From our Swindon Correspondent:
Not quite literally, but metaphorically, this is where you’d be after this as a project manager if you had this level of cockup in the private sector.
From the Daily Mail
The new coronavirus tracing app was hit by another fiasco last night after it blocked tens of thousands of users from logging their test results.
The app asks users to input a special pin code when they receive their results. But humiliatingly for the Government, only those tested privately for Covid actually received the code.
Those tested by the NHS did not get one – and, consequently, have been unable to register their results.
This sort of thing is what I do for a living. I’m classed as a software developer, so I build code, but quite a lot of my job, quite a lot of everyone’s job in software team is this sort of thing. Someone proposes a solution: “they’ll unlock with a pin code” and people say “um, and what about the NHS tests? We don’t have a pin code for those” and everyone looks vacant and goes quiet and then it’s like “well, we’ll probably need to change that process, then” and we add that to the project. Then when it’s all built, we do some tests to make sure there’s no holes. Which isn’t entirely the case as there’s always a few, but we at least fix the big ones.
Now bear in mind, all that stuff about the solution is before we even write a line of code, and all that stuff about testing is before we go live. And there’s often things that get missed and have to be fixed, but they tend to be obscure cases. No-one notices.
So what the fucking fuck have the cockwombles on this project been doing for months? Apple and Google did most of the heavy lifting for you. And Singapore and Gibraltar wrote apps and posted the code on Github that was free to use. You just had to take it, re-skin it, and add this one small feature and test it all. And this included two data sources for results, one of which is the people you are working for. The NHS has an army of bureaucrats and they missed that the tests from their own people didn’t work? Who’s in charge of this at whatever level? Who signed off on the testing?
However, it has emerged that only ‘Pillar 2’ tests – those carried out by commercial testing centres – provide the relevant codes.
I mean… this is some Thick of It level parody, isn’t it? This is like the problem screaming up to your face with blues and twos on. Did no-one think “wait, Pillar 2? Pillar 2? Where’s Pillar 1?” How utterly clueless were these people to miss that?
Last night, Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said of the latest glitch: ‘This beggars belief.’
And you can va te faire foutre
too. Your party burned £12bn on a computer system that delivered nothing. You’re all as useless at dealing with civil service incompetence as each other. The odds that Labour wouldn’t have also colossally fucked this up close to zero.
After a flood of complaints yesterday, the Department of Health and Social Care said it was ‘urgently’ trying to fix the problem. Hours later it promised that ‘everyone who receives a positive test result can log their result on the app’ by requesting a code from NHS Test and Trace.
Which probably means a human being in an office typing the same result into the Serco system, because you don’t get the NHS building software in hours. Burn some more of our money, why don’t you?