Habitat World Tour: Gent, Berlin, Amsterdam

The beginning of February kicked off the first leg of our Hands-on With Habitat World Tour and I must say, what an experience it was. A handful of Chef’s spent time visiting FOSDEM, speaking at CfgMgmtCamp, and teaching people how to get started with Habitat at workshops in Gent, Berlin, and Amsterdam! Next month we’ll continue the tour in San Francisco, San Jose, and London. Be sure to save your seat!

Our approach to building the Habitat community so far has been with old-fashioned ground game and word of mouth. Our success is tied to each of you who turn up to hack with us at these events. Whether it’s your first time touching Habitat or you’ve been using it since we launched the project, thank you for joining us in person and for your willingness to be a part of this new community. I sincerely hope you’ll continue to participate in the Habitat open-source project. Join us in the community chat and help make the tools better.


Our time in Gent was awesome and immensely useful. At CfgMgmtCamp, five Habitat related talks were presented. Some of you who attended CfgMgmtCamp might remember the keynote in which John Vincent discussed at length what the future state of configuration management should look like. That keynote ended up being a layup for the Habitat project as our goals and perspectives are aligned with a majority of the points that John made. Unfortunately, not all of the Habitat talks were recorded, but George Miranda’s “Operating Systems are Assholes” really drove home some of those ideas about the possible future state of systems and software automation.

On the last day of CfgMgmtCamp we hosted a Habitat workshop fringe event. 14 new Habitants joined us for the workshop, many of whom were able to demo some real progress before the end of the short hack-session. The absolute best part about the workshop was netting multiple opened issues, and a couple of PRs against the ecosystem. All in all, it was a great experience (at least for me :)) and we’re definitely looking forward to more Habitat related talks at CfgMgmtCamp 2018!


From Gent, the Chef team took a short evening flight over to Germany for another Habitat workshop in Berlin. Our awesome #cheffriends at Endocode graciously hosted 18 new Habitants! The folks who joined us for that event came from all sorts of backgrounds: developers, managers, operators and consultants. After the workshop presentation we took a break to eat the best meetup pizza that’s ever been provided: Not pizza, sushi. Related, the sushi was awesome. After satiating our hunger, the group dove into various hackery and lots and lots of amazing conversations.

Towards the end of the evening we had demo time and one of our new community members demoed a Habitat package of a custom node.js application running in Docker containers underneath the Swarm scheduler! I should clarify that as far as hacking time is concerned there wasn’t more than an hour and a half so it was pretty awesome to see someone so quickly adopt Habitat. Afterwards, I demoed a multi-tier application stack running as Habitat packages, and I’m hoping to get that code loaded into GitHub in the near future.

Berlin, much like Gent, provided us a treasure trove of ideas and dialogue and was time well spent both for the Habitat project and the Habitat community. We’re definitely looking forward to doing more events like this in Berlin!


In Amsterdam, we were fortunate to be hosted by our friends at Container Solutions. The cold and snow in Amsterdam was an unwelcome sight, but we still had a good showing of 11 new Habitants and an opportunity to make snow angels.

The conversations at the Amsterdam workshop spread the gamut of comparing Habitat to other tools, how Kubernetes and Habitat work together, and self healing infrastructure. We also had plenty of pizza and beverages, and ended up continuing the conversations after the event at a local bar. We were also happy to see our Chef friends from Schuberg Philis at the event, and hear some of the work they’ve been up to recently with Kubernetes and Habitat.

Wrap Up

As I reflect on these events as a whole, I’m delighted to see that Habitat is proving to be a tool that solves real pain for real developers and operators. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to share Habitat with the people feeling that pain.

Again, I want to thank all of the new Habitat community members and workshop/conference attendees who spent their time listening to us share our excitement for this new project. I hope that all of you had a delightful time hacking with Habitat. We look forward to seeing many of you again at ChefConf 2017 where you’ll have an opportunity to participate in Habitat workshops and attend sessions dedicated to application automation.

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Ian Henry

As the Technical Community Advocate for Habitat, Ian is actively helping the Community and ecosystem grow., He spends much of his time helping people learn about containerization, distributed systems, and the ways that Habitat makes those things easy. Prior to joining Chef, Ian spent a number of years as an operational and tooling engineer.