In our last post, we quickly mentioned the phrase “data loss”. What does that really mean? Well, according to Wikipedia, data loss is “an error condition … in which information is destroyed by failures or neglect in storage, transmission, or processing.”
The important part that I want to talk about there, is the “neglect in… processing.” Sadly, it happens to all of us. We’ll be working on our normal 17 tasks, we’ve got our boss looking over shoulder wondering when we’re going to get done with something that they need for a presentation with their boss, and we just lightly touch on a process that should have had a lot more work put into it.
The mistake can be something small, like rounding off fractions of a penny, or big things like deleting 90% of Toy Story 2. No matter what, it still can be rather huge items! Our bosses expect perfection, and we try to do the best job we can!
Now there are thousands of posts about ways to prevent data loss, but I’ll let you sort thru those yourself. Heck, there may be 2 or 3 emails in your Junk Email folder that say they will help you with that (Guess what? They really won’t.)
Amazingly, my personal #1 tip – probably – won’t ever be found in any of those. It’s simple and easy to remember, since it’s only 2 letters – no, not those 2. The letters are QA. Yes, that’s right. It stands for Quality Assurance for a reason. A good person or team who can QA is worth their weight in gold.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “Self, why do I need a QA department? Can’t the developer QA their own stuff?” Why, yes. Yes, they can. And they should. But it’s always a great idea to get a second set of eyes on processes, especially where the same developer has been “hip-deep” in code for a while and may not be able to see the forest for the trees anymore.