Don’t Fear Automation, Embrace It

In these times of lean staffing budgets, some IT professionals are hesitant of diving too deep into a new automation tool, worried they could actually automate themselves out of a job.

I came into technology as a Perl programmer and UNIX administrator. I spent years writingcommon gateway interfaces for websites and automating routine tasks. As I moved along in my career, the ability to script and automate tasks was one of my top priorities when interviewing prospective employees. In my opinion, the ability to leverage an automation tool is a sign of a mature engineer. So why are so many people hesitant to embrace automation tools?

An automation tool can be anything from a scripting language to an application that allows you to build a workflow of tasks to be executed as a single action. Some tools are easy to learn, and others are a little more daunting to master. However, it may not be the learning curve that keeps many people from leveraging these tools. While some may simply not appreciate thevalue of automation, others are truly apprehensive about the end result. Some fear that if they can do their job in half the time, they or one of their co-workers may no longer be necessary. That could not be further from the truth.

I cannot remember anyone automating themselves out of a job. Gaining valuable skills only makes you more valuable, not less. I love this topic, and I take a deeper look at it in my article “Don’t fear an automation tool — it may be your best bet at job security“.

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