tssci security

What happens when you wait until the last minute

People panic!

Last night, TurboTax was unavailable for people to file their taxes. The problems have been since resolved, but let it be a lesson to all of us that we cannot depend entirely on technology. Technology will eventually fail us, like it did so many people last night. Hopefully, those people have now learned that waiting until the last minute to hand something in as important as your taxes, should prioritize and get it done a couple weeks before the deadline. These aren't your library books you'll be fined a couple cents for, these are your taxes (you're only fined when you owe the government). Taxes suck, but they make our economy go 'round.

At school, we hand in assignments and sometimes take quizzes or tests online. At times, the servers have been known to go down and were unavailable around midnight on Sundays (usually when maintenance was being done). I'd get a message from a couple students CC'ing the entire class they couldn't get their work in on time. You know what? Tough.. If you had done it before you wouldn't be shitting your pants right now.

Regardless of the customers, TurboTax screwed up big time. Someone at TurboTax should know its market share. People waiting until the last minute is not news, and any company getting into such a business should know that.

Lessons of the day:

  1. Don't wait until the last minute to do anything
  2. Plan for the worst, and implement solutions to mitigate (in this case, heavy server loads)
  3. Let all of your customers know of any maintenance windows and any unexpected periods of downtime
  4. Availability, Availability, Availability!

See Slashdot for more commentary, and IRS on Filing Late Returns

Posted by Marcin on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 in News and Tech.

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