Monday, October 3, 2016

How to automate everything series starting

The world is changing faster than ever, you need to be different than everyone else just to stay ahead.  I've said it before, you should learn to code but don't become a developer, at least not at first.  The fastest way into the tech field is through a QA position.

Even if you don't want to be a QA or Dev, you should learn more about coding, it can only help you.  I believe one of the best fits for people who want to write code is to get a test automation job.  What better way to practice automating stuff than in your own life?

I am starting a series called: "How to automate everything!"  Even if you have no interest in being a QA or Dev, you know that learning more about coding will only help you.  This isn't going to be scary, we'll take it in small bite sized pieces.  Pick one thing at work that you do multiple times a day and try to automate it.

If you do something 3 times, you should try to see if there is a way to automate it.  

I know that may seem ridiculous to some, but what I do at work is to keep a list of anything that I do 3 times or more a day.  I have a huge list to automate, I may not even get to them all, but what you will notice is that when you start keeping track of things you repeatedly do everyday, you will want to try and automate them.

All of the things I will use or show you will be are free, I want to help anyone from day one who wants to automate something.  The reason I am going to be showing you how to automate everything is so you can follow along and find a task of your own to automate!

If you want to dabble with code I personally find sooo much more motivation and passion if it is a real problem that I am trying to solve.  If you can make your job a little bit easier by automating one tiny aspect of it, why not?  In the process you will learn some things about coding and how code works, as well as some free tools to check out.

I will tell you a real life story of something that I automated to help my brother make more money.  My brother is a salesman at a well known store that mainly sells T.V.s.  The T.V.s aren't cheap, and he was constantly having this issue:

A person would come in, like a T.V. and tell my brother the following:

"If that T.V. drops in price by $100 in the next month call me, I'll buy it!  Here's my email and phone number."

What happened was my brother would write down phone numbers on pieces of paper, than after time he started adding them to an excel spreadsheet.  Spreadsheets of the SKU numbers of the T.V.s and a list of people interested in them.

I wrote a very simple script that checks if the price in the spreadsheet has changed ( it gets updated weekly from the company ).  If the price had changed my script would then grab the SKU number of the T.V., and search the list of people who wanted a call if the price dropped.  If the SKU number matched, it would send my brother an email with the person's name and tell him to email them about the price drop.  This is a simple example, that actually can make more money.

If you automate something drop me an email and I can tell others about it or share a link to your blog.  If you are super lazy or way over your head with not understanding code or how to automate something but need it automated, maybe you can hire me to do it for you :-)  Feel free to shoot me an email.

Follow along as I show useful ways to automate things, I will be using the easiest language to learn and use, Ruby.  I don't care about showing you the coolest ways to automate things, I will show you how to get stuff done using simple scripts and tools!