Writing assignment on recent news article.

School has kept me more busy than I could ever have expected. But it’s great. In my Computer Security class, to practice our writing, we have been tasked with reporting on a recent security related article. I completed the assignment and sent it to my dad to proof read just as I realized that I had missed that the article had to be on ‘security’. Sigh, now I have to choose a new article and start over. But I suppose it’s not wasted time – I’ll just post the original response here for the world’s enjoyment. Just what this blog is for 🙂

Writing Assignment:

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-healthcare-gov/

The article I chose for this assignment is from Ars Technica, titled “The Seven Deadly Sins of HealthCare.gov”. I chose it because it covers a topic that has impact to all people in the United States. It was published on October 29, 2013, and written by Sean Gallagher. The article is about the launch of HealthCare.gov, the website that the United States Government created to link people to the insurance policies outlined in the Affordable Care Act. It explains, in the author’s opinion, where the federal IT project failed. It goes on to explain the seven “worst practices” that happened during the project, and the release that happened on October 1, 2013.

The seven worst practices outlined in the article are mostly related to project management, which we haven’t covered in this class. One thing we did cover though was network failure. We learned in class that internet information can use any route to get to a website, and if a link fails, it will try another link. However, nothing can be
done if the last link to the stored data fails. This is what happened to the datacenter on October 29th. An equipment failure disrupted the internet connection. Datacenters are sometimes taken down for periods of time, and all website launches have some flaw. But the last line of this article made a good point: “Here, the small exception was that it happened publicly with a hostile audience waiting to crow about its failures.” I hope to work for important companies someday, but this is a reminder to me to start small and work for projects that aren’t “doomed from the start.”