Kit Merker has been in technical and management roles for over a decade, doing everything from project management, coding, design, testing, and running a service. He currently works at Microsoft as a Developer Evangelist. Kit Merker has a blog dedicated to preparing for software disasters. Be sure to follow Kit on Twitter after reading his guest blog post below!
It's a normal human tendency to stay optimistic and believe that you are immune from disaster. We say, "that'll happen to other people, I'll hope for the best and focus on my day-to-day activities."
But, as I say probably too frequently, hope is not a strategy.
Imagine if a disaster hit and you sustained serious downtime, got hacked, or lost data your customers needed. The results would be disastrous for your reputation and could mean the end of your business. You'd be kicking yourself for not preparing.
But just like a teenager learning to drive, sometimes getting in an accident helps you learn to operate more safely. The good news is that there are practical things you can do to reduce your risks of software disaster.
Here are 3 things you can do TODAY to reduce your software risks:
1. Create a Crisis Phone Tree
I am a huge fan of lo-fi approaches to dealing with the unknown. This may seem like basic housekeeping, but it will help you handle a crisis much better than having the wrong people or the wrong contact information. When's the last time yours was updated? Also, you could create a simple rotation to designate who is "on call" in a given week to handle anything unexpected. You don't need heavy policy & procedure if you have smart people who are familiar with the software empowered to do the right thing.