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:

Up to now, the large enterprise could beat the small shop in one critical area - deployments. Small shops simply don't have the army of ops engineers standing by for such efforts. If time is the resource, then machines are, historically, resource hogs.

No longer true. With Chef, we can sometimes even beat the large enterprise, because not only do we automate it, but once it's automated it's - uh - automated. Get it right once... "How many of those did you need?"

So now, we not only have some of the same stature reserved for the big shops, but if they're still not automated - which many are not, we might even be able to beat them at their own game.

That's kind of fun.

Windows Enterprise Stature

Alas, for all it's goodness, this newfound stature was a 'nix story. Heaven help the poor soul who had to configure windows servers using Chef. Impossible? No. But nothing for low budget mortals like ourselves.

This past year, reports are that this barrier has also now been broken. So now, if there was a windows centric topic at our local devops meetup, we can strut right in there with our enterprisey stature and sit down like the best of them. 

Learning from the Austin Startup Market

Our background is serving enterprises in Dallas, headquarters for 50+ Fortune 500 companies. Even though we were a small shop, we had always helped enterprises be more enterprisey.

The stakes are different in our new home of Austin, TX, where most of the devs seem to work at startups, and budgets aren't quite as fat as in Dallas.

So why does Chef have such a huge footprint in Austin? Because it's automate or die, here. Your cash has to make it to the next "round". 

In Dallas, you say things like "we really should automate this year." In Austin, it's not a "should" but a "have to." No wonder Chef is in so deep in Austin startup culture, despite it's relative immaturity, in years.

Making Bets

We had to make a bet on one of several technologies 2 years ago. We got lucky and chose Chef.

Maybe it was just luck, but the luck stayed with us. "Oh, you guys do Chef? Can you come help us at our shop?" It gave us instant traction  in a new market, for us.