Wednesday, November 7, 2018

No Scripting Required to Start Your Automation Journey

The “everyone should be a programmer” crowd did a really good job of scaring network engineers (congratulations, just what we need!). Here’s a typical question I’m getting:

Do I need to be good in scripting to attend your

automation course.

TL&DR: Absolutely not.

I know that many networking engineers have no prior programming experience, so we start from scratch, use the simplest tool possible (Ansible), and you can go through the whole course without ever touching Python… although you’ll pretty quickly hit limits of what you can do with Ansible without custom Python filters or modules.

When you hit those limits you have two options:

  • Learn some programming or
  • Find someone else to do that part of the job.

As I usually explain during the course introduction, you probably invested years into understanding networking and becoming a good networking engineer. Use that knowledge in a new domain (because after all, we’re talking about network automation) instead of trying to compete with high school kids.

After all, unless you want to be a lone consultant, you probably work in a team - and as our ancestors discovered when they first formed hunting teams, division of work and competences (while at the same time keeping in touch with what other people are doing) usually gets you better results than if everyone tries to be jack-of-all-trades (and master of none).

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