Automation is an abstraction layer. Abstraction layers mask complexity, but do not eliminate it. Someone will need to build and repair the robots. Is that still network engineering? Yes. Consider the following:
Being an “automation expert” is akin to saying you’re a “screwdriver expert.” No one would describe themselves like that. In the same way, automation expertise isn’t helpful by itself. To effectively automate, you need networking expertise. You can’t automate what you don’t understand.
But, and this is also really true for the SPs 🙂
Enterprises move slowly when it comes to adopting new technology. In addition, old technologies have a strange way of never dying. Both of those facts suggest that network engineers will have a role to play for a long time. Truly talented networkers who are also effective communicators will get paid as network engineers for many years to come.
From Human Infrastructure 110