How one mistake duplicated a database…

So let me begin by giving you a little bit of background information. I was in my early 20’s and I’d recently started my first full-time job after finishing schooling. I was excited to begin my career and set up the rest of my life. I’m saying this like I’m now experienced and wiser but that was only 3 months ago.

One of the very first tasks I was assigned was to migrate a company’s entire database over to Salesforce.  Safe to say, panic set in. I’m not what some would call a beacon of calmness so I started thinking of everything that could go wrong. Even managed to start sweating profusely in an air-conditioned room. But, determined to impress, I said that I’d happily take on the challenge.

  • DO Take on a challenge – They can be (very) scary, but you will grow your skills and confidence faster than taking on tasks you will find easy. If you feel like you lack the skills to complete the challenge let the person who asked you know and say that you will need some assistance with it.

Admittedly, I pretty much went into this new challenge with next to no knowledge of data migration. There were always questions that I needed help with and I always had the support I needed so that there would be a chance I could complete this task without destroying the world as we knew it. I’m not one for asking questions, thinking that they show inexperience/lack of knowledge and I’d do almost anything to not have to. But, sometimes, you have to. It doesn’t make you look stupid (I feel like I’m telling myself this more than you).

  • DO Ask for help – Please, for everyone’s sake, if you have a question just ask it. There is no such thing as a stupid question. There’s a reason people say that a lot. Make sure to try and figure out the solution first though.

Because of all the questions I was asking on a regular basis whilst probably annoying my co-workers I started making progress. It was painful and slow, but it was looking like I could get through it. Eventually, after hours of work, I finally managed to complete the migration. I think I asked at least 50 questions during that time but because of it I had begun to learn how to migrate data. But, there was not to be any rainbows or leprechauns with pots of gold just yet.

  • DO Check the work you’ve done. Make sure you have fulfilled the requirements of the task. Not much point saying a task is complete if you’ve only finished 99% of it.

After about two months, there was more data that had to be migrated. I felt more confident in the process and tried to take this on by myself. I noticed partway through uploading this new data that there seemed to be quite a bit missing of what should’ve already been uploaded. Foolishly, I assumed it was the company that had missing data, so I continued with the new uploads. Eventually, the missing data become too much; I had to make sure that it wasn’t me that uploaded the original data incorrectly.

  • DON’T Assume that everything has been properly completed until you can CONFIRM it (then confirm it again).
  • DO Seriously, check your work. I’ll make more dot points if I must.

Upon checking my original uploads I realised that I’d missed some data and this must be uploaded first. This wasn’t anything catastrophic and now feeling more confident I tried to redo the original upload by myself. This is where things take a turn for the worse.

I re-uploaded the original data and then I upload the new data and everything seems to work out well. It’s almost 5pm when I finish it and not seeing anything immediately wrong with my recent work I start packing for home. I thought I had finally completed the entire database and started rejoicing inside.

 

-Jack

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