When the Correct Answer Isn’t the Right Answer

When the Correct Answer Isn’t the Right Answer

I recently started going to a few Meetups in my area. If you aren’t familiar with Meetups it’s a site where groups of people with similar interests can schedule and announce meeting times and places. There are thousands of interest areas covered and it’s a great way to meet new people and learn new things.

A few days ago I was at a Linux meetup. This is a very small but diverse group of people who use Linux for work, hobbies and at home. Most everyone uses some flavor of Linux desktop and that was what interested me most about the group having ditched my MacBook Pro for a Linux desktop earlier this year.

As I mentioned it is a very diverse group with wide ranging skill and experience levels. Someone asked about how to backup for their Linux laptop.

A great backup strategy can be very complex depending on a vast number of things such as the acceptable length of an outage due to a catastrophic failure and the acceptable outage to perform the backup, etc. The answer he was given to his backup question by one of the other people there that day was absolutely correct. It guaranteed a robust backup with zero downtime to conduct the backup and a reliable strategy based on best practices for retention and restoration if needed.

It was the correct answer. But in this case it wasn’t the right answer for this unique situation. He needed a simple reasonably reliable way to backup a laptop he used as his daily machine. Based on his reaction to the answer he received I said I didn’t know what his specific needs were or how he used his laptop but his reaction led me to believe we might be over complicating his backup needs. I suggested the GUI based backup tools in his Linux desktop distribution might suit his needs for now unless he just wanted to learn how to do a more complex backup strategy. I added, if his needs change in the future he can certainly modify, augment or replace any backup strategy he implements now.

This led to a great discussion on available backup tools for him to try.

It also reminded me why I enjoy being a consultant. Good consultants provide their clients with viable options meeting their clients unique needs, situation and of course budget.

It’s a continual search for the right answer that is also correct not necessarily the correct answer we can sell as the right answer.

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