Reprogramming Government: A Conversation With Mikey Dickerson

Q and A by in The New York Times: “President Obama owes Mikey Dickerson two debts of gratitude. Mr. Dickerson was a crucial member of the team that, in just six weeks, fixed the website when the two-year, $400 million health insurance project failed almost as soon as it opened to the public in October.

Mr. Dickerson, 35, also oversaw the computers and wrote software for Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, including crucial last-minute programs to figure out ad placement and plan “get out the vote” campaigns in critical areas. It was a good fit for him; since 2006, Mr. Dickerson had worked for Google on its computer systems, which have grown rapidly and are now among the world’s largest.

But last week Mr. Obama lured Mr. Dickerson away from Google. His new job at the White House will be to identify and fix other troubled government computer systems and websites. The engineer says he wants to change how citizens interact with the government as well as prevent catastrophes. He talked on Friday about his new role, in a conversation that has been condensed and edited….”