how good are you at protecting your job? (1 Viewer)

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<comments welcome you guys! don't be put off or intimidated by what I say here. It's not meant to be that way>

here's my "vast wisdom", according to MajP:

before I start this little piece of entertainment, I want to let you guys know that I never have thought any of you are stupid or lesser than me. Why would I? After all, it was me that allowed a scamming company to connect remotely to my laptop. How stupid is that!?

I'd like to address this little anomaly that has apparently reared it's ugly head in recent years in the business community:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/10/agents-of-automation/568795/

The poor chap that made the confession in that article is probably a special case, but it doesn't change the fact that it applies to anybody in our business nowadays. Like I said before, you all are probably well aware of how to protect yourself if you're in a large organization, but you may not realize the fact that business leaders, no matter how good they are, can always be thrown into a situation where they are forced to cut costs even if it is not their fault. The only corporate leader I've ever heard of that's been able to navigate treacherous waters like that and come out of it smelling squeaky clean is Jamie Dimon of Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City. He famously did it during the 2008 global financial disaster deemed "The Great Recession".

So...to the actual POINT of this thread. When all you guys talk about being "proper", I totally respect that. But if you don't know it already, I'd like to bring to light the issue of revealing too much about that concept. If you work in a large organization and a manager got wind of that (and he's worried about keeping his job), you may end up finding yourself without a job because the manager has realized that he can possibly replace you with AI. Now granted, large organizations have so much to do every day in terms of business intelligence and analytics that you would probably never fall victim to that, but it doesn't hurt to keep that possibility in the back of your mind as a contingency measure! But it should be noted that if you work for a good company that knows what they're doing and you have good customer loyalty, then you wouldn't have to worry about it! After all, it seems as though customer loyalty is going very strong right now as the focus on perfecting customer service reaches insanity levels.

Hey Paul....don't you work for a large transportation company? I seem to remember you saying that years ago. I've known plenty of truckers and people that work in trucking companies and I would have to say that most of those guys would certainly need someone like you to guide them in technological matters, but that might not be the case for more technically oriented people in other industries. And I'm not dissing your company, so don't look at it that way please.

Another thing I'd like to point out is the fact that some days I dont like my job very much because like I said in a previous thread, I don't do much but pick up other peoples' unstructured data and make it proper. So essentially, a lot of days I'm a sanitation worker. But the one thing about what I do that's absolutely wonderful is the fact that I virtually have 0 chance of being laid off because the people that come to me have been convinced that there is a solution to their problem and they anxiously await it. And most of the time they're very grateful for whatever distributable I give them. The bad part about the job is that it's totally unsecure, which is terrible. But I've told numerous people about this on LinkedIn: If I had a choice to do this or to work for a company like google, I would probably do this because there IS actually meaning in it and I am doing something that serves a purpose. At a company like google, any job nowadays would more than likely be nothing more than analyzing endless amounts of data using the million different algorithms that flow through their work process (I'm assuming). How in the world would I ever get any inkling that my work ends up being meaningful and helpful to an actual human being? There would be no way I would know this because I'd never talk to the human being, if there was one, that benefited from me analyzing their entire digital life and internet movements over 'x' days or months. Now granted, if google came to me and they offered me 500K to join their company, I *may* reconsider, but the point still stands in that it would probably be very unrewarding. So I'm not sure how I would handle that if it came my way (they would never hire me anyway). To each their own though, of course.

Lastly, I'm not sure if I posted this link in another thread or not (I seem to remember doing it), but this guy posted a flurry of information about what interview questions google asks of its software development candidates:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6612755985549316097/

According to that guy, if you want to work for google you have to be an algorithmic genius. All that may be involved in that is a disastrous end whereby one would end up like the poor chap in the article at the top of this thread. If someone wants a life like that and they want a large salary that goes along with it, why not apply to the National Security Agency where they can work on the newest hash function SHA500()? Last I read they were taking mathematical candidature for SHA3(), but that's probably historical news by now. Sorry, this last bit has turned into a little bit of a rant, but the last point at least does relate to the title of this thread.

So in closing, I'm posting this just to share my thoughts with you. I don't dislike any of you, nor have I ever considered myself the smartest guy in the room, but being realistic about how this ridiculous world operates is in all of our best interests, isn't it? Please accept my apology if you read this and didn't get anything out of it. I won't deny the fact that I like to bicker about stuff, especially software and technology because I've learned from many years now that doing such things can sometimes lead to fantastic innovation that no one knew existed. And if I'm also not mistaken, that's how Steve Jobs found his success from the day the iPhone was introduced in 2006 until the day he died.
 
