Victus Spiritus


The greatest developer fear

06 Sep 2010

I'm not worried about killer clowns from outer space or financial apocalypse. I'm not uneasy about our startup imploding, or dragging on forever without finding traction. We'll get there.

After every developer tool installation that same fear creeps from my subconscious into the foreground of my mind. A single bead of sweat appears on my brow. The number one thing that haunts my every waking moment is juggernaut (my development system) flat lining. I can picture it crashing, burning, dying, exploding, or getting thrown out of my window by me in a fit of caffeine deprived, failed installation script rage, to be followed by regretful mourning.

How many git clones, configure, make, and make installs, or sudo apt-get installs do I have left in me? Will I ever be able to remake this fantastically loaded system again? Probably not. If something goes wrong with jugger, I'll have to pick up a cheap replacement and start from scratch. Then I'll only install the stuff I need at that moment. There are a plethora (3 amigos) of tools which I rely on for any given day of hacking.

Just being aware of the depth of installed libraries and gems, various versions, compiled applications, IDEs with plugins, browser update scripts, and extensions is enough to make me sick. I feel like the old lady who lived in a shoe, except instead of so many babies, it's so many development tools.

What's the best option for keeping one's development environment stable and more importantly safe? I really don't want to spend another week or two (more likely) rebuilding from the kernel up. Help me Obiwan, you're my only hope.