The Chef Win Series is a response to: "How has Chef changed our operations for the better, in the past 2 years since our shop adopted it?"
An additional perspective:

There are still top down challenges in the community of Chef users, but they are surmountable. I note them here, just to partially balance out the Chef gushing that I do in the rest of this series.


Supermarket hangs like an anchor keeping the Chef ship from sailing on the open ocean. Bad recipes are the death of this monstrosity. So unnecessary. So prevalent. Like a giant finger of defiance - but to who?

And for why?

  • Idealogical loyalty to an open source ideal?
  • Lack of resources to perfect what is there?
  • Failure to consume one's own dogfood?
  • Hubris?
  • It really is that hard to add namespaces and indexing and scoring to sort away the abundance of crap?
  • Failure to understand what Noah Kantrowitz observed, even years ago?

Jee Whiz. I just don't know. But Chef is losing loyal customers every day to this extravagent bull-headed folly, and I believe Chef deserves every single defection that it gets. I may not like it. but I believe that the defections are a reasonable response.

Just the other day, I tried to consume the supermarket mysql recipe, in a moment of weakness. What a disaster. Go away, Chef, and don't come back. I just abandoned the experiment. Total disgust. I just want to install mysql on ubuntu. And it takes a whole array of cookbooks, to download one at a time, but only after reading the error logs? Yeesh. Forget it.

Is Chef Tone Deaf?

I will report to you that there is still talk of this at the local level. [One very loyal and prominent influencer] told me "Yeah, Chef still believes in it's own stuff a little more than might be warranted right now." Then he smiles really big. He loves Chef. But his shop moved to Puppet. Maybe that's OK for Chef to have some hubris. Chef is doing pretty well right now. 

For answers to the question about is Chef tone deaf, I look to smoke signals. In a way, that's all I've got.

Smoke Signals

Noah Kantrowitz and Seth Vargo were tremendous assets for Chef. I don't know enough about the situations to know what the problems were, but somehow, they got away. Is this a failure of leadership? Can't say.

Chef may have quadzillion people working for it right now, but the number of people who really get what is going is something less than 100%. That's why it's slightly dismaying to see these two tremendous assets not being dealt with in a way that attracts their talents. Crazy.

No Shop Is Perfect

You won't come to our shop and say "Oh gosh these guys are super-perfect" every shop has it's issues.

Is the Supermarket debacle, and a little bit of hubris even worth mentioning? Can't say.

Just glad nobody blogs about our little shop like I blog about Chef.