A Hacker's Journey: from Cook to Chef

8 Avoid panic when disaster comes to your development environment

Before we start the journey, we need to get ourselves well equipped with safeguard. It's hard to imagine when we reach the half-way of the hacker's marathon and find that we lose everything due to the computer failure when it fails to start or shows blue screen. Of course, everybody understands that we should have hard-disk backup and cloud backup of our code and data. What I meant is losing the complete development environment including all the applications, configurations and tools that we may not even remember where we have downloaded from. It's not a trivial task to have the development environment fully recovered.

Here are the questions:

  • Do you know how to diagnose and fix your computer real quick? Who do you talk to?
  • Do you know which hardware part needs to be replaced and make sure it must be compatible with your computer?
  • How much time are you going to spend on whether you are able to have your computer recovered or not before you make a decision to buy a new computer?
  • After you buy a new computer, how do you re-build your development environment?
  • Do you have the recovery procedure documented somewhere?

I believe the answer most probably would be: we don't need to worry about it before it happens. Once it's crashed, we'll get it back in one day. Do you think this is a reliable plan for the startup companies in production or going to go production? Let's always keep disaster recovery in mind before we start off.

Below is a brief guide for how to diagnose the possible software and hardware failure by yourself to determine whether you need to find a local technician to fix your computer or buy a new one, or simply buy a new part to replace the defected hardware. Otherwise, you have to pay the premium service to diagonose for you and eventually it turns out to be a very simple fix.

Here is a checklist that you may have with the minimum tools you need for your local environment, which means once you have to rebuild your development environment, you have to do all the installation and configuration. Without a reference book, you have to search for everything from scatch. Things may get worse when you miss tools or some configuration, the environment will not work.