Scripting: Blurring the line between work and personal time!

PantherPanther Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
I created my own PowerShell script to perform a task quicker at work.
  • The work did not assign, or ask me to create the script.
  • I wanted to learn Powershell, and had a real world example to tackle, and thus the motivation.
  • It would help me in my job, and maybe future opportunities, and thus the additional\ motivation.
The script could potentially be used by the team, so I mentioned it to my manager, and they are on board.
There is no dead line, no pressure--they would even give me time at work to work on it.

I work on the script whenever I can.
Unfortunately, that means not often at work, cause my primary responsibilities take priority.
I sometime do it on my own time, cause well, 'I want to learn PowerShell', and what better motivation than now.

The devil and angel on my shoulders are now arguing ...
  • "You are doing this for work, and the work will benefit, so you should do it during work."
  • "You wanted to learn PowerShell, so what does it matter ... "
  • "This will benefit you now and the future ... keep plugging!"
  • "How is this different from studying for certificates or having a home lab? Employers will benefit, for free. You will be benefit."
Has anybody been in a similar situation? Please share you experiences.

Honestly, it's not a big deal for me (I'm learning), and I'm almost done with the script. But just hoping to get your thoughts and experiences, for future reference. Thank you!


  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited May 2019
    Ive worked on things exactly like this a bunch on my own in my current position.  Specifically writing long scripts to do things.  My position doesn’t require or ask me to write these, I just find it interesting and enjoy doing it.  Kinda look forward to working on them on my free time if it is something that might have a nice impact...  Plus these will make my life easier while I’m at work helping me out doing tedious tasks and it also makes me look really good to rest of my team.   (My team refers to me as the script guy now. )

    Love trying to come up with easier/better ways to do things.   

    A few members on my team have zero interest to spend the time to learn Powershell so I’ve even put my a handful of my scripts in to a bunch of little apps that my team uses.  Sapien Powershell Studio is awesome for putting scripts into an easy to use interface. 
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think it's great that you are going the extra mile.

    I don't personally have an issue with blurring work and personal projects. I am fortunate that my personal passions align with my career. So I have worked on many personal projects outside of work hours which directly benefit an employer - and I do it regularly. Some past examples early in my career - include:
    1. Building a full-search catalog on nights and weekends for a sales team - reason was I was interesting in learning the performance characteristics of dbms's of that era and if full-search concepts could be applied.
    2. I rewired some of the engineering offices on the weekends with 10base2 once because we needed flexible stations and the existing 10base5 wiring was difficult to tap. It was a fun adventure until I got in trouble because it was a union building.
    3. I wrote a custom portable btree library because I hated the one that the company selected and purchased and I wanted it to be portable on multiple OSs so that I didn't have to re-implement some code. Basically, it was because I was too lazy to learn 3 different indexer interfaces and build a facade. So I spent a couple of all-nighter's to write my own libraries. 
    4. Etc.
    I believe that my behavior and willingness to go a little above - is what accelerated my early career. Plus it helped me stand out among my peers as the guy that could get stuff done.

    I suspect that I suffer "imposter syndrome" because unlike all my peers - I don't have a college degree. So it translates to doing a lot of tinkering outside of my normal work duties.

    One tidbit to be aware of - if you have an intellectual property agreement with your employer - just make sure that you understand how it works. Many entrepreneurs and startups are born out of people who tinker with ideas and try to solve problems that they see in their workplace. And who knows - maybe that can happen to you...

  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 956 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I'm kind of in this same situation right now.  For me it's should I be working on the scripting or studying for a certification?  What I usually fall back on is that I want to get the certification, so I try to devote an hour of study time each day for the certification.  After that, I can do whatever I want whether it's just read on the internet or work on scripting something.

    I haven't really gotten anything functional in terms of run the script and let it do it's thing, but I have learned quite a bit.  For me it just comes down to if it's something I feel like I want to figure out, but I avoid having it be a complete time suck by prioritizing time studying for the certification above the script for the job.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    What is the goal of the script? Whats the end result you trying to achieve by having this script? Other than learning powershell.
  • SyntaxSyntax Member Posts: 61 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I do a lot of things outside of work that potentially benefits my employer (even certifications/training if you think about it).  I don't see it as work interfering with my personal time.  I see it as career growth and entirely voluntary.  What you do for your job should have mutual benefit other than just compensation, and even at that, it will potentially lead to better opportunities with higher pay.  While you shouldn't let your job/career consume your life, it shouldn't be anything to balk at if you do something that interests you and it just happens to be something to help you at work.  Solving problems at the organization you work for is a great resume builder and should be seen as such.
  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc Senior Member King City, CAMember Posts: 646 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I would look at the deliverables (end product).  When you are working on something outside of work, make the processes and deliverables have nothing to do with your actual work, even if it means duplicating commands.  That would help you by being repetitive.  On a legal standpoint (I'm in California where labor laws are insane) whatever you develop at work/company time belongs to the company.  Right now I am studying for MCSA Server 2016, for which I study at work and at home, and my employer provides the training material.  Whenever I create labs at home, the data has nothing to do with stuff I do at work.  At work, I practice things that are directly work related for whatever subject I'm studying.  It's an easy balance for me.
    Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management - Western Governors University
    Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
    Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
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