"Tuerkischer schachspieler windisch4" by Karl Gottlieb von Windisch - Copper engraving from the book: Karl Gottlieb von Windisch, Briefe über den Schachspieler des Hrn. von Kempelen, nebst drei Kupferstichen die diese berühmte Maschine vorstellen. 1783. Original Uploader was Schaelss (talk) at 11:12, 7. Apr 2004.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.
How many times did you hear this;
Mates 1: Hey setting up that uat environment was a pain ah? I had to swipe fairy dust from the unicorn’s horn and mix it with dragon tears...
Mates 2: Nice one mates, but did you script that up so that I don’t have go after that dragon next time?
Everyone likes a good automation no? You click that magic button or run that nice script and things happen. Nice.
However, how do you know that you will ever need to do that again? Or, who will look after that script that you knocked together this afternoon? Automation is good but has a price tag (maintenance) like other good things in life.
So when to automate?
How about the same rule as re-factoring? Three strikes and you automate. If you need to set it up once, do it. Twice, do it again whinging and cursing. Third time is the point where you need to think about automating. Not before.
Less is not more for once.
(later edit) well, this has been done before in c2 wiki. #LetMeGoogleThatForYou!