Before that happens, anyone who works with code may want to consider the benefits enjoyed by self-automation. They’re a sort of test case for how automation could deliver a higher quality of life to the average worker, albeit an imperfect one. “The problem is for automation to work, it needs to be democratized,” Woodcock told me. “It’s a step forward that it’s not a corporate manager who’s delivering automation. It’s still not a democratic process.” Self-automators are acting alone, deciding when and how to replace their own job with code. Ideally, automation decisions would happen collectively, with colleagues’ and peers’ input, so the gains could be evenly distributed.
The International Society of Automation (www.isa.org) is a nonprofit professional association that sets the standard for those who apply engineering and technology to improve the management, safety, and cybersecurity of modern automation and control systems used across industry and critical infrastructure. Founded in 1945, ISA develops widely used global standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; hosts conferences and exhibits; and provides networking and career development programs for its 40,000 members and 400,000 customers around the world.
RPA is often propped up as a mechanism to bolster return on investment or reduce costs. But Kris Fitzgerald, CTO of NTT Data Services, says more CIOs should use it to improve customer experience. For example, enterprises such as airlines employ thousands of customer service agents, yet customers are still waiting in the queue to have their call fielded. A chatbot, could help alleviate some of that wait. “You put that virtual agent in there and there is no downtime, no out sick and no bad attitude,” Fitzgerald says. “The client experience is the flag to hit.”

About a year later, someone calling himself or herself Etherable posted a query to Workplace on Stack Exchange, one of the web’s most important forums for programmers: “Is it unethical for me to not tell my employer I’ve automated my job?” The conflicted coder described accepting a programming gig that had turned out to be “glorified data entry”—and, six months ago, writing scripts that put the entire job on autopilot. After that, “what used to take the last guy like a month, now takes maybe 10 minutes.” The job was full-time, with benefits, and allowed Etherable to work from home. The program produced near-perfect results; for all management knew, its employee simply did flawless work.
Ideal for beginners who need some extra help along the way, this supportive app includes tons of useful tips and tricks so users have the best food logging experience possible. Portion control ideas make sure you won’t overindulge and pop-up alerts can remind you to weigh-in or have a healthy afternoon snack. Compare how your actual macro intake stacks up against your daily target each day. Plus, the app auto-adjusts your caloric goals when your body composition changes. If your Wi-Fi is spotty or you’re constantly logging on-the-go, rest assured that the complete food database is available offline, too. ($3.99; iOS, Android)

What kinds of things can be part of a home automation system? Ideally, anything that can be connected to a network can be automated and controlled remotely. In the real world (outside of research labs and the homes of the rich and famous), home automation most commonly connects simple binary devices. This includes “on and off” devices such as lights, power outlets and electronic locks, but also devices such as security sensors which have only two states, open and closed.


You can build automated business processes without a single line of code, complex formulas, or help from IT. Achieve faster progress by creating automated approval requests and automated update requests that are triggered based on preset rules. Use Smartsheet to automate and streamline the following processes: time card tracking, sales discounts, procurement, HR hiring, content, and more. Plus, Smartsheet integrates with the tools you already use, to seamlessly connect your efforts across applications.
There is a common reference to a “shift left” approach in modern development practices. This term refers to the advent of testing software earlier in the development cycle than traditional methods. Developers are now responsible for, and held accountable to, testing their code as they create it (sometimes before it's developed, but more on that later). Also, test professionals capable of a higher level of technical expertise, including the ability to write code (automation code), are in demand and job titles often go by a variety of names.
Business process automation (BPA) is defined as the automation of complex business processes and functions beyond conventional data manipulation and record-keeping activities, usually through the use of advanced technologies. It focuses on “run the business” as opposed to “count the business” types of automation efforts and often deals with event-driven, mission-critical, core processes. BPA usually supports an enterprise’s knowledge workers in satisfying the needs of its many constituencies.
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