EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

October 27, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

Software failures are common in government

To the editor:

Having been a software engineer for about 20 years and having monitored failed government software projects, it is not surprising the Obamacare website failed.

It is typical in software projects — especially government software projects — that inexperienced and consequently completely unqualified people end up calling the shots. The result is always a disaster. Huge amounts of money are spent creating a Keystone Cop like environment, with the end result of a huge pile of spaghetti code that does not work.

Software development is difficult to understand. You have to really be in the software world for a long time to get a sense of things going wrong before it is too late. Even for those with many years of experience, smooth software development is difficult. For those with little or no experience, failure is the norm.

Hopefully this kind of failure is limited to the website.

Jim Winslow

North Andover

Quick fire response was appreciated

To the editor:

There was a fire at the senior housing on Edgewood Avenue, Methuen, on Sept. 20, 2013. There were eight tenants that lost their housing, homeless within minutes of a fast moving fire.

The Methuen Fire Department did a fantastic job of isolating the fire to one building. Within hours the Red Cross was on scene offering help to the fire victims. These people are volunteers and they dealt with each victim individually and quickly. Thank you to the Red Cross for being there in a time of need.

Last but not least was Methuen Housing Authority. The whole organization from maintenance, the office and the management went into full emergency mode. They treated each fire victim as part of their family from the moment the fire was out. They worked tirelessly until their mission was accomplished. Director Ken Martin was moving victims’ furniture (that was saved) into vacant units the next day. Michelle Bibeau, assistant director, was on the phone making arrangements for furniture, housing and other emergency services. The maintenance department worked up to 18 hours daily readying vacant units for occupancy.

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