Many of the Hospital’s internal admin systems were written in PHP. There were around 20 applications in total. Such as managing doctor study leave, car parking payments, flu vaccination tracking, Capital bids, Purchasing Systems and the Help-desk.
My task was to single-handedly maintain these systems.
Due to lack of documentation, I first setup an isolated test environment to test changes. This was done by creating a Virtual Machine (with Oracle VirtualBox) which allowed a test version of the server to run using the same network IP and hostname as the live system. However, as it was kept on a private LAN within the VM it was not at risk of interfering with any live systems, updating live data or sending any emails. This allowed me to test with the exact copy of the live code and take backup snapshots.
I used this VM to support the systems and produced various support documents. When the frequency of issues allowed it, I handed over the support to a permanent member of staff.