I’ve written twice recently about frustrations as an Information Technology professional. Once about dealing with legacy code written by others and again about dealing with issues relating to mistakes made as an IT Professional. I felt it was only fair to present the other side of the story as well.
This week I’ve been working on an import routine that, when it is completed in a few days, will save a co-worker more than 16 hours a month in repetitive labor. This will also relieve the pressure that employee feels to always be in the office on certain days because she is the only person who can do this very time consuming and complicated task. The system will now be automated to the point where she can have anyone she designates run it and she only has to approve the changes before they are committed to the database.
This is the feeling that IT professionals like to have. The feeling of having made a difference. Saving another employee time and freeing them from spending hours and hours entering data manually at the keyboard. This is why many developers got started in coding in the first place. I’m fond of telling people that the basic motivations for developers are laziness and control. We hate doing boring repetitive tasks. We would rather spend 10 hours automating a procedure than 2 hours of intensive data entry. Doing the former gives us a sense of accomplishment and stretches our minds to find creative solutions. The latter while faster in the short run will have to be done again at some point sooner or later and is unbearably dull.