Measure Twice, Cut Once!

Anybody ever been told that old plan-ahead rule before? Measure twice, cut once. It means, have your shit together and your ducks in a row before executing your plan. This is why I always have a guinea pig device to get my shit together with first, before I go make a major change to something where I can’t afford any downtime. This is also why I make sure that I understand everything that something is doing before I replace it with something else. This should be common sense to anybody, but this seems to be lost on people who think that they’re smarter than they actually are.

You know, even before you fly, you have the right to ask the pilot if they are current on the required hours for carrying passengers, how much experience they have with the model of plane that they’re going to be flying you on, if they have a current medical evaluation, etc. Why is that? It’s because the pilot’s license and certifications don’t prove that they’re actually fit and qualified for the current task. If all that pilot only knows how to fly is a simple twin-engine Cessna, stay the fuck away from that Learjet 75! Their license and certifications don’t mean shit, step aside and sit this one out!

Recently, I watched the failure to follow this basic rule bite a company in the ass when they clearly had every means necessary to test things on a guinea pig and prevent driving a production system off a cliff. If you have a multi-tenant web hosting server, why wouldn’t you set up a test website before attempting to replace the authentication system on a production website? Not only that, why would you do it if you don’t even know how to restore a backup of the website? Just because you’ve seen the web browser side of the website, clearly doesn’t mean that you understand its undercarriage! Certified “experts” just kill me.

That incident reminded me of one time where a friend tried to swap out an engine in his only car with zero prior experience. He couldn’t get the new one to run, and then couldn’t get the old one to run when he tried swapping it back in. Clearly, those 2 years of auto mechanics that he took in tech school back in the 1980’s really didn’t qualify him to do the job. Plus, he didn’t even think to have a backup vehicle lined up, just in case something really went to shit along the way. Clearly, another example of somebody bragging on their certifications and thinking that they already knew all they needed to know. They always seem to be Biden supporters too. LoLz!!!

I always have a guinea pig, no matter what it is that I’m building or modifying. Even if I can’t have a complete guinea pig, I have at least the portion that I’m working on. If it’s a computer, I always do a test run of restoring a backup so I can instantly undo everything I’ve done in one shot. If it’s a server of some sort, I work from a development server and sync it to the production server when I feel that it’s safe to do so. Sometimes those self-taught people know best! I’ve also never tried to convince others that I know how something works, better than the other person who created it.

Unless you like wearing egg on your face, learn to accept the fact that you may not be as smart and adept as you think you are. Expect mistakes and oversights, that’s how you fine-tune something. I have never once written a program that was 100% correct from the beginning to the end. I don’t care if you think that you’re all that and a bag of cookies, don’t use a production system or device as your experimentation lab. Certified “experts” repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot is super entertaining to watch, just don’t beg me to mend your wound, Einstein.

Get your shit together first – somewhere else!