A question often asked is, "how could anyone be so stupid as to not back up data?" Reflecting on my own experience, I see how it could happen. Sometimes a series of events can interfere with important and seemingly basic IT tasks, such as backups.
I work as a software engineer for a small company that was formed over 10 years ago when our founding CEO, "Ed," got fed up working for an employer who thought that paying the employees was optional. One of our biggest problems from the beginning has been backups.
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Our company started in Ed's basement with a few people who were tired of working for promises that never materialized. Ed got a contract writing software as a consultant and split his paycheck with the other employees while they tried to find other work. Our business grew. In what little spare time we had, the engineers would work on internal IT needs. But for the most part we were a bunch of tech-savvy software guys who were too busy "getting the job done" to worry about backups right then.
Ed thought that he knew more about IT than any IT person he'd hire (and to be fair, he did know quite a bit). Eventually, though, Ed reluctantly agreed that we needed and could afford a full-time employee for IT. Being an office full of engineers, many of whom had been around working with computers and writing software since punch cards (and before), our IT needs were probably a little different than most. We were mostly Unix guys and the company couldn't afford anything but Windows PCs, so Ed hired First IT Guy, a young high school graduate with a Microsoft certification.
Backups became an explosive situation between Ed and First IT Guy. Ed recognized that we could be out of business in a heartbeat if disaster struck and that we needed backups. However, he didn't listen to First IT Guy's input on matters, especially if it meant spending more money -- Ed thought that any good IT professional could figure out how to make anything work. Also, First IT Guy had an enormous ego and made it clear that dealing with such menial things like backups was beneath him.
Finally, Ed stopped by a computer store on his lunch break and picked up the cheapest backup system on the shelf. First IT Guy messed around with it for a while but never really got it working, partly because we theoretically had a file server and network but were really storing all data on our own computers and only used the network to talk to the printer.