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1997-12-02 10:33:34


FED Has 175 Full-Time Programmers, Needs 500 to 1,000 Temps



This report indicates that the Federal Reserve System has 90 million lines of code, but only 175 full-time programmers to fix them.

The FED obviously doesn't know whether it will need 500 part-timers or 1,000. This indicates that the FED has no idea what it's facing, other than "Boy, this is a big mess -- somebody had better fix it."

Reporters dutifully write down these staggering figures, and newspapers dutifully publish them. Readers dutifully skip over them. Nobody sems to understand their implications.

Social Security has 400 programmers who have worked part-time since 1991 to repair (they thought) 34 million lines, and this code is still only 80% compliant.

(The link is dead.)

* * * * * * *

Fed Governor Edward W. Kelley Jr. testified before the House Banking Committee that 10 percent of the system's 90 million lines of code will have to be rewritten. Some 175 full-time Fed employees and 500 to 1,000 part-timers are expected to work on the problem between now and Jan. 1, 2000.


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