Eric Stinson, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Juniper Networks

Talking Automation: Misconceptions on Automation

Network Automation
Eric Stinson Headshot
Still from the video is the title slide, which has the text “Misconceptions on Automation: Automation Dreams vs. Reality” written in white on a black background. There are green computer-language-like dots in the background. 

Dreams vs. Reality

Network operators, have you ever experienced a disconnect between what leadership wants to do and what is actually possible? Juniper’s Andy Lapteff knows that there is no simple “automation button” that you can press and things magically happen. Network automation tools have to be learned. In this video he shares his thoughts on the challenges network engineers face when it comes to automation and how to avoid them. 

Show more

You’ll learn

  • There is a misconception that it’s easy to just go and automate your network 

  • In fact, anytime someone says something is “easy,” they probably don’t know what it is they are asking 

  • You don’t have to major in computer science to be successful in networking (just look at Andy!)

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders


Eric Stinson Headshot
Eric Stinson
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Juniper Networks 

Guest speakers

Andy Lapteff Headshot
Andy Lapteff
Product Manager, Juniper Networks


0:00 [Music]

0:14 when you look at it from your point of

0:17 view you know as the network engineer um

0:21 you know when company management comes

0:23 to you dreaming about automation and all

0:24 these great things it's going to do

0:26 you know what are

0:28 some of the misconceptions that that

0:31 they often have with that and you know

0:33 kind of what's your reality is coming

0:35 from a

0:36 engineering perspective it always feels

0:38 like there's a disconnect between

0:41 what leadership

0:43 wants to do and says is possible and

0:45 what's quote-unquote easy and then what

0:48 the net ops folks have to do

0:50 um you know we i i've always joked on

0:53 any kind of calls i'm on with the

0:54 project like when

0:56 anytime anybody says something's easy or

0:58 oh well all you got to do

1:00 you know that's a red flag for me it

1:02 means they don't know

1:04 the intricacy and the difficulty of you

1:06 know what they're asking um

1:09 you know i've had i've had conversations

1:11 with leadership at different orgs you're

1:13 like well just you know it's almost like

1:14 they think well just press the

1:15 automation button man like that's all

1:16 you got to do like you know

1:18 gartner or somebody said we all have to

1:20 automate so we're all going to automate

1:21 so just do it right and

1:23 um

1:25 i think the the biggest misconception is

1:27 just the level of difficulty for the

1:29 network operator to learn all the

1:31 automation tools you know we could talk

1:32 for 20 minutes about ansible and how

1:34 great it is but also

1:36 all the different things you have to

1:38 learn to stand it up get it working know

1:40 a config file from a yaml file and then

1:43 there's syntax and spacing it like

1:45 this whole automation coding world

1:48 um for a guy like me who wasn't a

1:50 computer science major i didn't take

1:52 four or five you know programming

1:54 languages in college and i would say

1:56 there's a lot i speak to a lot of people

1:58 in the community in the network

1:59 engineering community and it might be a

2:01 split maybe 50 50 maybe half of us are

2:04 computer science folks and it's not a

2:06 big deal like sure i know python sure

2:08 ansible's a breeze but there's a ton of

2:11 folks like myself who didn't go to a

2:14 computer science you know college major

2:16 thing

2:17 and when you say things like well all

2:19 you got to do is learn ansible and

2:21 python and data structures and chef and

2:23 puppeteer whoa whoa whoa

2:25 hold on

2:26 and

2:28 time

2:29 right is is the hardest thing to come by

2:31 you know you have a job like we talked

2:33 about you have a lot of things to do day

2:34 to day and

2:37 now you have to learn all this stuff

2:39 that comes with automation there's not

2:41 one magic button right now there are

2:43 some solutions that we might get into

2:44 that do really seem to extract a lot of

2:47 that

2:48 automation pane stuff away

2:51 and and give you a much more accessible

2:53 easier interface

2:54 but

2:56 my challenge was

2:58 when am i supposed to learn

3:00 all of this coding

3:02 uh automation stuff because it is a

3:04 technical skill set

3:06 and

3:07 i was never afforded time during my work

3:10 days to do that so much most things in

3:13 tech nights weekends you know

3:15 um sacrificing time with my you know

3:18 kids and family so that i can work on

3:21 you know learning python at night right

3:23 um that's

3:24 that's probably the biggest

3:25 misconception two of them a it's easy

3:28 and b

3:29 you don't need much time to do it just

3:30 go just just go automate you know um

3:34 yeah you kind of triggered me

3:37 that's that's okay because that's the

3:39 reality of it right i mean you're

3:41 speaking to it from a reality

3:42 perspective

3:43 [Music]

3:50 you

Show more