as somone that automated a lot of his work since i came to work here as well (though nothing to that extent), high-five to him.
if the job is so easy a script can do it then go ahead, if the company doesnt realize this, their fault. if they do, give the scriptwirter another job to write better scripts for more uses.
i dont see an ethical issue there.
meanwhile in the real world the most likely scenario is he gets fired, the scripts are left running and the company considers it "money saved". Until something breaks. then their loses will be even larger. but instant gratification is the modern jesus of capitalism.
We have a guy at my office who regularly corrupts an Access database that his entire life depends on.
Every time he calls asking us to fix it.
Every time we use the build in "Repair and Compact" button in Access and that resolves it.
Every time we show him where the button is and how to run the repair himself.
If I could automate my every interaction with him I would in a heartbeat :P
You can absolutely write a script to do this every time he sends you an email.
Microsoft programs are the easiest thing in the world to script because Microsoft has already pre-wrote script for virtually everything, you do not have to create it, you just need to find it somewhere on the internet.
I have wrote a scripts for many access/excel actions in my jobs over the years, though I always provided them as a solution to something for my employer rather than a secret thing to do my job for me.
Common ones include:
Automatic importing of spreadsheets received via email into database.
Automatic updating of front end database to users (because fuck ever trying to update a multi user database otherwise).
Automatic creation of spreadsheet reports from database.
Automatic installation of database to a user via an email with script attached.
Thinking about it I really could automate my job a hell of a lot more ...
"but raises an interesting philosophical conundrum: If a programmer creates scripts to complete his work for him, does that still technically mean he's doing his job?"
To my mind the basis of any employment contract is "employee provides x, employer gives them money" and as such, the how is largely immaterial.
If I employ someone, it is because I have a need, and the person I hire can fill that need for a price I am willing to pay. As long as the employee is delivering their objectives then I am realising the value and it is still a mutually beneficial relationship.
When you work on upkeep, you often have very little to do if you're good at your job. I mean, if your job is to fix, you're gonna have a lot of time on your hands when there's nothing to fix. These guys often gets fired because they're good at their job. They think because he seems to have a lot of time on his hands, he must not be working, so they get rid of him. Then they end up paying more on outsourcing when shit needs doing.
Yeah, I can see how that would be true. Companies have this odd habit of not liking it if their employees 'look' like they are doing nothing, even if they have a job that by it's nature could mean you have to do more work than you can handle for 5 hours a week, and basically nothing for the rest of the time.
The reason for you still being there for the remaining time anyway, clearly, is because it is critical to get the repairs done as soon as possible, and there's no predicting when a fault might happen...
Short-sighted decisions everywhere I guess.
Add me in to the number of people who consider this man their new hero.
Automating pointless repetitive daily tasks? Hell yes.
Work smarter, not harder.
It's pretty much what my job entails. Any time I have to do something more than 1 day in a row, I'll write a simple script to automate it and run it on the daily. Work smarter, not harder.
This man is the hero we deserve.
Just by automating those three things he saves 1:02 hours a month that he could be doing something more important.
I wonder how many hours per month he was skiving off with hangovers? :P
I get that it's kind of cool, but everyone saying this guy deserves an instant promotion are somewhat wide of the mark!