Found this subreddit a while ago and wanted to share my story.
We use legacy software across hundreds of locations. Every week / month, managers are required to pull reports for the preceeding period and send them to head office.
This software is so old, there’s no API at all. All we can do is work with our outsourced IT department to pull data from their proprietary database files, which is unreliable and useless for audit purposes.
So this kind of thing really only takes ~10 minutes a week/month, but it really adds up fast. Plus, there’s plenty of turnover, which means additional wasted time in training. Plus time wasted double checking the report parameters.
When I first learned about this, I was pretty shocked, but had too much on my plate to do anything about it.
Then one day I found myself botting on an old video game and thought to automate the process outlined above. After all, the logic is basically the same.
So I read through a bunch of source code on GitHub, learned a tiny fraction of C#, and in two weeks I had a working prototype.
Tomorrow, I’ll be finished and putting it into production.
Hundreds of hours a year saved that can now be used to focus on other, more valuable, work. All from some guy who really only took a couple of college classes on programming.
Next up, pulling the values from the reports and autochecking them against other data across our systems.
I actually really enjoyed the process, moreso than my actual work. I’m not sure if I should transition into CS, or if there’s a “process automation” job out there that could use my skillset, but if you have any ideas or advice, let me know!