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The_Doc_Man

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Adam, you appear to have a negative viewpoint here. Automation is here to stay and if you can automate a job so that you have time for more challenging and satisfying work, you should do it.

The way this worked for me is that I learned how to automate a lot of the monitoring and cleanup of my job, which was to keep my primary system running as near to 24/7 as humanly possible within the confines of a regular patch schedule and other types of maintenance. By automating some of the cleanup, I was able to get maybe 80% to 90% of the weekly trash taken out. By monitoring and logging the disk capacities and having code run short-term regression analysis, I would get advance warning of disks getting dangerously close to full. By logging and after-the-fact analysis of the logs, I could tell who was running afoul of permissions a lot so that I could notify the project managers.

What did this get me? When I told the boss and the managers what I had done, and told them that I would be willing to try to automate more if they could define what they wanted, I not only kept my job but also got pay raises and a couple of formal "atta-boy" letters - which of course go right into the personnel file for next year's review of who to keep and who to let go. I made myself valuable by automating stuff and by showing folks how to automate stuff.

Before you ask the obvious question, ... nobody was let go because of what I did. At worst, because I helped automate a LOT of report generation (because we had 80 projects and each manager wanted detailed security posture reports), we could keep up with an ever-increasing load of patching, tuning, and tracking. What we DIDN'T do was hire folks as fast as you might see at other sites that were overworked. Because we got the machines to do our jobs AND had the bosses buy in on how to direct our attention to other little problems that could be automated.

The guys you mentioned who automated their jobs? They did nothing wrong - until they either tried to hide that automation so they could take a free ride; or they revealed that automation but didn't offer to do more of it at the boss's direction. They went wrong when they took a salary under false pretenses of still doing the same job when in fact they could have done more.

The most important thing to remember is that you are NEVER paid what you think you are worth. You are ALWAYS paid according to what the boss thinks your JOB is worth. If you can deploy methods to improve the boss's bottom line by reducing either or both of (a) hours spent doing task A or (b) hours spent fixing bad results - by reducing the frequency of bad results, you have done that boss a "solid" - and therein lies the path of both enlightenment and advancement.
 

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Another thing I'd like to point out is the fact that some days I absolutely hate my job because like I said in a previous thread, I don't do much but pick up other peoples' garbage

It seems I've missed the thread you're talking about. Can you direct me to that thread?
Your posts makes me so curious to find out what you do? how old are you? Why you vanished? Why you came back? Is your profile picture really you? and maybe a million more questions...

You can ignore all my questions, because after all it's an online community and everything is anonymous and this thread is not meant to be filled with these questions.

I'm sorry for being rude and asking what I shouldn't. I simply couldn't resist anymore. :(
 
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The_Doc_Man

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some days I absolutely hate my job because like I said in a previous thread, I don't do much but pick up other peoples' garbage.

Secondary note: When I worked for the U.S.Navy, my tongue-in-cheek "personal" signature included the title "Senior Systems Janitor" - because 90% of the initial job was to clean up other people's computer messes, due to the simple fact that nobody knew how to decide when to toss stuff and when to keep it. And computers at the more personal level were still new (the PC was still only 10 years old when I started) so nobody was used to disk cleanup and disk quotas and the like.

Eventually I had to drop that "personal" signature because some government person with a burr up his butt complained that I wasn't being professional. At the time I had been there for 15 years - and the only good thing I can say is that he lasted less than 3 years before he annoyed everybody else including his own bosses, so he got transferred to another department. But I wasn't allowed to restore my signature. It's OK, I had the great pleasure to outlast this personal pain in the patootie.
 

vba_php

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Adam, you appear to have a negative viewpoint here. Automation is here to stay and if you can automate a job so that you have time for more challenging and satisfying work, you should do it.
there's nothing negative about my posting richard. the introduction of AI is 2 fold, and it will always have 2 outcomes:

1) good - allowing people to do more meaningful person-to-person work and get connected with them on a deep personal level. another example of the "good" would be doctors that will be robotics to make surgeries more accurate and result in less human mistakes that may have resulted in death or damage.

