This story simply astonishes me. Anyone who doesn’t know the difference between GET and DELETE has no business designing a web app for their kid’s lemonade stand, much less taking on a multi-month contract for the government. Not that I haven’t seen mistakes like this before, but what really gets my goat is that the government agency doubtless paid a huge amount of money to these morons to develop their site. Doubtless these mouth breathers had the necessary security clearances, and wore the right suits, and took the right people out to play golf. I’m sure the fact that they had no fucking clue how the Web works never entered anyone’s mind.
One of these days I’ve got to figure out how to get jobs like these. I am certain I could have done the same job in less time and at probably 10% of the cost these blithering idiots charged. For one thing, I wouldn’t have tried to implement a content management system from scratch instead of starting with a well-understood, well-respected, well-written open source system.
My problem is that I have no patience for playing the dress-up games that pass for due diligence. I’m really tired of jobs where the initial paperwork and get-to-know-you meetings take longer than the job itself. Seriously, if you need a smart guy who really does understand the Web to help you out, either by directly designing and implementing such systems for you, or by reviewing the work of others so you can find out whether your current contractors are actually savvy web folk or law school/business school/art school posers, talk to me. I charge a flat per-day rate, and I’ll probably get your job done in a fraction of the time and cost the big agencies are charging you. I favor simple systems that work over complex systems that generate more consulting fees.
One warning however: I’m very much a roll-up-your sleeves and get to work sort of guy. I have extremely little patience for NDAs, lawyers, 100-page contracts for ten-hour jobs, urine tests, Net-60 billing, and all the other bureaucratic hassles that infest American business in the 21st century. If that’s the sort of company you work for, don’t bother calling me. Call the big boys that have their own lawyers on staff just to handle the hassle of dealing with all the bureaucratese (and be ready to pay ten times as much to cover the overhead on both sides). But if you’re ready to get to work and get something done, or if you just need a quick outside sanity check on the web system you’re already building, drop me a line. I’d be glad to help out.