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“Automation is just as much about consistency and accuracy as it is about time”

Dr. Drang at the end of a recent post:

People often cite this cartoon by Randall Munroe to point out that automation doesn’t always save time.
XKCD 1319: Automation
But automation is just as much about consistency and accuracy as it is about time. I feel more confident in my corrected directions because they were done by a script instead of by hand.

I’ve said this at work too… I write tools to do my job, especially mundane tasks, because I inevitably screw it up. If I can teach a computer to do it once, it’s repeatable.

(I do smooth out the curve a bit… for one report I make I have an excel book that I can cut and paste the contents of an automatically generated CSV into. The tradeoff here is that I didn’t write Python that could edit the original excel workbook)