Would you like to play a game?
This week’s news doesn’t one in my position much hope. Utah just decided to pass something through their assembly to note that the state of Utah is now denying climate change; Tesla loses 3 execs in a plane crash; Walmart’s sales are declining and the US just failed a huge national security test where the entire East Coast electrical power grid was destroyed. Awesome.
Remember back in the early 1980s, Matthew Broderick played a plucky little hacker named David who answered the question “Would you like to play a game?” with “Global Thermonuclear War.” This really isn’t much different. No, we’re not going to Defcon 4. In the movie, it was a simple case of a boy finding a backdoor into NORAD, and thinking he was playing a game, started World War III; it was harmless. In today’s times, there are people out there who would actually plan it, but it works much the same way. One or maybe two solidly planted pieces of malware and a couple of explosions later and chaos ensues in the US. These people are supposed to be the experts, but unfortunately the problem isn’t in their expertise, it’s in the fact that we as citizens of the United States do not want the government to have enough control to protect us properly. It’s quite difficult to trust an institution with that much power, especially knowing how corrupt the institution is and could become. So, what is there to do? Not much. This is why I’m not feeling very optimistic, but at least people are out there thinking and doing, and working for something better.
On the smaller scale, we have to work through these issues here at DDA every day. Most of our programming tasks require user level security definitions and logic that needs to be in place so that there isn’t a backdoor and yet there’s enough leeway that the user isn’t constricted to having no control and a poor user experience. We have to balance that fine line of power and productivity that all systems must deal with. In our bigger projects we begin with a plan. We set out the screens and imagine the roles each level of security must play, sometimes finding ways to make things work better, and sometimes finding ourselves falling into a rabbit hole. In either case, it helps us a great deal before we even get to programming. It would be a nightmare to find out later that x needed to do y which causes the entire project to be rewritten, and we all know what that means.
So if you’re looking for a medical CME or an interactive website, know that we put the thought into the entire project from start to finish and give you the best product possible as efficiently as possible.