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It's ridiculous how much more pleasant it is to use Ansible than Puppet or Chef. Its invention solves a big pain for me: As a veteran user of Puppet I'm a firm believer in using a tool like Puppet, but Puppet-and-Chef are overdesigned for small jobs (and, arguably, for most other jobs as well) so actually recommending them to a beginner has always felt like this:

A: "I just set up a cloud instance by running some shell commands by hand."

B: "You shouldn't do that, because of X and Y and Z. You should learn Puppet or Chef."

A: "Wait... did you just tell me to go spend thirty hours banging my head against solid objects, in exchange for nebulous benefits that I can't even perceive yet?"

B: "Why, yes, I believe I did!"

Ansible feels much less embarrassing to advocate.

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