Mation

By | January 9, 2019

So You Automated Your Coworkers Out of a Job.

I have done this. It sucks but is also not really capable of being stopped. Sometimes, people have been doing tasks for 20+ years that really can be done by a small shell script these days. One place that a company worked for took over, we easily got rid of six IT staff (including an Oracle DBA who made well over 250K a year) by automating backups and other tasks, converting to MS SQL, removing some ancient Citrix environments, reducing support for old platforms, improving VPN, and putting in self-service password resets and a real ticketing system. It’s not that these six people were doing nothing, but what they were doing was a complete waste of time in several different ways that actually hurt the company more than it helped.

This churn would not be a bad thing if we had a real safety net in this country. It helps no one to have people scurrying around doing useless tasks that a machine can do in 0.001 seconds. And frankly, if you are doing these sort of tasks, sooner or later (probably sooner) someone is going to notice, and then say, “This girl/guy appears to be here to hit a button every 10 minutes. They’ve been doing it for the past 20 years.”

Boss: “Well, can you automate it?”

Me: “Yes, I automated it already. Here’s the two-line script that I just wrote while I was talking to you.”

If you have that kind of job, well, you probably won’t for much longer given the way things are moving.

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