Obama care has caused quite the stir, just as many Americans suspected it would. But the current issue at hand when it comes to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act goes past what we see on the news about the federal government shut-down. Apparently, United States citizens are having trouble accessing their healthcare options through the online Healthcare Marketplace, leaving many to ask, “Did anyone conduct software testing on Healthcare.gov?”
It seems that, wherever you turn, there is a group of experts poised to point out the flaws of the Healthcare.gov website. The website has been referred to in the media as “a nightmare” and “an inexcusable mess.” It doesn’t help that many Americans report that they’ve had only minor success using the site—that they can shop around for coverage but not actually follow through with the registration and enrollment—and that the government is refusing to report on the number of Americans who actually have been successful at registering through the website.
The importance of Software Testing
Software testing is the process of pushing a program to its boundaries to see if it can handle full volume usage, exploring for bugs (and fixing them), and optimizing the functionality of the programming through trial and error. These days, it’s accepted that software is one tool that must be perfect if it is to be something people rely on, so no software goes to market without first being tested. So, why is the Healthcare.gov site so bad?
It’s in the Management
Historically, the federal government has had issues when it comes to implementing systemic technological upgrades. It’s not the technology, itself, that seems to throw the government for a loop. Rather, it’s the management of such broadly-scoped projects. What could have been done differently? Experts agree that the government should’ve marketed the website from a different angle (rather than encouraging Americans to sign up “right away!”) so that it wouldn’t experience the overload that many speculate is the source of the problem, or delayed the release of the software altogether.
In spite of all the harsh criticism, the truth is that software and web testing is an integral part of the development process. It is simply not something that can be skipped out on. Although many might argue that the federal government is not exactly conscientious of the “right” way of getting a job done (after all, it has been shut down indefinitely since the beginning of October), the government is still an institution that relies heavily on technology, and software testing is an inescapable reality any time a new technology is being implemented. Regardless of the public speculation over software testing, government officials report that they are “adding hardware and recoding software,” and that Healthcare.gov will be fully functioning in no time.