I started automating our home back in 2006. I learned soon enough that you need a ‘production system’, to run the house, and a separate ‘test system’ for experimentation. You only need to experience your ‘pride and joy’ fall flat on its face in front of others (spouse, family, guests, etc), typically during a demo (of course), to learn you need to isolate production from test.
I won’t bore people about ‘the old days’ but it’s so much easier nowadays (inexpensive single-board computers, old netbooks, virtual machines, docker, etc) to have one or more test-beds where you can cleanly ‘squash bugs’ without affecting the production system.
– soapbox on –
Open-sourced software that gets upgraded every two weeks is a double-edged sword. You get free improvements and new functionality … along with breaking changes and bugs. Given this combination of carrot and stick, even if you’ve diligently read and adapted for all breaking changes, you’re still taking a gamble installing the latest release on your production system. To maintain your psychological health, and familial relations, use a separate test system.
– soapbox off –