I'm interning at a mech eng company. Our products have many possible permutations that customers can choose from a spec sheet.

The backend for us mechanical designers is equivalent to copying and pasting the same code (with slight changes) into a massive switch statement depending on the program's options. So many near duplicate drawings. Each with individual settings that need to be tweaked and linked to other new duplicates every time a new order comes in.

As a programmer it drives me absolute bonkers! I've talked to them about automating it but "we've just always done it this way, so it probably won't change". Well, as soon as I'm done grinding this current project, I'm hoping to put together a practical demo to change their minds.

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    That's great! (Your idea and your implication) BUT! BIG BUT (single T) if this "we've always done it this way" mindset is all over the company, you might as well start looking for some other place, it might be profitable now but at the accelerated speed at which things are happening in the world, it might not last as much. However, (another BUT but with different words) if you are prepared to climb the administrative ladder, go for it, make the plan, get it ready, prepare it, present it and if there's hope, you should be rewarded, if that doesn't happen (either of those aspects) again, leave.
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    @securiter thank you for the advice. I'm afraid it is too deeply ingrained, and even automation I could introduce wouldn't solve all the problems related to the other poorly scaling systems.

    My internship ends in 6 months, so whatever they choose to go with in the long run will likely be independent of me. But if it will at least plant the seeds of an idea into their head it will be worth it imo.
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