T-SQL Tuesday #176: One piece of advice you wish Past You had

Invitation from Louis Davidson.

The challenge

One of the things I tend to do when I am working on a project is to think of myself over three time periods. The past, present and the future. The past version of me made lots of mistakes. Current Me is living through the mistakes Past Me made and does not want to repeat the same mistakes again and Future Me suffer.

As data professionals we know that what we do is crazy hard at times, and if you remember back in August of last year, Josephine Bush’s T-SQL Tuesday entry’s replies answered the question “what do all the database job titles actually mean?” There are more and more tasks and titles for what we do in the data field every year.

Hopefully this month I will get some people who got their start using SQL Server 1.0 on O/S 2, some in Data Science and even some who just started in tech pretty recently, maybe even starting with Microsoft Fabric. All replies are welcome because your mistakes are mostly non-unique.

So, what I want to know is:

What advice do you wish Current You could go back and give past you as you were starting your first data platform job?

Note: even with this fantastical scenario, let’s keep it realistic. No “invest in Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon” replies, but using the years, and perhaps even decades of experience we gather have, let’s hear it.

Your advice might be technical, like compiling isn’t testing, backups don’t always work. But I bet a lot of you have experiences that led to some major issue that younger you didn’t think of and failed in a way that your blog might help them avoid.

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