Chef Community: Engage with and learn from Chef practitioners

The Chef Community is a group of professionals interested in building and operating high velocity organizations. This is a diverse community with representation from many different backgrounds, levels of experience, and geographies.

The community includes people who are just now discovering Chef, that have started their journey to learn Chef, people who have contributed code to the very core of the Chef platform, and everyone in between. Business people, executives, software engineers, system administrators, site reliability engineers, and more are all part of the Chef Community.

I recently presented a live webinar on how to engage with and learn from Chef practitioners. Watch the recording below to hear me talk about the many ways to interact with the community, including: going to Meetups, listening to podcasts, attending training, contributing code, and more.

Q&A from the live webinar is available below, along with a list of resource links discussed in the webinar.

Q&A From the Live Webinar:

Q: How can you encourage people like us who sit in India to attend a Chef community summit in London/Seattle? Can we start a Chef community summit in India?

A: Please do come to the summit in London or Seattle!  It will be awesome. Until we do arrange a Chef Community summit in India, you may try:

  • Attending or organizing some Chef or DevOps meetups
  • Attending or organizing a local DevOps Days
  • Arranging your own open space meeting devoted to Chef.

Q: Can you help me start a chef meetup in Pune?

A: Yes, please email us at [email protected] for some information on starting a meetup.

Q: How can I engage with Chef in order to be a Chef training partner?

A: Enroll as a partner on the Chef website and mention that you’re interested in becoming a training partner.

Q: Do you provide Chef training also support when we write a script for production?

A: Yes, read more about the support we offer on the website –

Q: Where is a good place to talk about and understand about Chef patterns (or anti patterns…)?

A: The Chef mailing list and the Chef Community Summit.

Q: Can we join the Summit online through Skype or something with video collaboration?

A: No, the open space nature of the Summit does not lend itself to a mix of in-person and remote participation.  We may consider running a fully virtual Summit later this year.

Q: Are Chef community meetups happening in Bengaluru in the near future ?

A: I recommend searching for devops meetups in the Bengaluru area.

Q: Does the community help teach ruby?

A: The Chef Documents site includes a page with just enough ruby for Chef. Jon Cowie’s Customizing Chef book includes a chapter called “Just Enough Ruby to Customize Chef.” There are many other resources, online and offline, that can help you learn Ruby, too.

Q: Is there a suggested chef coding standard available online?

A: Foodcritic is a helpful lint tool you can use to check your Chef cookbooks for common problems.

Q: Is there a huge difference between a newly installed chef server versus the chef server that is installed via Cloud Manager With open stack?

A: The IBM Cloud Manager with Openstack includes a Chef server that has some extra extensions and capabilities added to it.  The basic operation of a stand-alone Chef server will be similar to that of the IBM Cloud Manager with Openstack.

Q: What is the uniqueness in Chef compared to [other automation tools]?

A: There are a number of solutions on the market that allow you to manage your infrastructure as code. The Chef platform and ecosystem are the most flexible and comprehensive solutions for automating infrastructure as code, managing compliance at velocity, and for continuously delivering changes, both application and infrastructure, to your production systems.

Q: Can we search in Chef Blog ? I can’t find this feature :)?

A: Not natively in the blog itself but you could use google or bing to search just the Chef blog..

Q: Is there a site where we can view the issues that came up with support tickets and see how they were resolved. In other words before i generate a support ticket, can i search previous tickets and how they were resolved?

A: You can certainly browse the issues reported on GitHub but we do not make our database of customer support requests available as they typically contain sensitive data that is not meant for sharing. Additionally, you can find some articles in our knowledge base.

Q: We use a same set of cookbooks for multiple environments, for eg. dev, qa & prod. we pass variables to each of these environments by creating a separate environment file and adding default_attributes.  Now we would like to make changes in cookbooks but the changes are reflected in all environments simultaneously. How do we control each environment when using same set of cookbooks across all environments?

An environment can use version constraints to specify a list of allowed cookbook versions by specifying the cookbook’s name, along with the version constraint.  Use cookbook version constraints to roll out your changes from dev to qa to prod.

Q: Any Windows 10 issues that you can share?

A: None that come to mind immediately, no.

Resource Links

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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.