ChefConf 2016 has now come and gone. Here are my day after thoughts, in no particular order. Probably going to have a lot more thoughts than I realize.
- GREAT conference environment. The hotel was great, the get togethers and the final party were out of sight.
- Austin is as hot as expected. 80 when I woke up in the mornings, triple digits daily.
- Texans like the indoors cold. Everywhere I went was cold inside.
- The open source community is way more eclectic than the world I’m accustomed to. Let’s say that there were more tattoos, kilts, piercings, and “weirdness” than I’ve ever seen at a Microsoft conference.
- That said, the community was really cool. Everyone was nice and they were all very much open to helping each other. There were a few of the condescending kinds of Asperger-y developers, but they were mostly on the fringes of the fringe.
- Adam Jacob’s keynote was inspirational as hell. I have never seen or heard him before, but he’s obviously got his head in the right place.
- There’s almost a DGAF attitude in the Chef community. Basically, people get respected not based upon their looks or where they’re from…it is totally on merit. The Chef team themselves were as eclectic as the community attendees. What a fun, and unusual, place that has to be to work.
- Austin was okay, but not as overhwhelmingly cool as I expected. I was envisioning something like Bourbon Street. It wasn’t like that. The scale was just so much smaller. I think there are neighborhoods around Cincinnati that are equally cool to Austin’s “cool” areas.
- People there eat from food trucks all the time.
- La Barbecue was amazing. Yeah, it’s a food truck. It was recommended by a bartender and was the top rating on Yelp so I went with it. Oh, man.
- I really wish there was more for us Windows folks at the conference. There were a few technical sessions for us, but Chef really is heavy on the Linux/Open Source side of things. They are working hard to make it more awesome on Windows, but the enthusiasm from the community was clearly on the Linux side. Hopefully that changes.
- Habitat looks really cool and answers a lot of questions I have about containers. It looks like a very cool way to make the smallest possible, most tightly secured, and most configurable container packages. I am going to play with it, even if it’s not available for Windows containers. MS and Chef are working on that already. :)
- Those closing party bands were AMAZING. I was blown away. The DJs rocked, too. The only questionable band was the Chef band….hmmmm.
- Sadly, I did not bring back the long to-do list of exciting things to try out. I don’t know if that’s because of how far toward the front edge I am already, or if it’s because I’m using Windows.
- I am really on the front edge with Windows and Chef. There isn’t much that I’m not doing already. That’s cool.
- I need to invest some time into CD.
- Jenkins must be the best, judging by the numbers of people talking about it.
- Was the trip worth it? Yes. It was great to meet other engineers and hear how they are doing things.
- Will I go next year? Unless I expand Chef more into our systems or they release some big Windows things, probably not. I think this is a good annual conference to alternate with MS Ignite. Keep pretty up-to-date on Windows stuff as well as Chef and DevOps stuff.
Written on July 15, 2016