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?"   Example:

It wasn't always this way... a year ago I blogged about all the things that can go wrong when you try to learn Chef. My partner even got top honors at DevOpsDays as a speaker on the same topic.  It was a full house :)

What a Difference a Year Makes

Chef is just plain easy. Who'da thunk it? In a year, the tuturials have gone from brittle and long running to easy and almost foolproof.

You can still spend a bunch of time doing the mighty-meta, black belt, Kung Fu Chef - fancy stuff that pracitioners won't need for a while. Jeff is our Chef guy, and he can do stuff I don't even "get". But that's what makes him the pro.

Nice thing is, if you want to keep things simple and just maintain dumb simple recipes for the lion's share of your work, Chef can do it. And so can you.

TemplateWare Alert:

Templateware is getting a lot of bad PR lately. Single commands replacing entire directories of obscure looking metadata of various types. I could give you some examples from recent tech seminars, but I keep trying to ignore them.

"Hey! Use this one line command, replaces 14 files/directories!" And so it does. But this too, comes with a cost. By the time you get all the fancy config back in that one line, you might wish you had your files and directories back. but that's a different argument for a different blog.

Bottom line is that Chef is shameless templateware in it's current configuration. I'm big on templateware. Templateware works. But if you don't like it, you won't like Chef either. Sorry.

Once you get a pattern rolling, you'll find that it's easy to replicate.