Programmer Writes Scripts To Automate His Job, Email Wife, And Make Lattes

Fanghawk

New member
Feb 17, 2011
3,861
0
0
Programmer Writes Scripts To Automate His Job, Email Wife, And Make Lattes

//cdn.themis-media.com/media/global/images/library/deriv/1008/1008852.jpgAfter leaving his job, a programmer's co-workers realized he'd left behind scripts that automatically completed several daily tasks for him.

We all have repetitive tasks in our jobs <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121590-American-Programmer-Outsources-Job-to-China>that we wish could just be taken care of automatically. That's one advantage of working <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/programming>in a computer science field - you can create scripts to do that for you. Except one unnamed programmer may have taken the process a little too far. After he left for a new company, his co-workers discovered scripts for most elements of his job: Things like database fixes, email replies, and automatic sick notices if he wouldn't be making it to work. This guy even hacked into the coffee machine so it could make him lattes while he walked to the breakroom.

These scripts were all uploaded to GitHub by Nihad Abbasov after he discovered them among the programmer's work. "If something - anything - requires more than 90 seconds of his time, he writes a script to automate that."

What kind of scripts are we talking about here? Well, apparently this programmer received frequent emails from a particular customer he didn't like (denoted by a script named "kumar-asshole"). So his script checked for the words "help", "trouble", and "sorry" before automatically rolling his database to the latest backup. It even sent a reply: "No worries mate, be careful next time."

But that's not all. He created a script which generated "late at work" text messages for his wife, picking from a list of predetermined reasons if his login was still active after 9 pm. Another script emailed his co-workers to say he'd be working from home if he wasn't logged in by 8:45. (Interestingly, that script is titled "hangover".)

But perhaps the most surprising script is his coffee machine hack, which waits 17 seconds, orders a latte, then waits another 24 seconds before pouring it into a cup. It turns out that's the amount of time needed to walk from his desk to the coffee machine. Meanwhile, the rest of the company had no idea it was hackable, let alone on the network.

This is all pretty hilarious, 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?

Source: <a href=https://github.com/NARKOZ/hacker-scripts>GitHub, via <a href=http://www.businessinsider.com/programmer-automates-his-job-2015-11>Business Insider

Permalink
 

syl3r

New member
Oct 21, 2014
31
0
0
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.
his job probably wasnt just resetting a database when someone has a problem, he developed some aspects of them probably. and thats not yet completable by computers (at least not descently)
 

Fappy

\[T]/
May 1, 2020
12,010
0
0
Country
United States
Fanghawk said:
This is all pretty hilarious, 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?
Depends on how far he takes it. Data entry is a good example of something that should be automated if possible. At the end of the day it's just a timesink. Automatic responses to unique emails though? That's very unprofessional.
 

lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
19,316
0
0
This man is my hero. When I worked at a company like this, I had a bunch of complicated stuff that I never actually finished because I had a bunch of busywork to do daily.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

Henchgoat Emperor
May 15, 2010
5,499
0
0
Personally I'd only automate so much, but leave a few aspects out that make me essential to keep on. If I owned the company and found out an employee did this, they'd be out of a job, not fired but rather the position will no longer exist because it was made obsolete. Never put yourself out of a job. Depending on the person, I'd possibly put them in a different position, making the company more efficient by way of scripting if it could happen, but if there was no more need for him, he'd be pink slipped.
Nothing personal, I just don't see a reason to pay someone to sit on ass all day.
 

fix-the-spade

New member
Feb 25, 2008
8,639
0
0
Fappy said:
Depends on how far he takes it. Data entry is a good example of something that should be automated if possible. At the end of the day it's just a timesink. Automatic responses to unique emails though? That's very unprofessional.
At what point does 'Dave I broke it again,' cease to be a unique email?

I figure if somebody is so reliably buggering things up that you can automate the un-buggering process then they are not worthy of professional time or etiquette. They are the kind of idiot who will never learn from their mistakes, even if you explain it to them the noise will just go straight through without stopping. Although perhaps a better name for a script than 'asshole' would be advisable.

As for the programmer himself, it's time for a promotion since he clearly knows far more about the network and it's security than the people supposedly in charge of it.
 

Quellist

Migratory coconut
Oct 7, 2010
1,443
0
0
I imagine the guy still did the parts of his job that required some effort and input and just automated the shitty stuff that a trained monkey could have done. The fact that is work didn't apparently suffer really says it all.
 

Scarim Coral

Jumped the ship
Legacy
Apr 30, 2020
18,159
1
3
Country
UK
Wow it no wonder he went for another job if his work life was so automatic. I wonder what would of happened if someone interrupted him on his way to the coffee machine?

Still I bet the Clock king from Batman:TAS would had loved this! (Yes I know he exists in the comics but I don't know if he's the same as the animated one cos the latter was so automaticed with his job.)
 

DocImpossible452

New member
Feb 19, 2014
19
0
0
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
 

drkchmst

New member
Mar 28, 2010
218
0
0
Most people can only be motivated to do just enough work to collect a paycheck and avoid getting fired. Been this way since the beginning of time.
 

