Software Done in a Hurry
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.