Last week I found out that a Bash script I wrote to do some data QC gave me a false sense of security: a script continues even if one (or more) of the statements in the scripts fails (with an exit status not equal to 0). It turned out that for some of the data sets the QC wasn’t done correctly because I didn’t check the exit status after each step.

My first thought was: oh boy, that means I have to check $? for every step. That means a lot of repetitive code to write! Luckily my colleague came with the answer: add

set -e

at the top of you Bash script and the script will fail if one of its statements fails (for the fine print see the top answer in this is StackOverflow post).