One of the sayings that I’ve heard a few times from professional atheletics is this:
“Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they don’t get it wrong.”
Most of us working in technology would like to think that we’re professionals, but do we really practice restores, practice recovering systems, practice reconfiguring things until we don’t get it wrong?
I don’t think most of us do. We give it a try, and if it doesn’t work, we may examine why, but we often don’t go through the exercise enough to ensure that we really can do it well when there is pressure.
You can’t practice constantly, that’s not practical, but you ought to take a regular look at different systems, different problems, and try to reset them up every quarter or so in order to be prepared. Even if it’s something you do informally, you ought to ensure that you understand how your scripts work to automate restores, reconfigure systems, restore databases and logs, etc. With the advances in virtualization, you can even do this on workstations, setting up complex, multi-server environments on ordinary hardware.
It’s good practice for your skills and your career, and it might make you shine when there is an issue.