Automation Recovers Lost Productivity by James Huckestein

Published on: 10/24/2018
Author: James Huckestein, Technical Consultant, Award Solutions

In the previous installment I talked about how Python can be used to automate repetitive tasks. Studies have shown that on average workers spend 69 working days per year on repetitive administrative tasks with the result being around $5 Trillion in lost productivity (Magowan, 2017). Clearly automation and technology can be employed to reclaim some of that lost time.

One of the complaints associated with automation is that it takes time to write the code in the selected software language. While this is true, any language which has an extensive framework of reusable modules can cut development time by a significant amount, and that is where Python comes in. Python as an open-source language is free to download, and has libraries for manipulating graphs, mathematical formulas, spreadsheets, Word, and PDF documents just to name a few.

At Award Solutions we not only train customers, but also develop programs for them using Python. Imagine the need to perform software upgrades on network nodes, and with the press of a button getting a full comparison and analysis of the before and after snapshot. The report is generated and sent to an archive repository without any manual intervention while human error is minimized, and the process repeatable.

While I can’t show the above scenario for reasons of divulging sensitive customer information I can show an open program I wrote using the same concepts. The HLSv3 program listed below allows the user to verify m3u8 playlist files using Apple’s HTTP live streaming specification. This can be done locally, on a remote website, manually, with a batch file, printed out to the screen, or generate a PDF formatted report. It took about a week (five days) to write the program. For a content provider who validates video files they just got 64-days of their life back per year (not a bad return on investment). Take a look at the GitHub repository below for more information and try your hand at automating some of those repetitive daily tasks!

https://github.com/jhuckestein/Python-HLS

Reference:

“HTTP Live Streaming Draft-Pantos-Http-Live-Streaming-23.” Edited by R. Pantos, IETF.org, Apple Inc., 22 May 2017, tools.ietf.org/html/draft-pantos-http-live-streaming-23#section-4.3.1.2.

“Repetitive Tasks Cost $5 Trillion in Lost Productivity Annually” Kirstie Magowan, IT Chronicles, October 2017, https://www.itchronicles.com/technology/repetitive-tasks-cost-5-trillion...

About the Author

James Huckestein is a Technical Consultant for Award Solutions. James joined Award Solutions in 2007, and has over 21 years of experience in the wireless telecom industry. His current focus is IP Convergence, Dark Fiber, and LTE. He teaches many of the IP Networking for LTE Workshops, and the Ethernet Backhaul and Dark Fiber courses.

About Award Solutions, Inc.

Award Solutions is the trusted training partner to the world's best networks. We help companies tackle new technologies by equipping their teams with knowledge and skills. Award Solutions invests heavily in technology, research, engineering, and labs to ensure our customers make the most of their resource and network investments.

Award has expertise across all technologies that touch wireless: 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Network Virtualization, Data Visualization, Data Manipulation, 4G LTE, and more.

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