We had a great visit to Atlanta, Georgia recently for Puppet Camp Atlanta! This is our third year doing a Puppet Camp in Atlanta, and over 100 people gathered together at Roam Dunwoody to talk about Puppet. Atlanta is one of the cities that has had an identity as a Puppet community the longest — for example, the Atlanta Puppet User Group was founded in 2011, the same year as the San Francisco one. There are a lot of experienced Puppet community members in Atlanta, and plenty of new folks excited to get started, so it was great to bring everyone together for a day!
Once folks braved the traffic (most of the audience drove one or two hours to get there), Brad Hamilton, director of education at Puppet Labs, started the day off with a Puppet keynote talk. Then Bryan Belanger from Azcender gave a talk on the Instant Data Center. Sorry to spoil it, but it turns out the answer isn't, "just add water". He walked the audience through "a data center on your laptop" and the tools needed to get there.
Up next, Bob Rasey of Manheim taught the audience how to use r10k to manage your Puppet workflow. For those unfamiliar with r10k, it's a general purpose toolset for deploying Puppet environments and modules. If you're not using r10k yet, I recommend checking out Bob's excellent talk.
For a change of pace, Caleb Cooper walked us through how he was managing classrooms with Puppet at the Garden Montessori school in Atlanta, including both his personal journey, and the school's journey, into Puppet. As a bonus, every slide had a related quote on education from Maria Montessori. One thing that stood out about Puppet Camp Atlanta was the large number of Puppet users from higher education and K-12 organizations, who made up just over one quarter of the participants.
After lunch, Shadow-Soft's Jerald Sheets dove into Dev Toolsets for Ops, a talk about how to host, write, test, and share your code. Then, Puppet Labs technical solutions engineer Robert Maury gave a Puppet demo. There's no recording or slides for this, so you're just going to have to trust me when I say it was interesting.
In the penultimate talk, Rackspace's Greg Swift came all the way from Texas encourage the audience to start Embracing Roles and Profiles. Greg touches on modules, profiles, and roles, and how to properly apply each of them, then encourages you to "abstract everything…with moderation."
To finish off the day, Bill O'Neill gave a very well-received intermediate-level talk on the "Continuous Deployment of Puppet Modules". Bill works at MailChimp, and brought a bonus box of chimp-themed goodies to share. If you live in Atlanta, do yourself a favor and check out the Atlanta Puppet User Group, which Bill and Jerald both help organize.
Finally, we all piled into a nearby pub for chicken wings and drinks (in my case, a tasty ginger beer). Atlanta is always a highlight of my year, because of the amazing Puppet community there, and I'm already looking forward to next time.