ThatOtherGirl

New member
Jul 20, 2015
364
0
0
fix-the-spade said:
Fappy said:
Depends on how far he takes it. Data entry is a good example of something that should be automated if possible. At the end of the day it's just a timesink. Automatic responses to unique emails though? That's very unprofessional.
At what point does 'Dave I broke it again,' cease to be a unique email?

I figure if somebody is so reliably buggering things up that you can automate the un-buggering process then they are not worthy of professional time or etiquette. They are the kind of idiot who will never learn from their mistakes, even if you explain it to them the noise will just go straight through without stopping. Although perhaps a better name for a script than 'asshole' would be advisable.

As for the programmer himself, it's time for a promotion since he clearly knows far more about the network and it's security than the people supposedly in charge of it.
Not necessarily, I was once one of the individuals in charge of network security. It is far harder to lock down a network than you would think, especially from within. And that is if you are allowed to practice proper security at all, which you often are not because upping security lowers usability.
 

The Artificially Prolonged

Random Semi-Frequent Poster
Jul 15, 2008
2,755
0
0
This man is my new god. I could really use that arsehole customer email script in my job.

Of course the biggest question here is why the coffee machine was connected to the network?
 

OldNewNewOld

New member
Mar 2, 2011
1,494
0
0
The Artificially Prolonged said:
This man is my new god. I could really use that arsehole customer email script in my job.

Of course the biggest question here is why the coffee machine was connected to the network?
My cousin has a fridge and oven that can be connected to some network and used remotely. I'm not really surprised.
I find it just hilarious that he timed his coffee making script to the second.

I want to be that unnamed programmer. My new life goal.
 

FalloutJack

Bah weep grah nah neep ninny bom
Nov 20, 2008
15,489
0
0
Aeshi said:
I think I read a Dilbert strip about this once.
Probably, Scott Adams bases his comic off of companies in real life and only embellishes a little. This guy might've seen that and went "You know, that's not a bad idea.".
 

Kajin

This Title Will Be Gone Soon
Apr 13, 2008
1,016
0
0
Imperioratorex Caprae said:
but if there was no more need for him, he'd be pink slipped.
That's a hell of a way to thank someone for a job well done. If you couldn't find some way to make use of a guy brilliant enough to completely automate his own job then you obviously have no business being in any sort of management position let alone owning a company. You'd be star material for a position at Electronic Arts, is what I'm getting at.

Besides, I sincerely doubt that the guy's job was completely automated. More like he just found ways to make his actual job easier to do by filtering out all of the simplest or most repetitive parts.
 

immortalfrieza

Elite Member
Legacy
May 2, 2020
2,024
54
53
Country
USA
Kajin said:
Imperioratorex Caprae said:
but if there was no more need for him, he'd be pink slipped.
That's a hell of a way to thank someone for a job well done. If you couldn't find some way to make use of a guy brilliant enough to completely automate his own job then you obviously have no business being in any sort of management position let alone owning a company. You'd be star material for a position at Electronic Arts, is what I'm getting at.

Besides, I sincerely doubt that the guy's job was completely automated. More like he just found ways to make his actual job easier to do by filtering out all of the simplest or most repetitive parts.
Even if this guy did in fact automate his entire job it would suck for everybody else in the company that does the same job but him. I'd imagine that if an employee wrote scripts that made their entire job obsolete the company would probably pay him to automate his career and maintain that throughout the entire company, thus he wouldn't have to worry about money himself, but he'd end up putting a lot of other people out of the job.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

Henchgoat Emperor
May 15, 2010
5,499
0
0
Kajin said:
Imperioratorex Caprae said:
but if there was no more need for him, he'd be pink slipped.
That's a hell of a way to thank someone for a job well done. If you couldn't find some way to make use of a guy brilliant enough to completely automate his own job then you obviously have no business being in any sort of management position let alone owning a company. You'd be star material for a position at Electronic Arts, is what I'm getting at.
EDIT: I hit quote on the wrong person, sorry!!!

Depends on what the company is. If there was no other need for a person with programming skills like that, and the dude basically scripted his way out of a position, it'd be absolutely ludicrous to pay the person to do nothing but watch his program do his work for him. Note also in my post I did put a provision in to try to find another position for the guy looking for other ways to make the company more efficient.
My whole point was, though, that if you make your job redundant, don't be surprised if a company decides not to keep you around. Companies, even small businesses, exist to make a profit and if it becomes apparent that a company could make more by eliminating a no longer needed position, they're gonna do it.
I did forget to add though that if the guy was really smart, he would have wrote the program in such a way that only he could use it, though if written on company time and on company machines he's legally obligated to turn the code and instructions over to the company technically else he could be sued and fired, such is the way of business in this country.
 

vallorn

Tunnel Open, Communication Open.
Nov 18, 2009
2,307
0
0
This man is the hero we deserve.

That's a really good use of time actually, investing some time into making quick little scripts that give him more time to do important things. After all, all those 90+ second things he wrote scripts for add up. Say he get's 2 coffees per day (90s each), has to fix that guy's database once a week and email him to say it's done(2 min each), and has to make a call to his wife twice a month to let her know that he's working late (5 min each).

Just by automating those three things he saves 1:02 hours a month that he could be doing something more important.