1319: "Automation"

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Darekun
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby Darekun » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:12 am UTC

black_pignouf wrote:Maybe I'm stupid, but I don't understand the 1st graph.
Shouldn't the automation curve fall down to zero in order to save time, or at least represent less work than the original task?
Shouldn't the two curves cross somewhere?
If automation isn't worth it in theory, it sure won't in reality.
QPhysics wrote:Top graph, "Work on original task" should have been a horizontal line.
As drawn, the automation does nothing for saving time at any point in the process.

Hm, a few things:
  • I think part of this is a weakness of labelling: "automation takes over" is not marking a line, it's marking an event, the drop of the two work lines.
  • Work done by the automation isn't listed on the graph.
  • Here's one I disagree with, but it looks like in the second graph the function for the "work on original task" is work needed, with the dashed line indicating only part of it getting done, and the vanished line indicating none of it getting done.

With those givens, the "theory" graph matches my experience with automation, where the "work on original task" tapers off and is then eliminated by the automation, and the "writing code" is constant.

Now, there's also a concern with what to automate, how to automate it(as BAReFOOt said), and thinking it through up front; I think of this more as addressing strip 974, where if the problem is up now, then solve it by hand before working on the general case.

bhamv
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby bhamv » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:04 am UTC

The alt text is very Dave Barry-esque.

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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby black_pignouf » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:04 pm UTC

Thanks Morgan, it makes sense now.

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cellocgw
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby cellocgw » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:50 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Steve the Pocket wrote:
Diadem wrote:Reminds me of another one I heard recently: Politics comes from 'poli' meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'blood sucking leeches'.

Insects. Blood-sucking insects. Forget etymology; sounds like someone needs to learn some entomology.

Actually, those are ticks. Tics are involuntary and uncontrollable habits, such as twitching of the face or selling off public utilities cheap to your friends in the private sector.


Actually, I see what you did there. </meme>

Also, yay Blitzgirl for the xkcd mashup comic.
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby cellocgw » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:53 pm UTC

BAReFOOt wrote:That’s what shell scripting is for Randall!!

It all depends on how often you have to solve the same or a similar problem in the future.

  • The first time you solve the problem, if you know you have to solve it again in the future, you write it down. (As in history | tail -n $x > ~/bin/$name.) You lose no time. You gain no time.
  • The second time you solve a similar problem, you add the variable(s) and branching to accommodate for just that. You lose very little time. You gain a lot of time from the past work.
  • The following times, you may have to add more slight variations. You lose very little time. You gain a lot of time from the past work.
  • After that, you basically just run the script with maybe a parameter or two.
  • After that, you add some more slight variations
  • time passes
  • something goes wrong, and it's impossible to figure out what was on your mind when you wrote that spaghetti code in the frist [sic] place.
    And the occasional bugfix maybe.


BTFY :twisted:
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby addams » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:13 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:That’s what shell scripting is for Randall!!

It all depends on how often you have to solve the same or a similar problem in the future.

  • The first time you solve the problem, if you know you have to solve it again in the future, you write it down. (As in history | tail -n $x > ~/bin/$name.) You lose no time. You gain no time.
  • The second time you solve a similar problem, you add the variable(s) and branching to accommodate for just that. You lose very little time. You gain a lot of time from the past work.
  • The following times, you may have to add more slight variations. You lose very little time. You gain a lot of time from the past work.
  • After that, you basically just run the script with maybe a parameter or two.
  • After that, you add some more slight variations
  • time passes
  • something goes wrong, and it's impossible to figure out what was on your mind when you wrote that spaghetti code in the frist [sic] place.
    And the occasional bugfix maybe.


BTFY :twisted:

Tell Tale Code?
It follows you everywhere?

It could be perfect...
Make a note and work on it while the idea is fresh.

Working on the Time Saving Code while the sun is shining.
God created Shade for times like this.

Working on the Time Saving Code while your girlfriend Waits.
Get me another beer.

Working on the Time Saving Code while your child Waits.
Don't you have homework.

Working on the Time Saving Code when Time ends.

I am all sweetness and light. How is your code?
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:55 pm UTC

One wonders if 'Time-saving code' belongs in The Other Thread, Which Shall Not be Named...
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby Kit. » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:41 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:One wonders if 'Time-saving code' belongs in The Other Thread, Which Shall Not be Named...

Which makes me wonder...

...if there exists another religion where the official ending is a heresy.

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da Doctah
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby da Doctah » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:30 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Politics comes from 'poli' meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'blood sucking leeches'.
Now tell us the one about how the opposite of "progress" is "Congress" (and make us wonder about the opposite of "constitution").

Diversity: the plural of university.

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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:54 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:Is it the least common sense or the greatest common sense?

