Opposing Automation

Opposing Automation – no I don’t mean that you should oppose it. The sad fact is that there are very many administrators opposed to automation.

Within two hours of starting my last job I was told by my team lead “you’ll never automate anything here”. Needless to say our relationship never really worked after that. I ended up in a different team and yes I did automate a lot of stuff.

Other all time favourites of mine are:

“We’re too busy to automate”

“We’ve always done it this way”

If you meet real roadblocks like this you’ll more than likely end up looking for another job.

There are a few things you can try though.

In your own work try automating tasks that take a long time and very repetitive for example one company insisted on the event logs being checked for specific events on a regular basis. Now, the idea solution would be a monitoring solution but that means spending money…  One solution is to RDP into all the boxes and query the event logs.  On the other hand a quick script that remotes into the required servers and checks the logs. Report the date and time of the events by server and you’re done. Better still schedule the task for overnight and you don’t need to do much at all once its set up.  Even if you have to create the functionality in chunks its surprising how quickly you can build up to a useful set of utilities. Don’t forget – automate what you need not what the books (including mine) suggest – you’re the one how knows what you need.

The other approach that can sometimes work is to find how you can help someone else get something done. Again you may need to build the functionality in chunks but getting other people to sell the benefits of automation will be a big help.

However, you approach the problem there will always be people opposed to automation – your only options are to work round them or to move somewhere where your ideas are appreciated. Don’t stay and suffer – its not worth it.

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3 Responses to Opposing Automation

  1. George Jenkins says:

    I believe in “proof in the pudding.” If you have external RDP abilities, invest in your personal time to take on a tedious repetitive task and show how automation can save both time and money on a real-life task most everyone has to do daily/weekly. Present the findings not only to your team but your managers and other teams. Spread the findings as humbly but thoroughly as possible. There will be traction. Also, make sure to create a unique catchy name when mentioning your automated process so the name sticks when staff start talking about it. Anything that can make them keep discussing it and how it saves resources will help your goal. I’ve done it many times in several jobs and has worked successfully. Automation has to prevail in order for us to keep up with all our IT demands — some just don’t know it yet.

  2. Mike says:

    I automatized tasks behind the scenes because my chiefs wouldnt allow it that much.
    i did automatize so much tasks which im responsible for, so why not make my own life easier..

  3. Mike says:

    the last part with dont stay and suffer really touched my heart.

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