The Obama campaign tended to hire senior developers, which meant nearly everyone on the team had an extensive skillset. They worked in weeklong sprints, with the goal of releasing new software every week. They were determined to remain technology agnostic, building apps in a variety of languages—Ruby on Rails, Java, PHP backed by Kohana. The management and engineering teams worked in close physical proximity, helping close the feedback loop: if something was going drastically wrong, the path to fixing it started with a ten-yard walk to another cubicle and smacking the responsible party in the back of the head.
In a perfect world, the Romney campaign would have led its volunteers through several dry runs on Orca before Election Day; but someone had decided to keep the major parts of the software a secret for as long as possible. As a result, Orca proved toothless against Narwhal and the other Obama apps.