ChefConf Online Session Recordings: Chef Infra Week

Hello Chefs!

Are you new to the wonders of Automation and Chef Infra? Or are you a battle-scarred professional looking for some deep magic to manage your Chef Server with ease? ChefConf Online has some sessions for you!

Join us this week as we record some of the ChefConf Online sessions for Chef Infra. This is your chance to see a preview of the ChefConf content and interact with our speakers. We’ll be recording on various days and times, so hopefully some sessions will work for you. No need to book out your whole day. And if you miss your favorite, sign up for ChefConf at and all the sessions will be available for free starting June 2 on our video on demand platform!

To sign up to attend these recording sessions and the others we have planned for May, visit

So take a look at this great stuff:

Monday, May 4, 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT

Justin Rivait of CUNA Mutual Group returns to ChefConf with Mise en Place – Preparing Your Organization for a Successful Chef Infra Journey:

The hardest part of integrating Chef Infra into an organization isn’t learning the technical aspect – it’s helping others to understand “The Why”, and to build a solid community of practitioners. Culinary students often learn the concept of “Mise en Place”, or “Everything in its Place”. From champions, to technical challenges – come learn from my organizations’ lessons that enabled us to scale Chef out, and the epics and features that would have helped us grow faster and become more successful earlier in our journey.

As organizations look to bring new tools in to increase the quality of their infrastructure and speed software delivery, it’s often engineers that identify what may be able to improve these processes. Generally what follows is a business case presented to leadership in order to secure funding, an initial purchase order, and then a discovery period for those engineers and their product or service owners on how to make the tool work well in their unique ecosystems. For many, it’s tempting to start automating and delivering right away – to just get something out there to show value. Often there is low hanging fruit that can be pointed to as a success story – but it’s the more complicated patterns that can slow adoption down. In order for real success to happen there must be a strong community and willingness to change the ways in which we work, as well as support from the bottom of the organization all the way to the business leaders that partner with IT. We can increase velocity and adoption of new tools and ideas by following the concept of “Mise en place”, or “Everything in its Place” by laying a solid foundation for Chef, or any other new tool or concept in our organizations to remove friction and make new ideas become successful realities.

Come learn how we developed a community of practitioners, built support for Chef, and laid the groundwork for Chef to not only survive, but to excel in our organization. In this talk we’ll share how to build a strong business case for Chef to garner support and build new champions. We’ll also cover some epics and features that we think are critical to the success of Chef in an organization. Finally, we’ll talk about some thoughts around removing friction from the development lifecycle for Chef Infra to make it easier to learn and use.

Tuesday May 5, 10am PDT / 1pm EDT

Join Dan-Joe Lopez from SAP for Chef Infra for Dummies: How SAP Ramps Up New Developers:

Are you new to Chef, configuration management, or automation in general? Are you looking for a quick intro to get you started? This talk is for you!

The SAP DevOps Center of Excellence is a global enablement team, helping our developer teams to adopt the DevOps culture and practices. We act as a knowledge base on topics, technologies and best practices surrounding automation, continuous integration, continuous delivery, micro architecture, etc.

We often work with the development teams to create custom solutions and pipelines, most of which include some chef management. As we work with new development teams, or add members to our own team, we have to quickly ramp up their knowledge of Chef Infra.

In this talk, we’ll share with you how we ramp up knowledge in SAP to get our colleagues working with Chef fast and efficiently. You can expect to learn:

  • The basic concepts of declarative configuration management and how it differs from scripted automation.
  • Important terms you’ll hear at ChefConf.
  • The anatomy of a Chef cookbook.
  • The process of a Chef client execution.
  • How the Chef Infra Client and Server work together.
  • Where to find resources to expand your knowledge and get your questions answered.

Wednesday May 6, 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT

Chef’s Matt Ray presents Chef and Terraform: Better Together:

HashiCorp’s Terraform is a popular open-source Infrastructure as Code tool that allows us to quickly provision and manage infrastructure across the cloud. There are a wide variety of complementary integrations between Chef Infra, Habitat, and InSpec with Terraform that enhance the ease of managing infrastructure, applications, and compliance. This talk will dive into what’s available and provide live demos of the Terraform integrations working together as we discuss how these complementary technologies achieve the goals of Infrastructure as Code.

Thursday May 7, 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT

Already a seasoned Chef Infra user? Take a deep dive into the Chef Server API with Mark Gibbons. 

Sometimes the knife command just isn’t what you want when interacting with the Chef server. Chef Manage is going away or gone. The Chef Server API offers convenient access to the functions behind the knife commands.  Web apps using the API can allow access to sensitive interfaces in a controlled manner.

Some of the functions the API gets used for include managing organizations, managing secrets via Vault, working with cookbooks and nodes, and managing the users on the team. We have many shared orgs with restricted (read only) access that receive updates via CI/CD only. We needed to allow access to organization and user information. How does a user ask for access to an organization when they can’t display the information?  How does a use find which organization owns a server? We also wanted to address auditing issues and to find a replacement for some Chef Manage functions and extension functions. We worked through these issues and more via the API.

Thursday May 7, 3pm PDT / 6pm EDT

Automating your environment is a marathon, not a sprint. Graham Davison shares his journey in his talk Third Time’s a Charm: Introducing and Evolving a Chef Infra Implementation:

This talk will follow a five-year journey with Chef Infra. We will start with its introduction to an existing on-premise infrastructure and scaling as the environment grew. As we scaled, we extended some of the Chef command-line tools to ease deployment.

Next, we will explore the successful and less successful approaches to moving into a hybrid cloud infrastructure in AWS. We built AMIs using Packer and Chef Infra, but ended up with forked cookbook implementations for on-premise and cloud environments.

Finally, we will explore a cloud-centric deployment integrating AWS features with Chef Infra and Chef InSpec, and adopting Policyfiles.

Sign up for ChefConf Online!

These sessions and more will be available following our keynotes on June 2! If you miss the recording dates, register to attend on June 2 and you’ll have access to all sessions on our video on demand platform. Plus you’ll have access to other fun events, chats, and Q&A with our team. Don’t miss it! Sign up today at

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Mandi Walls

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