Monthly Archives: November 2008

More Puppet Stories

These are my slides from RubyConf.  They are mostly images, so I’ll talk you through them (maybe not what I said at RubyConf, but in the same spirit)

I love that Escher’esque image of interlocking puppets (the Puppet logo is an abstraction of that). That was just there for something interesting during my 30 second introduction.

If you were at Mountain West Ruby Conference last year, then those next slides mostly make sense, if not, then you should be there this year.

The next 4 slides are about the different mindsets between developers and sysadmins.  I also like to point out how software changed when it isn’t shipped on CDs. If you are working on a web applications, particularly of any scale, any turbulent disharmony between these two tribes is going to cost you.  I also admit that I’ve solved problems with ‘chmod 777’ so there isn’t any doubt which tribe I came from.

Yay, Puppet, Yay, Ruby, these next slides I talk about what the Puppet project is, that it is all in Ruby, that Puppet, like Ruby, is a passion project driven.

Then the inquisitor… great tools are opinionated. Ruby on Rails is opinionated. Puppet is opinionated. When you, or your project, resonate with those opinions those tools will make you happy. If you don’t or can’t, you might think those tools hate you. Sometimes you should rethink what you are trying to do, and sometimes you might need a different tool.

Then the sysadmin slides, into Luke’s story, that most sysadmins don’t see any problems, other than the fact that most organizations are afraid to touch their machines and shudder at the thought of having to rebuild anything significant in the production environment.

This is an image of the internet, a couple years old now, but I think it is a stunning picture and gives a sense of the scale.

The obligatory cloud slide… minimizes your hardware headaches, but multiplies your configurations.

And how do people handle all those configurations?  Ahh yeah, the meat cloud…

But really most sys admins do the same work… not just over and over, but from..organization to organization..

Now back to Luke… can cfengine… and wanting something better… way better…

And some of the people using Puppet… and we want to make Puppet like a gun in a knife fight… Pub by 4… and a quick overview of why puppet has this effect

Little slide about portability and then how once these configurations are generalized, people can share them

Then a bunch of slides showing parallels between puppet code and common sysadmin task of installing, configuring and starting services.

Perspectives was a little reflection about how much stuff is in Puppet and what to show Rubyists at a conference.

I decided to show an example of a simple Type and Provider, first explaining a bit about the model and idempotence, then finally how you can use that in the Puppet language. Code code code…

Talk about other tools and where/why you might use other tools.  Not everything is a nail.

Puppet’s Open Community

And what’s Next?


Weather the Storm (or ‘learn something for next time’)

I’ve had a lot of thoughts to blog, just not a lot of time. Not to make excuses… if you followed my twitter you’d know I try to stay busy.

Rubyconf was great, my talk was ok, B+ maybe, I learned some lessons, next talk will benefit, lots of cool smart people, trying to explain Puppet to Ruby developers is always interesting. I gave another version of the talk at the Utah Ruby Users Group.

Ignite Salt Lake was epic, but apparently the AV capture was a fail.  Total lighting fail and everyone is really dark in the video. This is sad because the talks really were excellent.  The strategy is to try some image processing and see if there is anything worth salvaging, and if not just take the audio and match it with the slides. Another lesson learned, next time will be better.

My wife is traveling almost every week lately for interviews and leaving me home with the boys.  She is trying to match in an opthalmology program and the whole process is black magic, which means a bit of stress and we have no idea where we will be in 6-18 months.

Part of me wants to stay here in Salt Lake City, because I love the high mountain desert and will always have roots here, but I always like new things and it would be nice to get acquainted with a new town.

I’ll be glad when the process is over one way or another.

There seems to be an upsurge in the Agile backlash lately, but I have personally made most of the same observation/critiques before.  Should make the next Agile Roundtable discussion more fun.  On a related note, there seems to be an upswing of ‘pastry‘ searches on blogs (maybe just the holidays).  Oh well, popularity drives dilution, and now I really really really want to have an AgileFringe conference.

I feel some good posts percolating… (next time will be better…)


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