I think it’s safe to say network automation is pretty mainstream now. Judging by what vendors are doing and what the community is talking about, automation is more than the latest advent of hipster networking. It’s becoming the primary way many network admins manage their networks.
But there are a couple barriers to taking the leap into automation. For some it’s the steep learning curve. There are courses to take, programming languages to learn, and entirely new processes to get comfortable with.
But I’ve worked with enough network engineers over the years to say that a steep learning curve is not an insurmountable problem. Many engineers I’ve worked with have an eagerness to learn new things and grow in their profession.
I don’t believe the issue is learning how to automate a network. I think the real barriers are the time and resources it takes to automate a network at scale in a meaningful way.