It seems to me that an awful lot of people treat automation like duct tape.

Duct tape tends to be the miracle cure for all kinds of problems (there are websites dedicated to this premise). If the bumper on your car falls off “duct it”, if your plumbing leaks “duct it”, if you need a prom dress “duct it” (no joke ppl make prom dresses with this stuff). The problem is in most of these cases there is a better way to accomplish the task and the “duct it” method just leaves a sticky residue and doesn’t really fix the problem.

That seems to be the way people talk about (or use) automation. If testing takes too long “automate it”, if testing costs too much  “automate it,” wee want zero defects “automate it” (really there are ppl that believe that zero defects is possible). Here again automation is not a cure-all and in many of these situations there might be a better way. Be wary of the knee jerk response “automation it” you may just end up with a sticky residue that doesn’t really fix the problem.