Modern technology is the focus of this episode as we look at mistakes in the cloud.  You can impact a lot of people with a simple error.  That is why you need to be aware of what these new tools do and how to use them properly.  For example, backups are great unless you manage to delete them all.  Likewise, file sharing is excellent.  However, it can lead to one person disrupting the work of your entire team.  These cloud-related tools take the reply-all option in emails from a minor nuisance to a potentially crippling obstacle.

Mistakes In The Cloud Are Common

First and foremost, know that the easy accessibility of these tools can be a problem.  They tend to work in the background and without many, if any, notifications.  Even worse, users often silence any notifications from these tools because they can be annoying.  There is training, and many tools have safeguards.  However, losses can be time-consuming and unwanted modifications can be hard to roll back.  We all have clicked “send” or some other action a second too soon and regretted it.  Cloud-based tools and services offer an opportunity for more of those families of mistakes.

The Lesson Learned

Avoid mass actions without first testing the action on a smaller scale.  It may cost more time to try the action first but avoiding a big mistake is worth the investment.  The time saved to roll back an error across many files or records can be substantial.  Start with one or two files the next time you plan on moving or deleting an entire folder.  Verify the results and then move on to that mass action.  It is the modern equivalent of measuring twice and cutting once.

If you like this season, you will probably like Scott Adams’ book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life.”

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences as well as a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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