Automation : Key to becoming a successful system administrator

Look! No one likes to take on a mindless, repetitive and boring job unless the wage is good. Being a remote system administrator, I tend to encounter repetitive requests and occasionally have to perform some data sanitisation before feeding the cleaned data to another department or machine for further crunching.

The best way to keep my self sane and getting paid at the same time is to find way to automate the repetitive tasks, write scripts with different input parameters to touch up the data and put them up as cron job. Every script is connected to a dashboard that shows me the summary of each and every script executions. For critical situation, the dashboard or individual script will alert me via email or SMS for critical failure.

automating job with script

Luca Bravo

This allows me to free up my time and do meaningful things such as spending time with my kids, doing exercise, writing blog post such as this one and do house chores.

father and son time

Danielle MacInnes

Do I feel bad for automating my job? No.

Do I care if my co-workers feel that I'm being unethical for automating my job? No.

Why should I feel bad or ethically challenged for working smart by automating my job? I just conjure up some scripts to move photons and electrons the way I want it so that after awhile those photons and electrons can and will automagically help me in my job.

Those that are against me for automating my job is simply because they cannot do it themselves. They feel helpless and have to do their job by moving their muscles to complete their own tasks. Classic case of tall poppy syndrome.

Another popular argument is that I shouldn't be paid because I figured out how to automate my job with my own skills. Skills that I'm not born with but acquire through out my years of self learning and experimenting with my own time/money. This is a flawed argument, kinda like arguing that one should not pay a doctor simply because he/she is prescribing medicine for a common illness.

In a nutshell, if your employer is against the idea that you'd automated most of your job scope. Then, it is time to move on.

If you're an employer that found out the employee you've hired just automated most of his/her job.... please by all means, appreciate the employee. Even after the employee left your organization, you still have a "virtual employee"(automation scripts) doing the job for you. The person just saved you a ton of money and time. Learn from the employee on how to further automate your organization.

Learn how to harness the automation magic to make machines serve human instead of human serving machines.

Preview image credit : Alex Knight

  See also : Programming productivity depends on your tools and language choice

By Adam Ng

IF you gain some knowledge or the information here solved your programming problem. Please consider donating to the less fortunate or some charities that you like. Apart from donation, planting trees, volunteering or reducing your carbon footprint will be great too.