Exec: Resurrecting Healthcare.Gov Meant Dealing With Bureaucracy, Incompetence, Politics

Rich Miller | Data Center Knowledge | September 17, 2014

The U.S. government’s IT infrastructure is broken, and it’s hurting the country. Applying basic engineering skills that are common at Internet companies could change that situation. But how do you convince technologists to adopt this difficult calling?

If you’re Mickey Dickerson, you share a compelling story of how engineering saved the day on something that matters. Dickerson, the executive credited with getting the Healthcare.gov website back on its feet, brought his message to the world’s leading gathering of web performance specialists.  At the O’Reilly Velocity New York conference, Dickerson challenged the audience to get involed in fixing the U.S. government’s IT infrastructure.

“Engineering is critical to the functioning of society right now,” said Dickerson, who heads the new U.S. Digital Services. “We have thousands of engineers working on picture-sharing apps when we already have dozens of picture-sharing apps.  “These are all big problems that need the attention of people like you. These problems are important, and fixable, but you have to choose to take them on. This is real life. This is your country.”...