Programmer Automates Data Entry Job – Should They Tell Employer?

Posted: July 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

“Is it unethical for me to not tell my employer I’ve automated my job?”

Kopitiam Bot


“Is it unethical for me to not tell my employer I’ve automated my job?”

The question was posted this week to The Workplace, a question-and-answer website about office etiquette and ethics. Responses quickly poured in, and before long, links to the question had spread to Hacker News and Reddit, where it generated thousands of additional comments.

“This question is a beautiful example of typical incentives workers feel and how screwed up they are,” one commenter wrote on Hacker News.

A much-discussed anxiety of work in the modern age is the potential for robots to take our jobs. Some tasks could clearly be done better by computers or machines than humans, and we’ve already seen factories across the world turn to automation to cut costs. But what happens when an individual programmer manages to automate themselves out of their own job?

The anonymous user who asked the question…

View original post 900 more words

  1. RelishThis says:

    I once worked at a pickle factory in a rural 5-college farming community. It was the only job available off-campus, if you stayed in the area thru the summer. The grad students smashed the jars in the back room as fast as we could stuff them with pickles. It kept us employed all summer, (at $1.45/hr).

  2. Norman Pilon says:

    “Is it unethical for me to not tell my employer I’ve automated my job?”

    Not at all. What is unethical is the automation of work that does not actually lessen the burden of labour on workers. You are in fact blazing the way to a better world!

    In this context, an originally reactionary rule might be retooled to purpose, to become eminently progressive: “Don’t ask, don’t tell!”

  3. Thanks for commenting, Norman. The thing that amazes me is that someone actually sent this question in to a work etiquette website. There was a time – when unions were actively educating their workers – when working people were more directly conscious of their own exploitation.

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