The Fiasco

Staff Writer | Department of Better Technology (DOBT) | October 7, 2013

It’s been a week since launched, and for anyone who has tried to register for new health insurance on the website, its online waiting room page is perhaps the most recognizable page on the site:

Not only did the site not scale at launch, it was riddled with errors, and it clearly wasn’t ready to go. Just taking a look at the code that runs the site, you can see that it’s riddled with “Lorem Ipsum Dolor” — the placeholder text that web designers and developers use to demonstrate designs before copy has been written. Reddit's gone wild with speculation about who built it and, of course, legions of IT experts have come out questioning the architecture of the website.

The contractors who made this website were at best sloppy, and at worst unqualified for the job. So, why? How did this happen to arguably the most important and lasting website of this president’s administration? And why did such sloppiness cost the taxpayer, from what I can tell, over 600 Million Dollars?

Some may say that this is complicated stuff. That the systems in place that had to integrate into various legacy systems, and that the system could only be tested so much, and that building a highly scalable FISMA certified web service was impossible from the get-go. [...]