I Was Told Mistake

A lot of times in IT I’ll hear the phrase, “I was told”. For example, “I was told we are going to use Chef.” This is the worst possible phrase you can use. It suffers from two major defects: First it uses the passive voice. I think the passive voice is the enemy of productive and … Read More

The Power of Context

I’ve coached a couple of people lately who have made a career change into technology from other disciplines and have noticed a pattern emerge that I want to share more broadly. People from other disciplines bring diversity to their roles. In this context, we’re not talking about their gender or ethnicity. We’re talking about their background. … Read More

2017 Year in Review

At the start of 2018, Annie and I feel like we’re at the start of a brand new journey. We’ve decided to move to Boulder, Colorado in the coming months. Our jobs are going great, so we plan on working remotely with our companies after making the move. We’re both very excited about what’s in store; every … Read More

Your First DevOps Project

I was at lunch with my friend Megan Bohl who is a fellow DevOps Days Organizer, and is taking a DevOps course with Tech Talent South. Megan is finishing her course in a few weeks and is ready to go find a DevOps job. However, like many people learning about this stuff for the first time, Megan wants to … Read More

Chef is a Community Before It’s a Vendor

Back in October, I was frustrated. I had invested deeply into a new feature Chef had made called Policyfiles and had seen it not be adopted. I met in an intense meeting with their product management team trying to figure out exactly how I be able to migrate off of the feature and onto the platform that … Read More

Chef Artifacts with Artifactory

If you’re going to deploy anything, you’ll eventually come across a fundamental need: you need somewhere to put your large files. At first, Chef seems like an attractive choice for this, but on deeper inspection it’s a horrible path to take. Chef is really great at delivering idempotent scripts to your machines to test and … Read More

Chef Rollback with Policyfiles and Cafe

When we first looked at application release automation tools, one of the first things people told me we needed was a solid rollback mechanism. One of my colleagues even insisted without satisfying his rollback scenarios, it was silly even looking at a tool for application release automation. I can definitely understand the sentiment; when you’re … Read More

Policyfile Pipeline with Jenkinsfile

I’m a huge proponent of policyfiles for managing Chef changes in all of your environments. Let’s talk a little about how we take a policyfile and create a pipeline in Jenkins around it to get it deployed to the right places. Many environments that aren’t as security-conscious will have a single Chef Server to rule them all, … Read More

Cookbook Pipeline with Jenkinsfile

Now that we have a local cookbook build ready to go, it’s time to get that in a CI environment. I have been a fan of TeamCity and my friends at Chef have a done a great job with Chef Workflow in Automate. For us, however, Jenkins is our tool of choice with managing our deployment pipelines, for a few reasons: So … Read More

Cookbook Development with Rakefiles

When we started Chef, we had a loose set of rules for everyone to follow and sent them on their way. We quickly realized, however, that we needed to standardize how a cookbook met quality standards before it got released. We would try to make a simple change to a cookbook and it didn’t meet our … Read More