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Puppet Camp London: University Edition

I had a great time at Puppet Camp London, as always, and this one was at the Imperial College in a lecture hall, so it was just like being back at university. Like at past London camps, every seat was filled, which meant that we had over 250 people in attendance!

Chris Spence kicked off the day with the Puppet Camp Keynote presentation, which set the stage for the rest of the day. He talked about why we need configuration management, all of the various technologies that come together to make Puppet and Puppet Enterprise, and where to go to learn more.

Next up was Martin Alfke with a talk about module rewriting the smart way, including tips for getting what you need while making it easy to collaborate with other people on modules. It's a good thing that the talk was a little short, because there were so many questions about best practices for writing modules!

Simon Croome talked about increasing agility by understanding risk, with information about measuring by the rate of successful change, change impact analysis and tools that help automate risk assessment and change deployment.

The always-entertaining Tom Doran of Yelp woke us up after lunch with his talk about chasing AMI with Jenkins, Packer and Puppet. He talked about generating Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) with custom software, including how they deal with issues like bootstrapping, getting canonical information about a machine's environment, and more.

If you are a data geek, like me, you'll enjoy seeing Jos Boumans from Krux talk about how to measure everything: a million metrics per second with minimal developer overhead. Krux monitors a massive amount of data and uses Puppet to manage the infrastructure that handles all those metrics.

Jon Topper from The Scale Factory was next with a talk about using MCollective as an integration layer, including incorporating tools like Zabbix, ZCollective, and sf-deploy as part of your orchestration solution.

Gareth Rushgrove encouraged those people working more on the ops side of the house to learn something from developer best practices and embrace test-driven development with Puppet. He walked us through a very simple workflow to illustrate exactly how you can use test-driven development with Puppet code.

We wrapped up the presentations with a great demo from Steven Thwaites. He walked through how to perform a few common tasks, and answered questions about using Puppet before we adjourned to a local pub for drinks. Let me just say that the people in London take their time (a long time) at the pub pretty seriously, so we had a great evening!

Throughout the day, we held Puppet certification tests, so we finished the day with some newly certified people, which was a lovely bonus to an already amazing event.

If you missed this one, you can get links to the presentations and view materials from other past Puppet Camps by visiting the Previous Puppet Camps section of the Puppet Camp page.

If you are interested in attending a future Puppet Camp, there are more upcoming camps in a variety of cities, and more will be scheduled soon. We’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Dawn Foster is director of community at Puppet Labs.

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