Is there anything else to write about other than Iowa? I mean, we have an impeachment trial in progress, and Trump is apparently smearing feces all over the oval office. But this kind of failure is magnetic, so here goes.
The Iowa disaster is just a classic IT fail. Users have a process they want to automate. It is a stupid process and they would be much better off changing their process to a more standard one, buying some off-the-shelf software that works, and perhaps customizing it. But noooo, we don’t want to do that. So instead, they create bespoke software for a process that’s very hard to test: it happens once every four years so they can’t really do a pilot project, because the software would be obsolete by the time the next caucus rolls around. On paper, I’m sure they had a backup plan, but as usual, a combination of optimism and focus on the new software makes the backup plan an afterthought at best.
I feel very bad for the volunteers who staffed the caucuses and had to take the heat for this idiocy. I feel bad for the voters, who are already jumping through hoops to get to their caucus site. I refuse to have sympathy for the glory loving leadership and paid Iowa State Democratic Party staff, or the contractors who built the system.
My final thought is that this better lead to change. No more caucuses and let’s not let Iowa be first anymore. This was an unforced error, and god damn it we can’t have a lot of those in 2020. The way that you keep unforced errors from happening is making an example of those who fuck up.
I’ll mark this as an open thread.