I’ve always heard that as you get older, you start to learn in different ways. I know that when I was a kid, I could pretty much pick up a book or listen to a lecture and “get it.” I didn’t need any hands-on kind of experience to learn how something worked. They say that adults learn by doing, but that never applied.
Now, I don’t think that I need to “do” to learn, but I’ve found that it’s harder to grasp things from just reading some documentation. For instance, nowadays, if someone gives me a high-level overview of what some software does, I can then take the documentation and be off to the races. This is exactly what happened this week with Chef Provisioning Services.
I’d seen the software on Github for a while and had no idea what it did. I could read the main readme file and all that, but I didn’t get it. The examples of usage were there, but that didn’t make sense to me. Then, in a call with Steve Murawski, he said, “Have you tried Chef Provisioning Services? It’s like recipes for deploying VMs in Azure.”
That is all the man had to say. I know what recipes do, as I’ve worked with Chef on them for over a year. I know how to deploy VMs in a variety of ways in Azure, so that’s no issue. Just hearing “it’s like recipes for deploying VMs in Azure” is all it took for me to get it.
I went out to Github immediately and looked at the example. Well, d’uh…that makes perfect sense now! I took the example and within an hour I had the example deployment working. Since then, I’ve changed the template to use a custom image that I have in Azure already, and I’m a stone’s throw away from being able to spin up as many VMs as I want to from the MS gallery Windows 2012 R2 image.
Why didn’t I see this before? Maybe there’s a section of your brain that makes the clicks when things click, and it eventually moves slower. Hell, I don’t know. I just hope it keeps clicking. :)