Hello, and welcome to my first blog post! Today I’ll be talking automation and why we automate things, including the simplest response of “it’s more interesting than doing the same thing 15 times a day”. That seems like such a simple thing to say, but it’s boring to do the same thing every day. It seems to be a trend in IT that we bore easily (or at least, I do, squirrels are just so fascinating…), and that boredom can pretty quickly lead to unhappiness. Nothing sinks productivity like unhappiness, and nothing increases productivity like automation.
Beyond your sanity, automated processes are far more exact than human processes can ever be. Human error accounts for a significant portion of overall errors, even things as simple as typing can result in 1-10% error rates just from humans. Add to that a 10% error rate for decision-making processes and you can easily get a 10-20% human error failure rate. Compound that by the number of times that you perform the actions and by the impact of failing that task and you can have serious issues. Programmatic process’ don’t suffer from these issues. There is no typing and the decision-making process happens the same every time, right there you’ve eliminated two significant contributors to your error rate. The advantage to a programmatic process is that the errors are not random, if you see the issue and fix it, it should never happen again.
Automation is also a great labor multiplier, just like IT as a broader spectrum. Automation takes the time you would have spent doing the tasks and frees you up to do other things. Like more automation, which gives you more time, which lets you do more automation, etc, etc. Eventually, you’ll free up enough time in your day to spend your focus on enhancing your environment. Maybe you’ll finally get the time to tinker with Puppet or Docker. If you’re really lucky, you may even get the time to try out NSX in that lab you built a year ago and never got to use!
The benefits don’t stop there; they also apply outside your work.
Automated tasks are nearly always faster than doing them manually; You can provision servers faster, you can add firewall rules faster, you can add users and grant permissions faster. Your department seems like it’s working much faster and more efficiently (and you are), which is going to look awesome on any resume. Without shrinking the team, you can do the amount of work it would have taken a higher head count to accomplish, giving your department a great ROI.
There’s no reason not to automate, so why not #AutomateAllTheThings?