A blog 2014

Last week I went to Gent for, a two day conference bringing together various config management communities. Around 300 people attended, representing (at least) Puppet, Chef, CFEngine, Ansible, Saltstack, and Juju. It was a great conference, with loads of interesting talks (no video, unfortunately) and a fantastic hallway track.

There were a bunch of good sessions in the Chef community room, and that (plus the hallway conversations) got in the way of spending any time in the other community rooms. I’m a little disappointed about that, though I’m sure the same would be true if I’d missed out on the Chef sessions.

I presented a talk about Orchestrating Chef with MCollective. It’s been a long time since I spoke, and I wasn’t particularly happy with how it went – this was the one session where I was glad to have no video! I personally learned a lot in the process, and would like to give a few (shorter) talks this year to work on this skill. Hopefully the folks who sat through it learned a thing or two as well.

Common themes in presentations and discussion were continuous delivery, testing (and TDD) for infracode, and orchestration. In “Be More Pushy”, Michael Ducy talked about Opscode’s orchestration system, which I’m looking forward to using. Ulf Mansson and George Miranda both talking about building continuous delivery pipelines, and Andrew Crump explained how Foodcritic works (and how to extend it).

There were no talks scheduled in the Chef room for the final few hours, so this became a space for hacking and lightning talks. Highlights were Andrew Crump showing me how to fix a couple of bugs in Foodcritic, Adam Jacob demonstrating test-driven development, and a lightning talk (I didn’t catch the presenter’s name, sorry) about community cookbook governance, which spurred a much longer conversation on the subject.

I departed the conference wishing it had been longer, and looking forward to the next one. Now that I’m home, I’m wishing I had more time to apply the various things I learnt while I was there. All in all, highly recommended.