Published on 5 October 2012 by

"I'm going to go out on a limb and call #puppetconf the best sysadmin conference around" - @jaqpants

That quote perfectly sums up how we felt about PuppetConf 2012. With over 750 in-person attendees, 75 sessions, and 71 speakers, and so much great content centered around making IT better through automation, we only had one complaint—and we heard it over and over again:

"The problem with #puppetconf is that there are way too many great talks" - @ndietsch

It’s tough to pick out highlights, particularly given that I didn’t get to see all the sessions I wanted to see. We did record nearly all rooms, so you can sign up to be the first to know when the videos are available, and catch up on any sessions you missed.

"‪Puppetconf underway!! #puppetconf - @stahnma‬

Bell: "When you contrib to Puppet/PuppetForge, you're helping to find the 96% of universe that we're missing" (Applause) #puppetconf - @RealGeneKim

As a failed astrophysicist, I adored the CERN keynote on how Puppet helps them manage the computing power required to unlock the secrets of the universe, as well as the SpaceX folks talking about how Puppet helps them send rockets into space. I heard GitHub explain how Puppet makes their new engineers productive quickly, Jamie from Google remind us how high school calculus can make monitoring better, and Mozilla shared how Puppet manages thousands of nodes in a complex environment with a very small team of sysadmins.

On the Puppet Labs side, we showed off the awesomeness of PuppetDB and Hiera, talked through the great changes in the just-released Puppet 3.0, showed how you can extend Puppet to automatically keep your AWS images up-to-date, integrated Windows provisioning into Razor with the EMC folks, and demonstrated modeling entire Google Compute Engine instances directly in the Puppet DSL.

PuppetConf wasn’t just about great sessions.

Even though we spend all year living online with our community in IRC, mailing lists and Twitter, big events like this give us the chance to put faces to names, meet new Puppeteers, and renew friendships. It was amazing to see so many long-time community members again, especially the alumni from the very first Puppet Camp in San Francisco in 2009. We’ve come a long way from that little event, but the same spirit and attitude flows on.

More than once I heard new attendees express surprise and delight at how thoughtful, opinionated and helpful all of you in our community are. While people were interacting meaningfully in sessions, I could also hear them solving each others infrastructure problems in the hallway tracks, correcting each other on designs, and creating lasting and useful bonds.

Great way to kick off the conference. #puppetconf - @jaredcurtis

We launched our certification program, with 96 taking the first round of Puppet Professional testing, and seven taking our Developer beta exam. With this program, we hope to help expert Puppet users get recognition for their skills, and PuppetConf was the perfect platform for the kick-off. Exams are now available worldwide through Pearson VUE testing centers.

OMG! So tired. Up watching #puppetconf 2012 from Sydney, Australia. 4.30am hardcore!! - @trungh

Special shout out to WibiData and GitHub for sponsoring night time events around the conference, and to all of our other sponsors—especially Ooyala, who sponsored and provided a livestream to over 2,500 remote attendees. It’s important to us that we keep PuppetConf affordable as well as an absolutely first-class conference, and our fantastic sponsors help us achieve that goal.

We can't thank our community enough for sharing their awesome operations stories, uses of Puppet, and coming out to take part in the event. We're already looking forward to PuppetConf 2013—and if you want to join us, sign up for a "Save the Date" reminder.

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