, ugh!!

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The Lounge What is on Your Mind?, ugh!!
# 1  
Old 12-08-2013, ugh!!

I had to vent somewhere where people would understand.

The site is still driving me mad. I'm at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and the satellite bandwidth is generally fairly adequate. I actually completed the application Nov 4th in just under 3 hours I believe. But I removed it thinking it was broken, and the past couple of days I've gotten just a couple of questions completed in the income section before getting an error. I believe it's due to an upload timeout. I opened Chrome's developer tools and watched the Network tab. Would you believe this...!?


That size is not what was sent to the server. For that I "Copied as curl" and saved it to disk.

mute@thedoctor:~$ wc < curl.txt
     0    240 829959
mute@thedoctor:~$ jshon < curl.txt | wc
  29078   56143 1056540

With every single click, my browser uploads 24,286 variables totaling 811KB! Smilie

Oh and I had a laugh at a typo in there:
      "telephonePlace": {
       "telephoneCountry": {
        "elephoneCountryName": null,

Last edited by neutronscott; 12-08-2013 at 09:44 PM..
# 2  
Old 12-09-2013
Why not take an hour off and go for a walk in the park?
# 3  
Old 12-09-2013
Hi jgt...


Hi neutronscott...

Do you know Anthony Hoffman, the RF engineer at Scott Base by any chance?
(He is a good friend of mine.)
# 4  
Old 12-09-2013
I've taken days off of this. I just was pointing out what I thought was an absurd way to do the backend. I've never seen anything like it.
# 5  
Old 12-09-2013
The issues are probably because of the laws that govern how the US government can issue contracts. Unfortunately, there are very strict and complex procurement rules which make it very hard for the US government to get top quality IT services.

For example, the US government bid solicitation and procurement process can take a very long time (because of the laws and regulations that must be followed); and so government officials will often short cut the process using laws that permit contracts under a certain value to go to "under privileged" firms. Many of these types of procurements fall under laws and are called "8A".. and therefore "8A" contractors.

Generally speaking "8A" IT contractors are small businesses owned by a "ethic minority"; and often theses "8A" firms are a pass thru to other contractors. It can be a jumbled mess and getting good top IT services can be very difficult because of US government procurement laws.

In the case of the "ObamaCare IT", because of the political sensitivity of the law in general, IT procurement becomes even more complex; one obvious reason is that every detail of the law will be investigated by the opposition. Every mistake, every delay, any accounting irregularity will be under scrutiny by congressional opponents of the law.

So, the entire IT process becomes a political battlefield; and instead of being able to focus on IT, the day to day operations becomes very political; not a very nice work environment.

So, in a nutshell... the more visible and controversial a US government IT initiative is, the more likely it is there will even more problems with the IT infrastructure. That's the nature of "the beast" because of the procurement laws in place by the US Congress to attempt to manage patronism, nepotism, corruption, cronyism by the world's largest buyer - the US Government.

The President cannot simply say "I want the best, most reliable IT services so let's just contract this out to Yahoo or Google." That is against the law. The US government is constrained by stacks and stacks of laws on how it may procure goods and services; and when you add political controversy and severe political position by opposing political factions (who want the system to fail), it becomes an IT nightmare.

.. then of course, people who do not understand the underlying root cause of the problem become opponents and naysayers as well; because that is the intended effect of the opponents, to create fear, uncertainty, doubt, etc; and further undermine efforts.

In summary and closing, it would have been an IT miracle for the IT to roll out (initially) under such political fire storms and an aggressive time line, to be remotely working properly on such a grand scale.

Having said that, the proponents of the Heath Care act should have known this and not attempted such an aggressive timeline from start to implementation; and should have managed everyones expectations much better; but that is the problem when the overall IT program is managed by "non IT people" - politicians - instead of IT people.
These 3 Users Gave Thanks to Neo For This Post:
# 6  
Old 12-09-2013
Originally Posted by wisecracker
Hi neutronscott...

Do you know Anthony Hoffman, the RF engineer at Scott Base by any chance?
(He is a good friend of mine.)
The only Kiwi I've had the pleasure to know was Anthony Powell who recently released a documentary of this place that seems to be doing very well. He worked with my shop at McMurdo as an Electronics Technician a couple seasons ago. I've been coming here since Sept 2009 and have not even visited that base yet. I'm not a very good tourist...
# 7  
Old 12-09-2013
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