What to Talk About at ChefConf 2020 – Make the Work Flow

Okay, okay, okay. You know the ChefConf 2020 CFP is open. We’ve kinda been reminding you pretty regularly, right? 

So hopefully you’ve taken the time to submit something. Lots of folks have, and thank you! Maybe you’re still not sure what you could talk about at ChefConf? Maybe you’ve got some interesting people stories from your time in the automation mines.

Over the years we’ve categorized these talks as “DevOps” or “People, Processes, and Teams”, but the real guts of the discussion centers on how tooling helps people get their jobs done better, as well as how new theories in teamwork and product delivery impact technical teams. How we work together sets the stage for how we succeed together. 

Maybe your team has worked with other teams to streamline security requirements with Chef InSpec. Maybe your developers and operations folks share their Chef Infra cookbooks to ensure all applications work on the necessary platforms. Maybe you’ve got everybody together working on some Chef Habitat plans and getting those packages built and deployed faster than ever. All of those things impact team dynamics and relationships, and there’s plenty to learn about. Let’s look at some inspiring talks from ChefConf 2019.

Making space in your project schedule for tasks like writing tests can be challenging. InSpec is a powerful tool, but you have to have time to use it. This talk by Todd Cox of Nice-Incontact tackles those questions: “InSpec Workers: How to avoid being One More (Damn) Thing”. How is your team incorporating Chef projects into your workflows? How do you prioritize all the things that need to get done and who needs to be doing them? 

How you get your entire organization on board with new methodologies is a dark art. Joel Tosi of DoJo and Co talks about using a Dojo model to help teams learn to embrace new methods that can be scary. In “Fostering the Third Way – Your DevOps Dojo” Joel showed us all the way. Then he wrote a book about it too. Has your organization tried a disruptive approach? What has worked for you?

Automation is a common first step on the path to modern collaborative workflows. At ChefConf 2019, Brittany Woods of Carfax joined us not only on the main stage but also talked about “Bridging the Great Divide: Using Chef as a Spark for DevOps”. Getting started with new concepts can feel really slow to our enthusiastic teammates. How is your organization coping with legacy mindsets and modern expectations? Maybe folks aren’t and there’s some drama! 

Think about the challenges your team has faced, not only with learning new technologies but also with learning how to be a new team, with new skills and patterns. Every organization has its idiosyncrasies, but we can learn from everyone’s experiences when folks share their stories. We’re also looking for your stories on your product and process evolution. Have you embraced LEAN? Are your teams working in an Agile way? Maybe you’ve got all that combined in a SAFe way and you can tell us all about it!

The ChefConf 2020 CFP will remain open until January 31, 2020. Apply now! ChefConf will be in Seattle, June 1-4, and in London, June 15-17. Apply to either or both events. We want to hear from you! We’re happy to answer any questions via email or join the #chefconf channel in our Community Slack. All attendees at Chef events agree to abide by the Chef Community Code of Conduct.

Mandi Walls

Mandi is Technical Community Manager for Chef. She can be found online @LNXCHK.