Developers and designers must always keep backup of their old work. For developers, and designers alike, their old work provides them with various things, which we can also classify as the reasons to keep backup of old code (or designs for designers). When I say developer and code, but if you are a designer, read it as designer and old design. It saves me writing additional, and unnecessary words in this article.
Well, as said, developers must keep a backup of their old code. I realized the importance of this about a week back when I was working on a completely new client project. The client wanted me to implement various things in his website, which I had already implemented in my previous clients’ websites. This being said, it was no doubt an easy task for me. But, I was busy with my exams so I could not devote much time to that client’s work. At last, I asked one of my old clients if I could have FTP access to the website I created for him, and he allowed me to do the same. This enabled me to download the entire website that I created for that client and then eventually use the exact same code with a bit different styling on the new client’s website. By doing such a thing, I not only saved a lot of time, but had better productivity in the eyes of my client.
This incident opened my eyes and from now, I have decided that I would keep a backup of all the work I do for any client, and make sure it stays with me forever. For doing this, I purchased some professional Cloud Hosting from Dropbox. If you are unaware about cloud storage, you can head over to another article I wrote some time back. Also, if you are a programmer, you might want to read the second post as well.
Well, so let me tell you the various reasons that I feel, a developer should keep a complete backup of his or her work. These reasons can apply to developers and designers both, except one, which is more applicable to developers and not as much applicable to designers.
For Future Implementation
The first and the foremost reason that I feel there should be a complete backup is evident from the short story that you just read above. It simply means that a person should be able to implement that same code in a future project. I know if you wrote the code for a specific task one time, it would not be a big task for you to do it again, but instead of “wasting” some time on that task, wouldn’t it be easier to just use your own old code? After all, you are the one who wrote that piece of code yourself!
For Future Reference or Updating
This is the reason that applies more to developers than designers. So, if you are a designer, you can probably skip this reason and head over to the next one. Well, when a developer is required to update a specific application, it is no easy job. In fact it is one of the most difficult task that a developer faces. And in such a time, if something wrong is updated/removed or altered, it can cause the entire application to fail. In such a situation, referring to an old version of that specific application to find out what is altered is a great help! Surely you can debug the errors from the new, altered code, but it would be time-consuming.
As an Achievement
This may sound a bit childish. Achievement? Yeah! When you complete a client’s work, it should be an achievement for you. You should actually go out and celebrate after every successful project completion (that’s what I do :P). Well, you should keep your old code as an achievement also because maybe in future, you might be able to showcase it to a new client and impress him to hire you. Hiring is only based on the impression you create, or what someone else creates about you to that new client.
Well, these are the only reasons that I feel a developer should keep a backup of the old code, and not just let it go once the project it complete. In some scenarios, the company might have a policy that you should delete the source files from your computer after project completion, and you should actually delete the source files for that project, otherwise some legal action can be taken upon you by the company.
If you thing of any more reasons to keep a backup of your old code, do share it with everyone in the comments section below. Also, you can follow Slash Coding on various social media networks. Choose your favorite social network and add us there. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, circle us on Google+, or just subscribe to RSS updates.