Remember the debacle that was the government's launch of Healthcare.gov? The government is trying to prevent that from happening again with a new government service.
The U.S. Digital Service isn't going to be a bunch of programmers who go in and fix problems themselves. It's actually going to be a group of people from across the digital world who consult for agencies looking to improve their digital presence or launch new services.
"Think of this as [a team of] management consultants that helps you understand your gaps," said [federal Chief Information Officer Steve] VanRoekel, who has described a 'mixed skill set' model where teams might include a programmer, a user interface specialist, and a procurement expert.
So, far it's bringing in some serious talent. Former Google reliability manager Mikey Dickerson will lead the Service as administrator. He's the same guy who saved the Healthcare.gov site after the terrible launch. Dickerson is charged with helping other government agencies create better digital experiences for citizens.
The U.S. Digital Service will run out of the Office of Management and Budget in the White House. The government is hoping this new team will help attract other top-notch IT professionals to the public sector.
Not every government site is a mess. Take a self-guided virtual tour of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.