Every October, Chef users descend upon Seattle for my favorite tech event of the year. The Community Summit is an Open Spaces format “unconference” where the participants run the show. Events like these are the heart of Open Source. The best parts of the Chef ecosystem are born here. If you’re wondering if you should come, let me break it
down for you.
This isn’t just a gathering of hard-core Chef users, contributors, and engineers. While there are certainly many expert-level people who have been coming for years, we also get many newcomers that are just sticking their toes in the waters of infrastructure automation. Many of the experts are keen to help people out.
For those of you who have never been to an Open Space event, here’s how it works. First, we have an opening circle, welcoming everyone and explaining what’s about to go down. Next, we line up, suggest topics for discussion, writing them on cards and place them on a board. The board represents time slots and gathering areas available around the venue. The cards are sorted by topics, stacking for duplicates, and organized by interest so the popular topics can get the larger spaces.
Finally we break out and go to sessions. Obeying The Law of Two Feet.
“If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.”
This process has yielded some of the most important tooling in our ecosystem. Foodcritic, Librarian-Chef, Berkshelf, Poise, Test Kitchen, ChefSpec were all born out of challenges our community has faced in the past and discussed at the Summit.
Tons of non-technical conversations happen as well. Over the years I’ve attended sessions ranging from security and auditing, Devops journeys, training and learning curves, lessons from other communities, and diversity in the technology industry.
It really is a great experience.
In this spirit of the Summit, I want to share the topics I plan to propose myself this year.
– The Cookbook Ecosystem – Chef is ramping up a dedicated Cookbook Engineering team, and this is the perfect place to get input to help focus or energy.
– Ease of Use – How can we make Chef easier? What can we learn from other projects?
– Testing and quality metrics on the Supermarket.
– Containers and Orchestration – I may just be a bit obsessed with this one.
I hope to see you there!