When I’m not producing content for you here on TechProGuild,

one of the things I like to do is go out on the lake with my boat. It’s not a

fancy yacht by any means. It’s just a small 17.5 foot Bayliner motor boat. I’ve

had it for a few years now and even though it’s never the biggest nor the

fastest thing on the lake, it always gets the job done.

One of the things you learn early when boating is to make

sure to follow a procedure when getting ready to go out on the water. You want

to make sure you have all of the equipment on board and that everything is

working fine. If you don’t, you’ll quickly have a bad day.

Recently, I took my father-in-law, who’s also an avid boater,

out for the 2006 Maiden Voyage. We’ve

both been boating long enough that setting up and getting ready has turned into

somewhat of a reflexive routine. We just do what’s necessary to get the boat

ready, pop it in the water, and off we go.

This time was no different – almost.

We got everything ready and onboard with no problems. We backed the boat into the water, and while

on the trailer, I fired up the engine. Usually after sitting most of the

winter, it sputters and complains and never wants to start on the first try.

This time it fired up on the first crank with no problems. This was a very good

start indeed. I let the engine warm up a little bit and then backed the boat

off of the trailer. That’s when it hit


“Did you put the plug in the back of the boat?” I asked.

“Ummmm. No… didn’t you?”

For non-boaters, there’s a drain plug in the bottom of all

boats that allows you to drain water OUT of the boat at the end of your trip.

Normally, you leave the plug out when the boat is on the trailer and then ideally put the plug IN before

launching so the boat doesn’t sink.

In the midst of all of the routine, both of us had forgotten this
key step. We’re both pretty experienced boaters and should have known better. But we just overlooked it.

Fortunately, we were able to get the boat back on the trailer and out

of the water before the water got TOO deep in the back. After a few minutes of

draining and then putting the plug in properly, we were off for a good


It’s easy to fall into a routine and miss key steps when

doing things. This is especially true when it comes to IT. Even when you’ve done something a thousand times, it’s important to

follow a

careful procedure and go through things step-by-step. This is just as

important whether you’re an experienced IT Professional or if

you’re looking at a system for the first time. If you don’t you,

could wind up with computer

viruses, spyware, malfunctioning software, or worse. You could even wind up at the bottom of a lake.

You can

never tell.