With all the news about Obamacare and the associated problems with roll-out of each state’s own version of this very large healthcare technology ecosystem, I was reminded that in the late 1990s, I had the good fortune to work for a California-based payroll firm where we built one of the world’s first healthcare and benefits “open enrollment” web applications.
The Pleasanton, California-based company (since absorbed by payroll titan ADP) believed that administering Open Enrollments via a standard web browser was the obvious next step and invested significantly in the development of the service. Our custom healthcare software development services are a direct result of that experience.
The system was built by a small four person team consisting of a Project Manager, a senior database engineer and two software developers (one of whom was me). Our benefits sign-up system was a dynamic, data-driven web application built using “Classic” Microsoft ASP and Microsoft SQL (MSSQL). The database architecture was the most extensive I’d ever seen at the time. I remember the database architect hanging up his giant colorful entity relationship diagrams filled with tables, Primary Key and Foreign Key relationships. The database of test “enrollees” provided the information needed to populate and navigate through the open enrollment sign-up application. This project was also my first introduction to database Stored Procedures, which seemed like a miracle at the time.
My experience working with this very talented team informed my ultimate decision to start my own custom software consulting firm. I always bear clearly in mind how the best software engineers and project managers comport themselves, work and most importantly, communicate. Eventually I became pretty good at spotting the optimal “technical DNA”.
I now run the technical talent network Boomcycle and work with a bevvy of extremely sharp technical folks who build both .NET and open source systems as large (and larger!) than the above-described Open Enrollment web application.