Democrats and some republicans waited, with bated breath, for the caucus results Monday night in Iowa. Much to everyone’s surprise, no information was forthcoming. By end of day Tuesday, only 62% of reported in. As I write this, Thursday morning, we still are waiting for final numbers. With 96% reporting in the results won’t change. Buttigieg took the night with Sanders close at his heels. The democratic hopefuls have since left Iowa for New Hampshire.
Iowa now needs to heal from its embarrassment. The democratic national committee used a firm in Denver Colorado named Shadow, Inc. According to Shadow Inc’s sparse website, “When a light is shining, Shadows are a constant companion. We see ourselves as building a long-term, side-by-side “Shadow” of tech infrastructure to the Democratic Party and the progressive community at large.” A quick look on LinkedIn, shows a staff of 8 employees. Now small does not mean bad. But one has to ask if they bit off more than they could chew.
This failure in Iowa, illustrates the necessity of not only beta testing a product before launch but the need of stress testing. Someone unfamiliar with underlying technologies may assume a server, code base, or bandwidth is sufficient when it really is not. When working with apps in the field there are many variables to take into account. What is someone doesn’t have poor service? What is a cell tower is down? Critical apps need fail over and stress testing. Hopefully Shadow Inc can learn from this failure and come back stronger. We should all take this as a lesson learned.