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Stop Shaving the Yak – Mandi Walls Kicks Off Velocity 2013

As many of you know, Opscode has a solid presence down at Velocity 2013, and thanks to the good folks at Data Center Knowledge, we have a live report of what our first of three speakers, the awesome Mandi Walls, had to say this morning:

“All three of the morning sessions were jam-packed, with literally standing-room only crowds in each room…

In IT operations, yak shaving is the end result of customization and organizational silos, but also a legacy of problematic coding behaviors. Walls said programmers often take pride in creating processes that may be impressive, but difficult for others to replicate. Sometimes ‘it seems easier to do it yourself,’ and customize based upon tribal knowledge – critical expertise that is not widely shared.

That’s one of the challenges being addressed by DevOps, which combines many of the roles of systems administrators and developers. The movement was  popularized at large cloud builders with dynamic server environments that required regular updating – which in turn placed a premium on standards and repeatable processes, so that applications could be supported by a team without breaking every time they’re updated.

Walls emphasized the need for work to be well documented, repeatable, reliable and ‘easy to do right.’ Opscode is one of the leaders in this effort through its backing of  Chef, an open source framework using repeatable code – organized as ‘recipes’ and ‘cookbooks’ – to automate the configuration and management process for virtual servers.”

You can read DCK’s full day-one recap of Velocity here.  For the Ren & Stimpy origin of the “yak shaving” term, check this out.

Lucas Welch

Former Chef Employee

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