Automation is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can help you save time and money by streamlining tasks that would otherwise take up hours of your day; on the other, it can lead to unexpected consequences if not handled properly.

If you’re an admin whose automation tools are giving you trouble, here are a few helpful tips for fixing them—and preventing future issues from arising.

1. Learn your tools inside and out.

It's easy to get overwhelmed when there are so many options available for automation software. But it's important to choose the right tool for the job so that you can make the most of it. Before jumping into an automation project, consider what features are important to you and how they fit into your workflow. Also, ask other admins who have used these tools before what they like best about them and what they would change if given the chance.

2. Don't automate everything.

Automating everything is tempting but it can cause more problems than it solves. If you automate a process on the first try, there’s a good chance that you didn’t fully understand what you were doing or didn’t take into account all of the possible scenarios it could encounter.

Automation is about improving efficiency, not making every task easier for everyone to do. It should be used sparingly to automate complex tasks that require human intervention or verification (such as compliance), tasks that are repetitive and time-consuming, or tasks where human error is common and expensive (such as backups).

3. Learn scripting languages to extend tool capabilities.

Too many DevOps teams rely on vendor-specific documentation for their tools, leading them down one path rather than exploring other possibilities for solving their problems or automating certain tasks. To really make use of these tools, it helps if you know how they work under the hood — which means learning programming languages such as Python or Ruby (which are used by Ansible). Knowing how these languages work will allow you to customize the tool to suit your needs better and add functionality that isn't already built in.

4. Script to check script validity.

Automation tools are great for reducing the time it takes to perform routine tasks, but they all have their limits. If you find yourself using the same script over and over again, it might be time to consider adding a custom test to your toolset.

For example, if you're using Ansible with AWS, it would be helpful to know if your script is valid before running it against a production environment. You could add a step that checks whether the inventory file exists, or whether each task in your playbook has been updated recently. This will reduce the chance of errors in your scripts and help ensure that everything works as expected when running them in production.

In addition to that, you can keep track of the execution of JavaScript codes and scripts on a web page with the help of JavaScript monitoring. In order to identify issues and improve the user experience, Real User Monitoring helps you monitor the actual users as they interact with your website. RUM offers many benefits, including the ability to identify bottlenecks and slowdowns, pinpoint problem areas of your site, and improve overall performance. Besides improving conversion rates, RUM can also reduce customer churn. Visualizing any data is easy with Logs Monitoring in order to get more insights and resolve issues faster. 

5. Don't be afraid to start from scratch.

It's tempting to just keep running old configurations or scripts that have worked well in the past, but they might be causing more pain than they're worth now. It's possible that when a script was written years ago, things were different than they are now. If so, there could be issues that only show up now due to changes in infrastructure or software versions.

Take time to re-evaluate your configurations and scripts, and if necessary start from scratch with fresh code that's still flexible enough for future changes.

6. Use code management programs.

Code management programs allow teams to store code in a central location where everyone on the team can access it at any time — even if they're working from home or away from the office. It also allows developers to collaborate easily on projects without having to worry about version control issues or conflicts with other team members' changes to code files stored locally on their computers or servers. This makes it easier for developers to create new apps on top of existing ones without breaking things and causing problems for end users who depend on those apps for their businesses or daily lives.

7. Automate your automation tools.

Automation tools can be powerful, but they're also easy to misconfigure or misuse. If you're having trouble with your automation tool, then it may be because the tool is failing to do what you want it to do, or because of a configuration issue on your end.

To avoid these troubles, start by automating your own configurations. For example, if you use Ansible for configuration management, write an Ansible playbook that configures your automation tool and then run that playbook as part of an automated testing process. That way if there's ever an issue with your existing setup, you'll know immediately because the automation tool itself won't work properly when it's supposed to.

8. Be a good DevOps citizen in your organization.

It's important to understand that DevOps is a culture change, not just an IT optimization strategy. The goal of DevOps is to align development and operations teams so they're working together towards common goals. That means learning about each other's roles and responsibilities, as well as learning how to communicate effectively with one another. When everyone understands this concept, it becomes easier to collaborate on projects and troubleshoot problems when they arise.

Final Say

Hopefully, with these tips and strategies in mind, you will be able to debug your Ruby or Puppet scripts. If nothing else, you should have a better understanding of the problems you are experiencing. As always, feel free to share any tips and tricks of your own in the comments below.