September 19, 2018

Automated vs Manual

We always speak about automating everything, especially in the tech world where everything goes so fast. And I agree that if you can, you should automate processes as much as you can. But there is value in doing things manually sometimes.

The first value is for learning. If you are learning a new technology you will have to put the work, and manually tweak code, settings until you really understand how it works. Without going through the process, you will just scratch the surface of what you are learning.

The second value is actually to get to automation. You cannot actually automate properly without having done the operations semi-manually, without having explored the problem and solved part of it through trial and error. You will at least have to write the operations manually so that the process becomes automated.

Finally, manual operations are sometimes necessary to solve a very specific issue. Once you solved it once, you can automate its fix. But you’ll still have to try multiple solutions before you get to one that works, and even more if you want an elegant one at that.

Copyright Marin Gilles 2019-2021