One alarming fact among many: the company was paid only $60K to develop an app that could help determine the next US President.
I would love to hear from one of these folks! I have so many questions.
I wouldn't deny them a place on the team, I would worry that they are the sum total of the team, without any experienced guidance.
One senior engineer alone should be enough to make a simple CRUD app. Also, one senior engineer should be more than enough to wrangle two junior engineers, unless they were horribly inexperienced.
“Make a simple CRUD app that has no bugs or scaling issues on launch day” is something that very few senior engineers can do, because most people in our profession have the ability to deploy hotfixes relatively quickly, and that has become part of the standard workflow.
The first is detrimental - the inability to pilot real use, or "ramp up" gradually before the caucus makes it hard to avoid a "big bang" go-live and consequent issues surfacing at the worst possible time. As happened.
But the second is actually an advantage. Fixed and predictable live load rather than "we hope that it becomes very popular" give you a specific target to use in load tests ahead of time.
A senior engineer should be advocating for that load test at e.g. 150% of the real load.
When the total budget is $60K, they probably don't have the time.
Remember that when Disney (a company with near-infinite resources) launched Plus in the US the account service was only intermittently accessible the first day. And that was after a pilot launch in the Netherlands.
Would you feel better if they got paid $60M instead?
I know who knows...