Serving up delight at the Chef Community Summits

This month we’ve held two Chef Community Summits and it’s been a real delight watching the community gather and discuss most important topics.

We held a Chef Community Summit in Seattle at the beginning of October and another in London last week. Both Summits were facilitated Open Space events. The Open Space format works particularly well for these types of events. After some opening remarks from me and Adam Jacob, participants are asked to propose topics that are important to their interests. Each attendee is encouraged to propose a topic provided they are passionate enough about that topic to start a conversation. Once all of the topics have been proposed the attendees organize the schedule for the day and then meet in groups to discuss the topic at hand.

Daily Schedule

Topics ranging from Application configuration patterns to the Chef 12 Roadmap to Docker to Windows DSC and Chef were proposed. Discussions ranged from technical topics like Test Kitchen and CI to softer skills such as talking to managers. Throughout the course of each Summit, discussions happened, action items were captured, and work was completed. You’ll find a full listing of topics discussed and notes from each on the Chef Community Summit – 2014 wiki.

These Summits were our fourth and fifth Chef Community Summits. The Summit in London was our first Community Summit held outside of the US. Although each Summit is unique, some common themes emerged at both. Our community is constantly looking for ways to improve our development workflow and you saw many discussions on development patterns, debugging cookbooks, and, of course, testing cookbooks.

Newer solutions like Chef Metal and Docker were discussed and there was a really great session on the the work necessary to get full support for Windows guests in Test Kitchen.

Many participants came to hack on code and this happened throughout both Summits. Each Summit was also followed by a Hack Day in the area to provide another space for the community to gather and continue working on solutions.

The Chef Community Summits were a great way for our community to gather together and meet one another in person. The open, honest, sharing nature of our community really shines through when you bring a group of us together in the same space.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Summits! I can’t wait to see you all again at ChefConf or at an event between now and then.

Opening Circle

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.