You Can’t Legislate Away the Time, Money and Features Law

More Lessons from the Collapse of healthcare.gov

Last week, I wrote in some detail about some of the specifics of how the Federal healthcare portal seems to have violated basic principles of good software delivery. Now I want to talk a bit about the more general factor that I think led to all those cut corners and shoddy deliverables.

One of the oldest and shortest jokes in the computer industry is “Time. Money. Features. Pick any two.” To some extent, you can swap quality out for features, because poorly delivered functionality is essentially non-existent functionality. In almost all commercial software projects, time and money both end up being the parts that give in the end. In other words, the original feature set almost never gets cut, but the project goes over budget and delivers late.

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Intro to Raspberry Pi, Wharton Web Conference, Agile 2013, and More

Tech events you don't want to miss

Each Monday, we round up upcoming event highlights from the programming and technology spaces. Have an event to share? Send us a note.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised webcast: Jonathan Stark discusses the coming wireless wave and how it will profoundly affect every aspect of society—the iPhone will look like a fax machine compared to what’s coming next. Register for this free webcast.
Date: 10 a.m. PT, June 20 Location: Online webcast

Intro to Raspberry Pi : Ed Snajder explains what a Raspberry Pi is, how it differs from an Arduino and shows attendees some cool things you can do with a Raspberry Pi. Register for this free webcast.
Date: 10 a.m. PT, June 25 Location: Online webcast

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David Hoover’s Top 5 Tips for Apprentices

David Hoover’s Top 5 Tips for Apprentices

Finding a Good Mentor is Key

If you’re a senior developer with years of experience under your belt, it may be hard to remember what it was like coming out of college with a newly minted CS degree, and entering the workplace. But as David Hoover argues, helping these newcomers to the workforce to succeed can be the difference between effective, motivated developers and confused, discouraged ones. Hoover is the author of the new O’Reilly book Apprenticeship Patterns, and he says that people coming right out of college may, in fact, be less motivated than someone who has been working for a while.

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