Eliminate > Automate > Delegate

01 May 2017 . category: . Comments

A couple weeks ago I picked up some new responsibilites at work. Time consuming, low tech and (I am told) routine work, not the kind I welcome. I will omit the specifics because they are unimportant but it is work that, in its current form, requires sysadmin involvement so it legitimately cannot be bounced back to it’s origin.


Why don't you document it and send it to the L1 support team to handle?


Why don't you automate it?

These are questions I have fielded from coworkers. All reasonable suggestions and consistent with the “Automate Everything” mantra of DevOps.

My response is reflected in a quote from author Tim Ferris:  <h2>

Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else's time instead of your own...

Goal #1 is to eliminate. Ideally process or code changes will be made so these tasks don’t need to be performed at all. By automation or otherwise.

Dalek Exterminate

Goal #2 would be to automate, but automation isn’t free - just preferable and more cost effective than human intervention.

Goal #3 is delegate to dedicated support staff. I want to respect their time and delegate only that which cannot be automated nor eliminated.


Geoff Purdy is a husband, father and techie. He lives in the Bull City, where he works in DevOps. In his spare time, Geoff likes functional programming.