What my new role as Chief Architect means for Puppet

Why I joined Puppet

Hi, I’m Chip Childers and I’ve just joined Puppet as Chief Architect.

You likely don’t know me, so let me tell you a little about myself: I’ve been working in large-scale computing and open source software for more than twenty years. For the past five years, I was CTO and then Executive Director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, an open source PaaS created to make developers’ lives easier. While I started my career as a web developer, during the heyday of the late 1990s internet boom, I’ve been fortunate to work on projects up and down the stack, from web development to network backbone automation and telemetry. I’ve done this in the context of international service providers, large enterprises, government agencies, startups, and trade associations.

At my core, I am happiest when shipping products & services that make customers’ work lives easier and less stressful so they can prioritize what makes them happiest in their personal lives and more fulfilled in their professional lives.

This is a pivotal reason I joined Puppet, a company founded to make operators’ lives better. Puppet is a company built on the principle that transformational change is possible. The mission and vision of this company are rooted in empathy – built for operators by operators who understand the long hours and rote tasks that were once unavoidable. Puppet changed the game, giving operators hours of their lives back to spend doing what they want.

Since its founding, Puppet has played an industry-wide role in establishing many of the practices considered to be “modern operations” today, from the adoption of DevOps principles, to establishing infrastructure automation as almost a basic expectation of IT operations teams. At the same time, the complexity of infrastructure has exponentially increased. New technologies, consumption models, and cloud-native architectures have taken root.

As operators are being asked to participate on new teams and climb up the stack to address needs like security and compliance while managing and delivering applications, Puppet has proven itself to be nimble and responsive with new product and service offerings – and there’s much more we can do.

As the Chief Architect at Puppet, I’ll be collaborating with teammates across the company to help identify ways that our technologies, both existing and those yet to be built, can solve hard problems for our customers. I’ll also be working closely with the rest of the R&D team to help accelerate the delivery of our next generations of Puppet products and services. I can’t overstate how pleased I am to be reunited with Abby Kearns, CTO of Puppet, with whom I worked in tandem for many years at the Cloud Foundry Foundation. Abby and I will work together with the entire team to create the building blocks on which we will deliver our goals and grow our vision more quickly.

Working with you: the Puppet community

What does all this mean for you – the individuals who use and improve Puppet every day?

I want to understand your needs: where you feel the most supported by Puppet, where you see gaps in the portfolio, and what technologies you’re dreaming of to bring you to the next stage of your career – and your company to the next phase of its success.

I’m active on Twitter and the Puppet Community Slack. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions, suggestions and feedback. I’m looking forward to working with all of you.

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