2) bad - which will come from the "get rich quick" obsesses people who will no doubt try to automate jobs that should NEVER be automated for the purpose of making the almighty dollar.

have you forgotten that literally when anything innovative is introduced to the world, the illegitimate people of the world always create the mirror product that does the damage? the best example of this that I can think of was the introduction of the world wide web and the internet, which of course caused the birth of the deep or dark web, which is still in existence today (although the Silk Road black market website has been permanently shut down by the FBI for the 3rd time and it's owner put in prison).
It seems I've missed the thread you're talking about. Can you direct me to that thread?
https://www.access-programmers.co.uk/forums/showpost.php?p=1657333&postcount=42
Your posts makes me so curious to find out what you do? how old are you? Why you vanished? Why you came back? Is your profile picture really you? and maybe a million more questions...
I'm a self employed developer. I work for a lot of job creators, small business people, uneducated people that are trying to get businesses started, people that have websites that need managed cuz they don't know how to do it, etc...

39 years old. I vanished because they banned me from here. I can't remember the exact reason but I do remember that I was sort of a pain in the ass back then to a lot of people here, mostly to BobLarson. Why in the world would you ask if my picture is really me!? This forum is not the home of the show CATFISH. What would I have to gain by posting a fake picture? If you go to my LinkedIn profile (which is on my username's homepage here), you can find out everything you wanna know about me.
 

Gasman

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another example of the "good" would be doctors that will be robotics to make surgeries more accurate and result in less human mistakes that may have resulted in death or damage.

Bearing in mind that will be dependent on the quality of the programming, I think I'll stick with a human for a long long time to come.
 

vba_php

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Bearing in mind that will be dependent on the quality of the programming, I think I'll stick with a human for a long long time to come.
no argument here. my cousin works on AI robotics and his mother's hometown, Greater Area Detroit, Michigan, is already seeing "forced" AI implementation. I believe they are selling it to hospitals because the doctors' talents are not trusted and they think AI can do a better job. but that's gonna do nothing but result in damage in the form of doctors losing their jobs eventually to AI. I'm pretty sure some of the higher-quality hospitals won't let that crap happen to them. For instance, here in my town, Mercy and the U of I hospitals. They are both very competent and employ highly talented surgeons and nurses.
 

Gasman

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I would think it would come down to the 'bottom line' and the robots will work out cheaper in the long run. :D
 

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I would think it would come down to the 'bottom line' and the robots will work out cheaper in the long run. :D
that's exactly why this thread was created....to help people understand what the big boys will eventually be forced to do, even though the nice guys don't want to do it.
 

Galaxiom

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I would think it would come down to the 'bottom line' and the robots will work out cheaper in the long run. :D

Yes but there will be a need for robotic consumers (no, not the biological robotic consumers we already have) because no humans will be getting paid to work so there will be nobody to buy anything.

This reality seems lost on those guiding the future of humanity.
 

Gasman

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BiCentennial Man will likely be on over Xmas.
I like that film. :D
 

vba_php

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BiCentennial Man will likely be on over Xmas.
i'm guessing I don't get that channel, since we live in different countries? I've never seen it, but I do have every one of Robin's stand up routines in his career.
 

The_Doc_Man

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there's nothing negative about my posting richard.

Adam, I can only go by what I've seen you post. I will state that it is MY OPINION that you have a somewhat negative attitude. I can only assume that you were once burned by being honest about what you could automate? I've NEVER been burned by it because it includes the attitude, "OK, Bossman. What ELSE do you need fixed up? Now that I have automated task X, I have some free time left. Tell me about task Y so I can help some more."

Did I complain? Hell, NO, I didn't. It gave me an opportunity to show what else I could do as I built utilities for people on the side. There was a time I taught Windows Security for the local site before they went to an outside contractor because the problem was growing and needed to be handled at too many nearby sites.

Yes, they worked me hard (and sometimes put me away wet...). But I had a job until I no longer wanted one. I finally retired 2 1/2 years after my nominal retirement age. I would say I protected my job very well by being a go-getter and a job-finisher. Yes, by the end of my career I was expensive. But I also got things done reliably including things that folks said could not be done.

You, on the other hand, seem defensive about jobs and automation. You see the coming levels of automation as an onslaught against your job stability. But weren't you talking about nightmares, anxiety, and sleep deprivation issues just a couple of weeks ago?

THAT is why you come across as being negative.
 

The_Doc_Man

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Regarding The Bicentennial Man, it is one of my favorite Robin Williams movies. There is a scene near the end that can bring me to tears EVERY TIME that I see it.

The movie as a whole is a lot of fun but at the same time is a provocative exploration of a journey as the main character tries to make himself a better ... person. (I would say "Man" but that is not how he started out his existence.) It is a story of personal growth.

