If 90s movies have taught us anything, it’s that teens are supernaturally good at computers and will always overcome the feeble systems erected by lame and boring adults. This is natural law.

‘Scuse ABS, But These Uni Students Built A Functioning Census Site For $500

hell yeah

One of the great tech fuckups of 2016 was the Census, which by folly of an extremely poorly thought out architecture design, was unable to handle the load on the one day it was supposed to. As a result, there are millions of Australians who still haven’t submitted it, which is a huge headache when it comes to proper service delivery in the future.

Two Queensland University of Technology students have cobbled together a $500 cloud-based census system which they claim can handle far more load than the disastrous system IBM designed for the actual Census. Not so bad. They did it as part of a hackathon organised by The Code Network, which is a QUT student group.

According to Austin Wilshire, 18, and Bernd Hartzer, 24, the Make Census Great Again website is based on Amazon Web Services, and they’re both surprised that IBM didn’t go down that route when working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“When we were making the system, going through the process and speaking with more experienced people, we were wondering why they didn’t go in this direction,” Mr Wilshire told news.com.au.

“I was very surprised they didn’t go with cloud infrastructure but that gets into the whole security thing.”

‘That whole security thing’ does beg some investigation – it’s pretty obvious that a cloud-based solution would have been considered by both IBM and ABS, and the security of data would have been the primary concern. But services like AWS are built to scale enormously, and it’s pretty clear that is the way this kind of data collection is heading.

“That wasn’t our challenge, it was just a proof of concept that doing this way is going to be the better way in the future,” he said.

“I think what’s going to have to happen is that if the government is ever wanting to do this sort of stuff is that privacy laws and policies are going to need to change to keep updated with technology or they’re going to have to keep it offline because otherwise it’s just going to crash every year.”

If anything, this just an indication of where the puck is at when it comes to big data operations like the Census. When the data of 7 million Australians is missing because of a huge system failure, you gotta be thinking options.

Source: news.com.au.

Photo: The Simpsons.