My Tech and Me: Lucy Hattersley

Lucy Hattersley

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Like many people, I fell into cloud computing without truly realising the impact it would have on my life. You start out small: a web-based service here, a cloud storage solution there and before you know it your entire working day is running on servers scattered across the globe.

I’m a writer by trade, and I’ve written everything from deep technical manuals to social media “clickbait”. Words are my stock tool in trade. Now, despite what you might think; professional writers don’t work alone. We huddle in teams of researchers, software experts, hardware experts, technical editors, production editors, sub-editors, editors, group editors and publishers. No less than 16 people checked the words in one book I worked on

There’s only one program that handles 16 people looking at a document with 30,000 words in it (trust me on this – I’ve tried): it’s Microsoft Word. Few people give Microsoft enough credit for its push into the cloud, but I’ve recently just discovered how deep its cloud tentacles go. It’s changed everything!

The safety net of cloud computing

Every writer can tell you a story about the article that got lost. The hard drive that failed, the floppy that jammed, or the computer that crashed on a deadline. But with the cloud all that vanishes. It’s also less problematic because technical experts manage the system. Cloud computing is the quiet revolution that enables people to do whatever it is they do without worrying about the nuts and bolts.

Cloud computing has also turbocharged my portable devices. I can now pull up files and perform collaborative edits on the move. The cloud, with 4G, has made my smartphone and tablet true work tools, rather than just communication devices that run a few apps.

Cloud computing and freedom

The cloud for me represents freedom. It’s freed me from being chained to one place and I don’t miss hunting down and restoring old files. I’m free to work alongside other people, and I don’t have to worry about the mechanics: I just do it. Cloud computing has changed my life – my working life – immeasurably for the better.

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Where traditional and web-scale apps co-exist