If you are good enough at your job, you just might render yourself irrelevant.
On Reddit this week, one user vented about getting fired from his programming gig at a major Bay Area tech company after writing programs that did most of his work for him.
"After around 8 months I had basically automated my own job by writing some programs to do it all for me. After that I would mostly just browse forums and do absolutely jack shit at work. My boss never really checked in on me and as long as the needed tests were taken care of he didn't give a fuck."
For six years, he said, no one was the wiser. Then someone in IT eventually caught on to the fact that FiletOfFish1066 was making six figures spending his time at the office doing a whole lot of other stuff besides working. From the post:
From around 6 years ago up until now, I have done nothing at work. I am not joking. For 40 hours each week I go to work, play League of Legends in my office, browse reddit, and do whatever I feel like. 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 shit you not, 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.
Yesterday my boss fired me. I guess IT found out after 6 years or so what I was doing and reported it to my boss. I explained I had automated my own job, but was still updating the automation tool, which was a lie. Anyway, I was fired.
The programmer goes on to recount that in all those years of goofing off, he had somehow forgotten how to code. We tried reaching out to the user, but he doesn't seem to want the attention, perhaps because the story will not help him find a new job. He deleted the post and his entire Reddit account.
FiletOfFish1066 is not the first clever programmer to get the boot after finding ways to outsource his workload. Back in 2013, one developer outsourced his job to China for a fifth of his six-figure salary, then spent his days browsing eBay, reading Reddit, and watching cat videos.
As we all fret over a future in which the robots come for all our jobs, some good future career advice might be to not go ahead and speed up the labor force's inevitable machine takeover. (Other Reddit users also suggest to FiletOfFish1066 that he might not have forgotten how to code if he spent less time playing League of Legends).
For now, FiletOfFish1066 tells Reddit users his main goal is to figure out how to program again —and finally move out of his parents' house.
From one of FiletOfFish1066's final posts: