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A couple weeks ago, I wrote about a ridiculous little game I worked on. It sprouted from an idea I had in high school, formed into a real thing when I did a couple semesters in college, and grew into a neat little project over the years that followed. I was really proud of it at the time, and even posted a few teaser videos. Here’s one of them:

I never finished and released the game, but that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that it’s gone now. You may have noticed the date on that video: March 15, 2008, almost 14 years ago. I probably backed the code up on a CD somewhere along the line, but that was several computers and multiple moves ago. There’s no telling where such a backup is, or if it even exists. And this is just one of many little software projects I have lost over the years. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve lost more lines of code than I’ve saved.

Which brings me to my point: SAVE YOUR CODE!! Not on a thumb drive. Not on an old laptop. Not in your memory. On the internet!! If I’d put my stupid little game out on GitHub a decade ago, I’d be able to marvel at my bad code today. Maybe, just maybe, I might be able to refactor and reuse that code to create something I could actually release. At the very least, I could have an installer so I could show people that it did, in fact, exist. Instead, all I have is my memory and a couple of videos on YouTube.

So please, do yourself a favor and get a GitHub or BitBucket account. Put your code up there - make it a private repo if you’re too embarrassed to share. Don’t let your little projects shrivel up and die on an old hard drive. Put them in storage, keep them fresh, and maybe you’ll come back to work on them later. Or, you can pull them out like old photos and laugh at what a foolish kid you were 15 years ago when you had all the time in the world and no clue how to spend it. Trust me: if you don’t save your code, you’ll regret it later. I know I do. 😞


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