How I Turned a Software Migration Nightmare into a Cat Video Dream


How did you handle a challenging software migration project without the support of the development team and with minimal user disruption, using a humorous strategy involving a viral cat video?


How I used a cat video to make a software migration less stressful

Software migrations are often stressful and tedious, especially when they involve fixing bugs, moving to a larger server, and dealing with users who don’t follow instructions. That was the situation I faced a few years ago, when I had to lead a software migration project without the support of the development team.

The project was supposed to be simple: migrate the company’s internal software to a bigger server, update the links for the users, and enjoy the improved performance. However, things didn’t go as planned. The development team leader was unreachable, the users didn’t read the emails or the signs we posted, and the new server didn’t solve the underlying issues with the code and the database.

Instead of spending the day answering hundreds of tickets and calls from frustrated users, I decided to do something different. I set the old server to respond to all web requests with a page showing the famous cat playing the piano video. This way, I could easily identify which users were still on the old server, and direct them to the new one with a few simple questions:

  • Do you see a cat? You’re on the old server. Restart your computer, use the bookmark that updated automatically, and delete all other bookmarks.
  • Is the cat playing the piano? You’re using Chrome. Use Internet Explorer instead (this was cringy even in 2011, but the shitty app only worked on IE).
  • Can you hear the sound? You’re using Firefox. Use Internet Explorer instead.
  • This strategy worked surprisingly well. The users who saw the cat video were amused and curious, and followed our instructions without complaining. The users who restarted their computers were sent to the new server without any issues. The users who had bookmarks to specific pages on the app were redirected to the new server as well. The only ones who didn’t see the cat video were the ones who used Internet Explorer from the start, which was a minority.

    The cat video brought some levity to an otherwise stressful day, and made the software migration more bearable for everyone. The users appreciated the humor and the creativity, and gave us positive feedback. The only person who was angry was the development team leader, who didn’t like the idea of using a cat video to mock his poor coding skills. But he couldn’t do anything about it, since he was the one who left us in the lurch.


cat video was a simple but effective way to handle a challenging software migration project without the support of the development team and with minimal user disruption. It was a fun and memorable experience that taught me the value of humor and innovation in IT. Sometimes, a cat video can make all the difference.

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