The Importance of External Backups

Six months ago, I lost my wallet. I arrived home after grabbing coffee with a friend, walked through the front door, and emptied my pockets to find I was missing an important leather rectangle.

I immediately cancelled all of my credit and debit cards. I ordered new ones, updated my autopay information for the important subscription services (Water, Electricity, Netlix, Spotify, etc), and was confident I'd solved the problem. However, there was an important item I'd missed.

I'd forgotten to update my payment information for this site. And after a few months of missed payments, Digital Ocean shut down my droplets and deleted all of their contents AND all of their backups.

All of the beautiful content I'd created from 2017-2019 was deleted. Now, all that I have left of the posts I'd written is this woefully inadequate snapshot from the Wayback Machine.

This has served as a harsh reminder of the importance of multiple backups. While I'm disappointed, I'm choosing to look on the bright side: better to learn this lesson with my blog than with an employer or client's resources. Learning from your mistakes is an important part of software engineering, and I'm going to take what I can from this lesson and keep writing new posts. And also store multiple backups for redundancy.

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