The Obama administration put on a happy face this week in response to the almost universally unsuccessful grand opening of ObamaCare on Tuesday; hey, all of these errors just mean that so many people are interested in ObamaCare, our servers can’t even handle it all! Isn’t that awesome?

As I mentioned earlier this week, however, the apparent level of interest in ObamaCare is only a good thing for them if enough of the right people are interested in signing up for the program, and anyhow, it doesn’t sound like the IT community is all that convinced that the high volume of traffic is really the problem here. Reuters interviewed five IT experts about the architecture of HealthCare.gov, and it sounds like they’re leaning a lot more toward poor programming choices than they are too much traffic as the explanation for the anticlimactic commencement:

For instance, when a user tries to create an account on HealthCare.gov, which serves insurance exchanges in 36 states, it prompts the computer to load an unusually large amount of files and software, overwhelming the browser, experts said. …

“Adding capacity sounds great until you realize that if you didn’t design it right that won’t help,” said Bill Curtis, chief scientist at CAST, a software quality analysis firm, and director of the Consortium for IT Software Quality. “The architecture of the software may limit how much you can add on to it. I suspect they’ll have to reconfigure a lot of it.” …

One possible cause of the problems is that hitting “apply” on HealthCare.gov causes 92 separate files, plug-ins and other mammoth swarms of data to stream between the user’s computer and the servers powering the government website, said Matthew Hancock, an independent expert in website design. …

He said because so much traffic was going back and forth between the users’ computers and the server hosting the government website, it was as if the system was attacking itself. …

The government official blamed the glitch on massive traffic, but outside experts said it likely reflected programming choices as well.

And etcetera. The administration announced on Friday that they were taking portions of HealthCare.gov offline over the weekend for site maintenance, and it sounds like they have some serious redesign work to do — but the fact that this was a poorly executed rush job could not be more apparent.