Or does it depend on which word the superlative applies to?

The greatest common-sense is often the least-common sense.

Prosthetic_Lips wrote:I think Randall's second graph is incorrect. Let me explain.

As you get into the "no time for original task anymore (sic)" section, the work should go DOWN, since you are working on it less -- turning it into the same type of "long tail"-type graph that he shows in the upper "theory" graph.

So, either way, you are spending less time on the original task. Perfect!

I think the idea is that the graph depicts the amount of time needed to do the tasks in question. At some point the amount of time needed exceeds the amount of time available and, since programming is cooler than drudge work, the original task gets bumped into the theoretically-if-I-had-the-time-for-it part of the to-do list... but the amount of time needed to do it is still constant.
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"TOT,WSNbN" is too tricky to say. Try "OTT"

Postby BlitzGirl » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:24 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:One wonders if 'Time-saving code' belongs in The Other Thread, Which Shall Not be Named...

Eternal Density has some of that in the Sandcastle Builder.
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Re: "TOT,WSNbN" is too tricky to say. Try "OTT"

Postby addams » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:22 am UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:One wonders if 'Time-saving code' belongs in The Other Thread, Which Shall Not be Named...

Eternal Density has some of that in the Sandcastle Builder.

Oh! No!
It's bleeding over onto the other Threads.

First it bled onto other Threads.
Then onto other Websites.

Then it became Web Wide.
The second Tower of Babble.

How much Time will that take?
Can you graph it?
Last edited by addams on Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby BlitzGirl » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:37 am UTC

addams wrote:How much Time will that take?
Can you graph it?

Probably. We have a lot of graphs.
Maybe we should automate the graphs, too.
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby Pentacontaheptachoral Cave » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:36 am UTC

da Doctah wrote: Diversity: the plural of university.

I'm sure it's a time-honored phrase, but shouldn't it be the dual of diversity?

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San Fran Sam
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby San Fran Sam » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:35 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
San Fran Sam wrote:My boss wants me to automate and document my spreadsheets. I think the plan is something like....

1. Automate spreadsheets.
2. Document the hell out of them.
3. Train someone as my back up.
4. Get laid off.

Just because you think someone is out to get you doesn't mean they aren't.


Sometimes it's less "make them replaceable so we can replace them" and more "make them replaceable in case they get hit by a bus" - in rare cases, it's even "make them replaceable so we can promote them"

Of course, I don't know your boss, so I can't comment meaningfully on which it actually is.


Well, they say it's in case i get hit by a bus which is not difficult in San Francisco, but i suspect it is the former.

but that's okay i threaten to give them 20 minutes notice when i win the lottery. (Yeah, yeah i know the statistics but $4 a month a not going to ruin my retirement.)

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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby ps.02 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:44 pm UTC

To all of you "It doesn't really work that way": it's a comic. It's a joke. Exaggerating these things is the point.

I spend much of my job replacing myself with a very small shell script, and I see this effect in 2 ways. One, as my employer grows, my workload has grown with it and automation is the only way I've been able to keep up. Sometimes it seems like I'm spending just as much time at certain boring tasks as I used to, but while this may be literally true, in fact I'm handling a lot more of it in that time, and with fewer mistakes, the other benefit.

The other problem for me is that my attempts at automation have huge returns ... at first. The first 20% of the work gives 80% of the benefit, and the ROI on the last 10 to 20% may well be negative, but I do it anyway because not fixing those last few little bugs or adding those last few little features (and, worse, documenting those limitations for cow-orkers) is just no fun.

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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby veit » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:59 am UTC

Kit. wrote:
veit wrote:I wanted to post the old "Geeks vs non-geeks"-graph for reference... alas: This message was flagged as spam and has been denied. :-(

Now we are supposed to bash you for not reading the forum rules :(

Can someone automate this? Should not be hard.


Automatic bashing? Or automatic linking to the Forum Rules? The second would be even nicer.

To be honest I just assumed I would have more than five posts as this account is more than six years old. Alas...

john188yyc
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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby john188yyc » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:29 pm UTC

John's Reasons to Automate:

1. It's more fun
2. You learn more by automating it then by doing it
3. Your automated method may reduce mistakes
4. Rarely, once or twice in your entire lifetime, the automated version may save you time over the long run, if you live long enough.

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Re: 1319: "Automation"

Postby addams » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:46 am UTC

Pentacontaheptachoral Cave wrote:
da Doctah wrote: Diversity: the plural of university.

I'm sure it's a time-honored phrase, but shouldn't it be the dual of diversity?

Now, it makes sense.
Diversity is when two competing University Football teams and their Fans get together and Kick-The-Shit out of each other.

ok. Note to self.
It does make sense.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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