Happy Thanksgiving a.k.a. Thanksgivukkah!

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

I have a great deal to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, a wonderful wife and family, good friends and yes, a job.  Speaking of a wonderful wife and good friends,  I recently visited Philadelphia, for a friend’s daughter’s wedding.

Philadelphia was our nation’s first capital in 1790, while the permanent capital became Washington D.C. in 1800.  While there, I was afforded the opportunity to tour the site of the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall.  I was not only humbled by the amazing stories of the sacrifices our forefathers made during the Revolutionary War, like the winter of Valley Forge, but by the National Park Ranger, who’s knowledge and enthusiasm took me to school.

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

She was also kind of scary.  She reminded me of my 3rd grade teacher, a nun, except she was carrying a gun or a taser.  I immediately got on the wrong side of her when she asked everyone to raise their hand if they were under 21.  My gray hair didn’t fool her.  She challenged the tour with many history questions.  Lucky for me and the other gray-haired guys I was with, their was a boy scout troop as part of our tour group, who knew most of the answers.

There were memorials in front of Independence Hall from several of our great leader.  Here are excerpts from speeches from these great leaders in History on this day of Thanksgiving…

George Washington (1789) – And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. 

Washington Statue Independence Hall

Washington Statue Independence Hall

Lincoln at Independence Hall

Lincoln at Independence Hall

Abraham Lincoln (1863) – “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”

Kennedy Memorial Independence Hall

Kennedy at Independence Hall

John F. Kennedy (1961)  “Let us observe this day with reverence and with prayer that will rekindle in us the will and show us the way not only to preserve our blessings, but also to extend them to the four corners of the earth. Let us by our example, as well as by our material aid, assist all peoples of all nations who are striving to achieve a better life in freedom.”

I’d like to revisit Philly, if not only to follow Rocky’s Run to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rocky’s Steps.

Note: Thanksgivukkah! Last happened in 1888 won’t occur again for another 79,000 years.

Healthcare.gov is 500M lines of Code!? Geeks Weigh In.

ACA LINES OF CODE

Lines of Code

The claim is the Healthcare.gov website is 500M lines of code!  At a cost of $600M plus, that’s around 80 cents per line of code.  Rule of thumb for quality code,  the cost for code is in the $20 – $50 per line, the high cost of $50 per line is for the more robust and professional architected applications, where you can get as low as $10 for the hack stuff.

Anecdotal evidence, crudely adjusted for reality, suggests that if you figure your code costs $5 a line you’re lying—or the code is junk.

At $100/line you’re writing software documented almost to DOD standards (HHS and CMS apparently missed that memo).   Most embedded projects wind up somewhere in-between, in the $20-40/line range.

From a Slate article, Getting disciplined about embedded software development,  “If the site really contains 500 million lines of code, they say, that’s a strong hint that the programmers involved are doing something wrong. (Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system, by the way, contained some 50 million lines of code, and was criticized for being slow and bloated at that.)  And if they’re using the number of lines of code as a metric for progress and project scope, that may be indicative of serious dysfunction in the process.”

From my perspective, running a software development company, the problems HHS and CMS have with their website after 3 plus years is unconscionable.  It smacks of crony capitalism.  First let me say, we do not develop websites.

We develop web applications.  Sophisticated applications for the banking and financial services industry.  One of our customers, does millions of transactions each year.  We capture, image, eSign and store all their  documents in over thousands of locations nationwide.  Imagine if we were down for 5 minutes.  Imagine if there was a security breach to our software or archive.  We would be out of business.

Let me be clear, I’m just speculating, but the Healthcare.gov website code that they say has to be partially rewritten is probably largely undocumented, poorly written (possibly using contractors from 3rd world countries), without  the proper testing and quality assurance every step of the day.

During a recent crunch time, we used 3 programmers from India on one miniscule project which took them 6 months.  We had to manage them very closely, and their work was still subpar.  We will never do it again.   It’s going to be a nightmare to patch and fix Healthcare.gov.  It should probably be completely rewritten.

Until hundreds of thousands of people have been successfully enrolled, applications processed, insurance plan in effect…with no horror stories regarding security breaches, I personally would not go on their website or even give a phone operator or navigator my personal information, especially a SSN or debit card.  Just my two-cents.

America Runs On Small Businesses Infograph

AMERICA runs on Small-Business-Hiring

 

Gallup Poll – Small Business Gains the Trust of Americans

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