Here’s a response I got from Simon Milhomme on my Why Is Network Automation So Hard article:
I totally agree with you on all you're saying. I've been in the field of network engineering and a bit of system administration for quite some years and I've seen exactly what you're describing.
The snowflake factor and legacy ramification of the network makes it hard to automate, and make the MacGyver engineer look so clever and indispensable.
Medium-sized organizations I deal with are totally immature in terms of IT except if they make money out of IT. I mean, as long as IT is seen as a cost center, MacGyver will rule it, have fun and keep his reputation... glad to work long off hours just to prove he's worth what he's paid for.
So, unfortunately, I don't expect much automation for those... in fact, we have a hard time finding repetitive work to automate... because of... the snowflake network!
Let me conclude with a snarky sticker Lukas Krattiger sent me a while ago: