When Should You Automate Something?

Automation has been hot in the networking world for quite some time now – however I still see many people asking for advice on how to get started. If you don’t know of a project or something you can do for fun, think some more.

Others ask at what point they should start automating tasks. Some like to break the answer down to a simple equation where if (time to automate task) < (time to complete task manually),  you should clearly automate.

def should_i_automate(time_to_do_manually, time_to_automate):
    if time_to_do_manually > time_to_automate:
        return “You should automate this task!”
    else:
        return “You should do this manually!”

This leaves out the intangible benefits of skills learned while automating tasks that can be leveraged in the future. It leaves out the hard-to-quantify human errors that are avoided when humans are removed from repetitive tasks. I don’t know about you, but I find coding to be challenging and rewarding as well. These are just a few reasons why you may automate something even when the time payout isn’t immediate. What are your thoughts?

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