Nothing on My Laptop

I heard this quote at the recent Redgate Summit: “If I drop my laptop in water, I can get everything back.” The context of the quote is that all your work, your IP, your code, etc. is saved in some common or duplicate location. Everything essentially has a backup.

I learned the lesson early in my career that keeping one copy around of things was bad. On an old Apple II, I formatted the wrong disk numerous times, necessitating me recreating homework multiple times on a very tight schedule. Over the years, I often made sure I had some backup service, but things really changed for me about ten years ago.

I had a laptop die on me while on the road. I had copies of things in different places, and a backup service, but I had to buy a new machine and get things set up quickly. It was a pain, but I started to adopt the DevOps idea of improving my system and learning what worked. Today’s cloud services, as well as package managers (Chocolatey) helped me. A few years ago my laptop blue screened and I had to reformat the drive and rebuild everything for a presentation the next day.

It took my about 3 hours, thanks to code, documents, and more stored and available in different services. These days, I think I was up and running on a new laptop in tens of minutes, and had most of my bits available in Explorer or inside an application in a little over an hour.

These are great habits to ensure I can continue to work, and good for home where I don’t want to lose photos or other digital assets.  These are also good ideas for shared work inside an organization, whether on workstations or servers. Don’t operate without a way to rebuild systems, including configuration and data, if something fails. Cultivate cattle, not pets, as the DevOps people say.

Steve Jones

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
This entry was posted in Editorial and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.