Why A Blog About the Automation Profession?

Why A Blog About the Automation Profession?

As an industrial automation professional for nearly 20 years, I have struggled with defining exactly what it is that I do.  Explaining my job to others who lack familiarity with the plant floor is nearly impossible.  I have used titles like programmer, control system engineer, process controls engineer and many others.  None of them seems to capture the “title” as well as Automation Professional internally, but these words lose their meaning in the outside world.

This blog site will provide a defined voice to the Automation Profession.  I hope to solicit input from others and write posts that pertain to the profession.  I will not shy away from topics because they are too controversial.  I hope you will take the time to leave comments so that we can all enjoy the discussion.

The guiding principles that control this site are as follows:

  1.  Platform Independence – I will do my best to keep it “platform independent”.  I don’t have an axe to grind with any specific platform.  They all have pros and cons and the market forces will dictate who survives and who does not.  If the post is about the actions of a particular platform vendor, then I will give myself a pass on this principle.
  2. Combat Rumor with Fact – For some reason, there is a great deal of rumor, misinformation and fear mongering among a select few.  I can only speculate on their motives.  I do not have tolerance for rumor mills or those of the media that wish to stir up controversy in order to sell something.  I have nicknamed this small group the “Detractixs” or the axis of detractors.  I will call out the detractors and those that are getting in our way of enhancing a great profession and getting the recognition the profession deserves.
  3. Good and Bad Co-Exist:  There are Winners and Losers – I will pick winners and losers.  For some reason, our culture has become one of political correctness to the point that the youngest generation does not understand the concept of winning and losing.  That is a bad place for the world does not see it that way and we are at a huge disadvantage if this trend continues.  So, I intend to do my part to combat this misplaced emotional response.  If it is wrong, it is wrong.

My goal is to disseminate information to the masses about the Automation Profession.  I want to call out the good the profession does, root out and expose the bad and offer corrective actions.  In my opinion, few professions can positively influence society as greatly as engineering and other technical professions.  Unfortunately, the majority of the “cool” professions that our younger folks see are quite detrimental to our society.  Lawyers, accountants, business majors and many others all seem to want to take advantage of society instead of making it better.  Engineering has at its core the responsibility to protect the public and improve society.  From the National Society of Professional Engineers Code of Ethics, the first fundamental canon is to “Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.”

Manufacturing of the future will rely on automation in ways we have never seen.  It is a natural and necessary evolution.  In order to facilitate that increase in the reliance on automation, there must be a workforce able to design, develop, implement and maintain it.

Let’s get to it.

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