Common Scenarios: In Workplace Culture, not promoting Creativity or Inspiring Innovation

Six years after writing a program to do his job for him, this clever programmer got the boot.

Source: This guy says he wrote a computer program that did his job for 6 years

Is this more indicative of ineffective workplace culture or an individual trying to get out of work and still get paid?

This guy says he wrote a computer program that did his job for 6 years

The article that was published on Fusion, about the programmer who automated all his tasks and freed up almost all his time. Before reading some of excerpts of the article that paints this developer with brush of indifference and just someone who wanted to play games and cash paychecks, and that may very well be true. But, I believe anyone can be driven into that corner. if I was the employer, I would talk with his direct supervisors and mangers. This specific instance may not be the one, but if I saw signs of potential, I might even apologize for not recognizing this individual’s creativity and ask him to look at what else he could automate, or just improve the overall process. Certainly not terminate his own employment, before looking closely at the sequence of Cause and Effect. He did what was expected of him. He just did it much more efficiently than expected. It might be revealed that his potential capabilities gone unnoticed is squarely on the shoulder of his managers or superiors. An important factor, that is no longer just about one person, but the entire company’s culture.

“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 f**k.”*

“I have spent a good part of my career automating tasks that could/should be automated, and often automated series of tasks end to end, without human intervention. However, it was my job to do so, and free up time to continue improving the overall processes. I saw each manual task converted and made to an automated one, as an opportunity to focus on the tasks or processes that were more complicated, and work on improving them. Fortunately, this was due to either the culture I was working within, as well as my core mindset believing the importance of my individual progress of my skills and craft and how it contributed to the team I was working within.

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.”


For awhile now, I have continuously talked and written about living an Inspired Life, where everything you do is rooted in your inspirations, which absolutely includes how one approaches their work. However, the environment one works in is critical component in how we approach and perform our work.

It is imperative to create a culture in the workplace that rewards and recognizes creativity and innovation. Without it, most will do just enough to maintain their employment. Now, there are exceptions, but that is the norm to be expected where leaders and management do not work towards creating a culture conducive in promoting creativity and recognize and reward innovation.


Article by Kristen V Brown

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