ChefConf 2016

My team and I have been reflecting on ChefConf 2016, which we attended last month in Austin, TX. The conference and the people we met were a perfect mix of inspiration, knowledge sharing, and community.

We found the Chef management team eager to share their DevOps passion and expertise, and, of course, to discuss the ingredients for DevOps success. To learn more, Seth Juarez cooked up interviews with some Chef VIPs:

  • Justin Arbuckle, Chef VP of Transformation, discusses how to transform enterprise IT for speed, scale, and consistency. Justin’s focus on velocity as a delivery goal as well as a DevOps performance metric was shared by many of the industry speakers.

  • Nicole Forsgren, Chef’s Director of Organization Performance and Analytics, shares 2016 DevOps research results. She details how, with the right mix of technology, processes, and a great culture, DevOps helps drive organization profitability, productivity, and market share.

  • Nathen Harvey, VP of Community Development at Chef, discusses Chef’s portfolio of products and the amazing contributions of the open source community.

Throughout the conference, we heard incredible stories of organizational transformation through DevOps that delivered phenomenal results, including:

There were still more stories of DevOps successes from NCR, Hearst Corporation, and others—stories that spanned industries and that all had a common foundation: alignment of their teams around a shared, customer-focused goal.

Seth Juarez and Joe Breslin were able to fold in some speakers to elaborate on the importance of culture in the DevOps world. Check out these videos:

  • Industry analyst Ben Kepes provides insights on how DevOps can help drive organizational agility and innovation.

  • RunasRadio podcaster Richard Campbell discusses the strained dynamic between devs and ops and how to turn it around to create high-performance, collaborative teams.

  • DevOps evangelist Cads Oakley describes how to jumpstart a DevOps initiative within your organization.

Chef even coined a new term to promote this DevOps cultural phenomenon: HugOps. This amusing video will help you understand what it’s all about (even though the boiling hot Austin weather precluded much interest in hugs!).

With all the learnings around DevOps culture and processes percolating in my mind, I, as an engineer, was also interested in diving into the tools and technology aspects of DevOps. Again, Seth Juarez captured some interviews that are sure to sizzle (I hope you’re noticing all my culinary references in this blog!), including:

  • Chef Principal Engineer and Microsoft MVP Steven Murawski, explaining how, by using Chef and PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) together, you can streamline the change management process and successfully deploy code and infrastructure on-demand and in-compliance.

  • Microsoft engineers Narayanan Lakshmanan and Boris Scholl elaborating on the technical details around DSC, microservices, and DevOps.

  • Nirmal Mehta, Chief Technologist at Booz Allen Hamilton, expounding on how you can accelerate compliance using Infrastructure as Code.

Innovation, inspiration, friends: ingredients for a great meal—and conference. ChefConf 2016 was a gourmet experience!

Have fun.