Chef Board of Governance Meeting

The Chef Board of Governance (CBGB) held its second meeting of 2016 on Wednesday, September 7. Eight members of the board attended the meeting. Nathen Harvey and Thom May from Chef Software were also there to observe and advise.

Members in Attendance

Project LeadUsers / ContributorsCorporate ContributorsLieutenants
Adam JacobRanjib DeyFacebook – Phil DibowitzJoshua Timberman
Doug IretonPagerDuty – Evan Gilman
Noah KantrowitzNordstrom – Mark Ayers

Katherine Daniels, a corporate contributor, Charity Majors, a user / contributor, and Seth Vargo and Jon Cowie, both lieutenants, were unable to attend.

The board reviewed the governance policy and outcomes from the last meeting. It was decided that the CBGB should meet twice per calendar year instead of quarterly.

Mission Statement and Core Values

The mission, vision, and values, as outlined in the previous meeting, were reviewed and the board’s commitment to them is strong.


The Chef community exists to create a welcoming, transformative, and transparent environment that enriches the daily life of Chef users.


Chef community members feel safe, supported, and effective participating in and contributing to the Chef ecosystem.


  • Welcoming
  • Inclusive
  • Safe
  • Diverse
  • Transformative
  • Transparent
  • Helpful
  • Delightful
  • Pragmatic

State of the Chef Community

The state of the Chef Community was discussed. Specifically, the board was interested in assessing the current state of health of the community. Noah shared that about 90% of recent contributions to the project have come from Chef employees with Facebook employees making up a significant portion of the remaining contributions. The board decided to gather some metrics about the usage of the new Chef Community Slack team. The board has also recommended a survey be sent to all Chef Community members to help gather data and insights as to its health and improvement the community could consider.


The board raised some concerns about the official Chef documentation. Concerns included that the docs are incomplete, inaccurate (in some cases), and the that documentation team does not have enough capacity to keep up with the pace of development. Additionally, new releases sometimes result in deprecated or older features being removed from the documentation even though there may still be many people using those features.

The CBGB will ask maintainers to encourage updates to along with pull requests and other code updates.

The CBGB recommends that we work to stabilize the documentation by not removing deprecated features too quickly.

An exploration of ways to make it easier to contribute to documentation was recommended. The current process for getting documentation running locally for development purposes is difficult. Contributing to documentation should be very easy. Discussions about documentation and changes to our processes and tooling there would make for great topics at the upcoming Chef Summits.

RFC Process

The RFC Process continues to work well. There was some concern that some proposed RFCs do not receive enough attention from the community. As such, the CBGB will be recommending some changes to the process.

  • GitHub PRs to the chef-rfc repository should automatically post in the general channel of the Chef Community Slack.
  • The author must announce the RFC in the Chef Mailing List / Online Forum.
  • A PR for an RFC must be open for at least 14 days before it may be accepted.
  • An agenda item has been added to the weekly slack meeting to ensure we review the status of accepted RFCs.

Chef 13

The CBGB recommends we start planning for version 13 of Chef. That planning should include automatic testing plans and paths for the upgrade. The plan should also include listing and freezing all breaking change that are in-scope for Chef 13 at least three months in advance of release date.

The Future

The next CBGB meeting will be planned for the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017. Elections for the 2017 board will be held during this timeframe as well. Questions or thoughts for the board may be sent to [email protected].

Nathen Harvey

As the VP of Community Development at Chef, Nathen helps the community whip up an awesome ecosystem built around the Chef framework. Nathen also spends much of his time helping people learn about the practices, processes, and technologies that support DevOps, Continuous Delivery, and Web-scale IT. Prior to joining Chef, Nathen spent a number of years managing operations and infrastructure for a number of web applications. Nathen is a co-host of the Food Fight Show, a podcast about Chef and DevOps.