Sometimes Robin Williams was called upon to be crazy - like the djinn in Aladdin or the over-the-top DJ in Good Morning, Vietnam. But to me his best roles are found elsewhere, such as the movies Patch Adams, Good Will Hunting, and The Bicentennial Man, all of which required him to show more than the manic side of life.
 

vba_php

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I can only assume that you were once burned by being honest about what you could automate?
not in the slightest Richard. I would say I'm an expert at this point about what I "reveal" to the authorities. Some stuff, in my opinion, they have absolutely NO business knowing about because their lack of knowledge about how software works on a grand scale is a red flag and it can cause damage to their own company, which in turn would cause damage to me and my job security if I worked for them. I've met many "managers" that would fall directly into this category. Now granted, most of them have done a great job at trying to get better and understand the role of software in their business model and strategy, but it doesn't change the fact that they are always a risk to some degree if they get a hold of the knowledge that will enable them to eliminate employment as a way of making an extra almighty dollar. There are many reasons for this Richard....one is their insecurity about their own job security, another is inevitable market forces and competitive forces they have no control over, and lastly there are some managers that are just plain hot heads and think they know it all. I've worked for a few of those types too!
You, on the other hand, seem defensive about jobs and automation. You see the coming levels of automation as an onslaught against your job stability
That's totally false my friend. Everybody in business knows by now that the future of work will be much different than it is today. More than likely, the work will consist of human beings (employees) talking to other human beings (customers) all day long establishing those heart-to-heart relationships and retaining that good 'ol customer loyalty that's so damn important to any organization, while the massive amounts of machines run all the data, analyze it, track it, structure it and spit it out in the form of reports that show the customer how they have behaved in the past 'x' years and what their future might look like. So if all of that does indeed happen, the "employee" title at every company will eventually become "advisor" or "assistant", because all of the tasks that can possibly be automated surely will be, and very soon.
 

The_Doc_Man

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I would say I'm an expert at this point about what I "reveal" to the authorities.

OK, everybody is different. I know that. I'll say that you and I have RADICALLY different styles. If you worked for me and I found that you were holding back on me, particularly if it was as a consultant, you would be fired in a heartbeat. There is a difference between trying to keep your informational briefs simple and trying to hide stuff. It is EASY to manage managers - by giving them what they think was their idea in the first place. It is obviously a skill you never learned. Do you know the key here? Managers don't like surprises. They don't like to "find out things" that you should have told them yourself.

I think that viewpoint difference will have to remain a difference between us that is unresolveable. As in "we agree to disagree."
 

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Do you know the key here? Managers don't like surprises. They don't like to "find out things" that you should have told them yourself.
You may have read it wrong Richard. I never said I "held back" anything. I simply said that I don't "reveal" certain things to managers or employers that they don't understand because they can harm themselves and their business by attempting to implement a policy or strategy based on what they "think" they understand. So I'm protecting them, and myself at the same time. Now granted, I've taken steps many times to help them learn what they need to know in order to make informed decisions, but a lot of times I've found that they just don't have the brain power or interpretation power to use the information I have to better their business. But I surely try damn hard every time. I'm sure as I get older I'll become a little more trusting and relaxed on the issue, as I will probably "not care" as much about how they make misinformed decisions.
 

pbaldy

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Hey Paul....don't you work for a large transportation company?

I do work for a transportation company: limousines, taxis and buses. It is large in Vegas, but certainly not as large as nationwide trucking companies. We have about 1,300 vehicles.

I've automated a lot of things that help people do their jobs. The only person I ever put out of a job was myself. At my previous employer, I was more of an accountant. I automated things (Lotus 1-2-3 macros) to the point where the work of the 3 person department I was in could easily be done by 2. The big boss called me into his office, said "you've done such great job, that department doesn't need you anymore. Let's keep an eye out for other opportunities in the company". Shortly after I left his office another department head approached me. I swear they were in cahoots but they denied it.

I worked there a few more years before I got approached by the CFO of the transportation company, who I'd worked with at the first company. She got me to jump partly because she said it would grow into more of an IT job than an accounting job. That was in 98, and now I say I'm a reformed bean counter since I don't do much accounting anymore. That said, the accounting knowledge has helped me understand the needs of the office staff a lot better, to create things that help them do their jobs.
 

vba_php

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The only person I ever put out of a job was myself. I automated things (Lotus 1-2-3 macros) to the point where the work of the 3 person department I was in could easily be done by 2. The big boss called me into his office, said "you've done such great job, that department doesn't need you anymore.
see! it's just as common of an occurance as me not recognizing the scammers until they became obvious to a 2 year old.
 

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