Why, you ask, am I writing a eulogy for Steve Irwin, an Australian I never met, who had absolutely nothing at all to do with automation?
It is because Steve Irwin epitomized enthusiasm, infectious enthusiasm…and that’s what we need to attract new blood to process automation jobs.
After 30-plus years in process automation, I am just as jazzed about what we do as when I first started to play in the field. The automation professional is one of the major unsung heroes of manufacturing, alongside the production schedulers and the janitors. Without what we do, plants don’t run, stuff doesn’t get made, and YOU don’t get your new car, or your dinner, or your life-saving drugs. Without what we do, the economy would collapse.
Imagine what would happen if all the automation professionals in the world walked off the job for a week.
Now think about what Steve Irwin’s infectious enthusiasm…his willingness to seem a little foolish, maybe sometimes a lot foolish, for his cause of animal welfare and conservation…might do if we were to infect ourselves with a little bit of it.