Chef: A year in the life

This year at the Chef Community Summit in London, fellow engineer Tim Smith and I presented an overview of the state of the Chef ecosystem. We took a look at some of the new functionality available in modern Chef clients.

It’s fair to say that both Tim and I were surprised by how much had happened in the last year, and we’re both incredibly proud of how our community and employees have teamed up to deliver so much delight.

In the 12 months since the last London summit we’ve shipped 10 releases of the Chef client, 7 releases of the Chef server, and 13 releases of Ohai. Our contributors have made over 7,000 commits to our open source projects, while helping each other get the best from Chef on Discourse and on Slack.

We’ve also made another 7,000 commits to our cookbooks; adding features, fixing bugs, and bringing them in line with our preferred approach to shipping simpler, reusable, composable cookbooks. Tim published a YouTube video exploring how to write Custom Resources, which you should all check out.

Our friends at Facebook have done a huge amount of work to make Chef awesome on macOS; making it easier to manage users, software and running services. They also wrote a great blog post on how they’ve been running and managing their mobile device testing lab using Chef.

In a similar vein we’ve been working to ensure Chef is great on Windows. Our Director of Communications, Lucas Welch, blogged earlier this year about using Chef on Windows 2016. In addition to a solid PowerShell integration, we’ve added several new resources to control Windows servers.

We think that writing Chef cookbooks is now the simplest and most expressive it’s ever been!

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Thom May

Thom is an engineer on Chef's Community Engineering team, based in London. He works on Chef, ohai, cookbooks and pretty much anything else Chef has ever shipped.