On a top level, an office server move seems so easy. Move servers, plug them in, go home. But there are many small details that need to be addressed before the move can occur and be considered successful. Do you need new cables, or racks? Where will the new equipment go? What about power, is it enough or is it the proper connector? A lot of these questions did not occur to me as a first timer. I didn’t realize I was put in charge of this project until well into it, a project that I learned was far larger than I expected.
“You should have asked” is the response I saw the most when someone realized I did something incorrectly. The trick, however, is to know what questions needed to be asked. As it turns out, there is no such thing as too many questions when you’re trying to learn, and the most important question I needed to ask was “May I please have some help?”
To someone who is passive as well as prideful, this is a difficult situation to be placed in. The issues that come up are whether you know the proper questions to ask or if you ask the wrong questions if others will think you incapable. And if you do ask the proper questions, how far do you push to be given the correct answer as not everyone will give you straight responses. This is an incredibly important lesson for someone just starting in their line of work. How much is too much?
This is the point that I would like to hand you a checklist and say if you follow this, you’ll be good. Unfortunately this is not one of those situations. Rather this is a lesson on knowing when to take a step back and say “I can’t do this”. Growing up I had been told it’s better to ask for help than to fail outright, and yet I found myself hoping I had the skillset to take this on on my own, and ended up running into it head first. I imagine there are situations where one should simply let themselves fail. This is something that you see in articles all the time “It’s good fail! Don’t worry!”. Although I agree with that statement, it is not a 100% true every time case. It’s missing one thing – you can avoid failure.
Something I wish I had been told in this project early on is this. Stop. Breath. Take a step back and rethink this. You have a team, you have resources. Use them. Ignore anyone who tells you that planning and documenting can be managed later if at all. Ask for advice from everyone, even if you choose to not use it. If you hear certain advice regularly, you should probably use it. Document anything new you learn to be used at a later date.
And remember, this is your first major project. Handle it like your first major project.