Salesforce, Python, SQL, & other ways to put your data where you need it

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Database fiscal year in review: 2020/2021

19 Jul 2021
💬 EN

Table of Contents

Time for a performance check-in, and I realized I might as well brag publicly about some things I did in my database work this past year.

Public speaking

Training & documentation

  • Helped cross-train colleagues on Salesforce and Jitterbit.
  • Interviewed the ERP team and massively documented its ecosystem’s components, for the benefit of colleagues with cloud, security, web, etc. expertise. My hope is that although I did not get as technically deep hands-on as I would have liked to in AWS (I’m no sysadmin yet), my documentation provided the context needed for non-ERP-experts to have productive system design & improvement dialogues with ERP experts that will lead to better security, reliability, and availability.
  • Contributed articles to the internal knowledge base, as well as sending around some charts by e-mail, to help front-line support staff triage issues and get them to the right specialized team.
  • Shepherded “runbooks” for major system upgrades, including following through on the little things like validating that the mailing list didn’t fail on someone covering a task for the first time who’d just been given mailing list permissions (but there was no way to confirm it except in prod).


  • Refactored old Salesforce codebases for quality & peformance in anticipation of the migration from one org to another. Refactored for Table-Driven Trigger Management (TDTM), replacing nested if statements with short-circuit if-return & if-continue statements, and breaking business logic out into the kinds of “service class; could be called from any context” patterns found in Andy Fawcett’s book. A similar clean-up refactor from last year paid dividends this year when a “major change” in sales rep assignment only required changing a few lines of code this January. And oh my word, are the unit tests nicer now.
  • Matured my style around structuring Python and PL/SQL code to facilitate reuse and modifiability as the world demands more and more integrations between older databases and newer JSON-based REST APIs. Particularly useful was json_object_t.parse(), and its associated get_Number(), get_String(), etc.
  • This bragbook isn’t about my web adventures, but darnit, I got a lot more comfortable in JavaScript & ES6 this year – particularly with the cramming I had to do on an awesome freelance consulting gig that involved a lot of medium-difficult (but best-practice) concepts in Gatsby. Sadly, I can’t show those off here – it’s a secret, per the contract – but I’ve gone from zero to intermediate with GraphQL fragments, I’m more comfortable with arrow functions every day, etc.
    • (Need someone to break your tools, improve your docs, & make starters to illustrate concepts for newbies? Hit me up.)


  • Managed to show up & help wire some conference rooms w/ new A/V equipment without catching COVID-19
  • Got pretty decent at livestream lighting.


See the archives for everything, but particularly with respect to data manipulation (as opposed to my web hobby), here’s a quick tour of things I blogged about:

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