April 2020
Zoom Security: The Good, the Bad, and the Business Model (2 April 2020)
Zoom Cryptography and Authentication Problems (4 April 2020)
Trusting Zoom? (6 April 2020)
Is Zoom's Server Security Just as Vulnerable as the Client Side? (13 April 2020)
In Memoriam: Joel Reidenberg (22 April 2020)
The Price of Lack of Clarity (26 April 2020)
Software Done in a Hurry (29 April 2020)

Software Done in a Hurry

29 April 2020

Not at all to my surprise, people are reporting trouble with an online site for applying for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This is software that was built very quickly but is expected to cope with enormous loads. That’s a recipe for disaster, and it’s less surprising that there have been problems than it would be for there to be no problems.

We saw this happen with the sign-up for Obamacare; I wrote similar things then. Software development is hard; rapidly building any system, let alone one that has to run at scale, was, is, and will likely remain difficult. That’s independent of which political party is in charge at the time.

That we can’t do software engineering perfectly doesn’t mean that it can’t be done better. Healthcare.gov was rescued fairly quickly, when the administration brought in a management team that understood software engineering. The same applies here: competent management matters.