCare.gov, which allows millions of Americans to sign up and buy health coverage.

Angry, OK. Disappointed, of course. But surprised? Don’t be.

Large-scale software projects are hard. Failures or delays in schedule, budget and functionality are so common as to almost be the norm, not the exception.

Sure, the website rollout could have been handled a lot better. With all the delays and warning signs, the government could have stopped touting HealthCare.gov and teasing the public with messages such as "5 days to open enrollment. Don’t wait another minute."

But the …

(The rest of this essay is on CNN.com.)