I have two main experiences with automation. The type you get from free/paid tools and the type you code yourself. Personally I’d go with a free tool if I could. the paid tools could cost you over $50,000/year… But that’s enterprise. Anyway I automate when it makes sense to.
I started with Visual Basic in Excel back in 2008 for spreadsheets. You take routine procedures, create the rules to trigger the automation and add in any exceptions to the rules. If you’re technical, it can be kinda fun.
I could give a list of tools if you want, but I don’t think that’s the most important part. To me, it’s how you apply it. I use automation to keep tasks from slipping through the cracks and to accelerate decision making. It’s a speed + accuracy thing. No manual errors.
Okay here’s some tools that allow you to automate tasks @zapier @ifttt @HubSpot @salesforce. for web automation (web scraping and bots), you can use web drivers (gecko driver for Firefox or chromedriver for chrome) using a coding language like Python. If you want to go serverless, there’s @awscloud @Azure and other cloud options you can use. You can take your code and upload it to run in the cloud instead of your computer.
AWS has a free tier I use for @transliter_bot, but watch your costs closely or else. If you’re not technically inclined, tools > code. One thing: it’s not a magic bullet. Eventually some things can be too complex to automate or they aren’t worth the time. It’s just a tool, use it wisely and know when not to use it. There are more complicated situations, but for most people this is what you’ll use it for. Routine.