I have written before about the DevOps community in Austin. It is one of the most welcoming and warm groups of people I have ever interacted with. Combine that with the HugOps operation of the friendly folks of Chef and you wind up with a great experience. That pretty much sums up ChefConf 2016 for me. Beyond the warm and fuzzy though, there was also a lot on display on what the future of business is all about. To paraphrase a line from the movie, The Graduate, I have one word for you: AUTOMATION.
Automation was on full display at ChefConf 2016. And not just your grandpa or dad’s automation either. For those who think Chef is still all about configuration management and automating servers, think again. I am talking about automation extending into every nook and cranny of the business. You only had to see Alaska Airlines CIO, Veresh Sita’s presentation to understand what automation really means. But truthfully that was just one of many talks and sessions that demonstrated the power of automation and how Chef is pushing automation up and down the business.
There was also the announcements regarding Chef Automate and Habitat. While we have covered Habitat already, a quick word on Automate. Automate which is years in the making, is actually the combination of Habitat, Chef Delivery which was released last year and defines the DevOps workflow, Chef itself and Chef InSpec, the compliance and security project based on the technology from the acquisition Chef made last year of VulcanoSec. All of these are combined in one enterprise class package that Chef CEO Barry Crist called “our flagship product”.
Beyond that though to really give you a feel if you couldn’t make it to ChefConf this year, there was a palpable buzz around the place. I think the feeling is that so many good things are starting to come together. While many label many of these under the DevOps umbrella, it is automation, DevOps, Agile and more combining to enable businesses to do more, faster and better than they ever have before. In addition, as these trends continue to evolve and accelerate the pace of innovation also continues to accelerate.
I had a chance to speak briefly with Dr.Nicole Forsgren, who works at Chef but is also one of the key people behind the State of DevOps survey. Forsgren said that is why we are seeing the gap between high performing IT led companies and those who are not continuing to widen. The gulf will continue to grow as companies adopting these practices pull away from those who do not.
From my point of view it is amazing to see that since I first became involved in IT we have seen IT move from a cost center as viewed by many an executive to the engine that drives the business. As I remarked to several people at ChefConf, we certainly live in interesting times!
I was also able to use the Chef Newsroom to do a few interviews there. We have put them up in our DevOpsTV Youtube channel under ChefConf 2016 playlist. There are about 8 or so total but I am embedding two to give you a taste. You should check out the rest if you have a chance, as they are pretty good.
The first is with George Miranda of Chef and we talk about Habitat and a little about Automate.
This second interview is with well known DevOps journalist, writer and community member, Ben Kepes, enjoy!