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This Programmer Got Fired for Taking Automation a Step Too Far

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This Programmer Got Fired for Taking Automation a Step Too Far

Automating yourself out of a job... a cautionary tale of hyper automation and work ethic.

· DevOps Zone ·
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It’s the thing of dreams: have someone else do all of your work and reap all of their rewards. In the digital age that someone doesn’t even have to be sentient, and a Reddit user recently proved that.

FiletOfFish1066, who was an employee of an unnamed San Francisco tech company, spent the last six years playing League of Legends, exercising, and doing anything else he wanted. All of this “hard work” earned him $95,000 per year. He was able to achieve this earthly paradise by automating all of his quality assurance tasks during the first eight months on the job.

“In the past 6 years I have maybe done 50 hours of real work. So basically nothing. And nobody really cared. The tests were all running successfully. I had no friends or anything at work either, so nobody ever talked to me except my boss and occasionally the devs for the software I was testing.”

It took the company more than half a decade to catch on, but once they did FiletOfFish1066 was fired. He left the firm with $200,000 in savings — due to frugal living — and a video game addiction. He did lose one important thing, however. During his tenure as resident-gamer, Filet forgot how to code. Now, as he searches for new opportunities, he finds himself lacking the marketable skills he once possessed.

Based on his comments from his now-deleted Reddit account, Filet seems to be remorseful. He now aims to re-learn everything he has forgotten and hopes to find another job.

While I am a major proponent of automating the development process, and I co-founded DBmaestro, creators of a database deployment automation tool, this Reddit user may have a gone just a step too far. While he proved himself to be a talented coder, much like Icarus, Filet got burned when flew too close to the sun.

What do you think? Did FiletOfFish1066 get what he deserved or is he a new programming hero?

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