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The IT operations industry is not dying. Automation is old, but this isn't being billed as "new." What's new is 1) it being widespread, which despite your contention, has not been the case, and 2) automation via open source frameworks and tools, of which there has previously been a dearth.

I have no idea why you think Chef and Puppet are broken piles of ruby scripts, but for the record, they're free. Also, in neither case is anyone implying or saying that they invented automation. Having a nice framework to use is a definite improvement, though.

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