published on 29 August 2019

You've probably heard that we've got a conference coming up soon. But have you also heard about the exciting additional events going on around Puppetize PDX? We're coming back home to Portland, and are super excited to show you some of our favorite parts of our city.

We've added a few extra events into the Puppetize PDX agenda and in this podcast, we'll talk with a small handful of Puppet employees who're helping facilitate some of those experiences for you. They range from integral parts of the conference, like the Birds of a Feather discussion sessions that Gene is facilitating, to the technical extras, like the Bolt workshop and the Hackday, all the way to the unrelated-but-still-fun Puppet-sponsored Portland Marathon team and the informal pinball tournament at Ground Kontrol.

Come along; we hope you enjoy the listen!

Ben Ford is a software engineer and developer advocate at Puppet.

Learn more

Ben [00:00:10] Hi everybody. Welcome back to pulling the strings here at puppet. My name is Ben Ford, I am our developer advocate, and today we're going to be sharing some of the ancillary events that we're doing alongside Puppetize. We've got Gene Liverman, Lucy Wyman, Nick Lewis and Ken Johnson. And I'll be asking them to tell me a little bit about some of the different things that we've got going on. I hope you enjoy hearing about them.

Ben [00:00:40] We've got Gene, who's going to be talking about our birds of a feather session. What is that anyways? Could you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Gene [00:00:48] Yeah sure. So I'm an SRE here at puppet. I work on the team that helps manage the infrastructure the engineers need to get their job done. So I work with the physical servers with our cloud environments, help manage vmware, starting to help manage Kubernetes and multitude of other smaller applications.

Ben [00:01:08] Right on, how long you've been doing that?

Gene [00:01:10] I've been doing it here with puppet for a little over two years and I've been working in systems administration kind of work for well over a decade now. Both on the Windows and Linux side. The place I came from a university and it was about 50/50 Linux and 50 Windows. So kind of doing a little bit of all that for quite a long time now and also working with some of the more esoteric things like Solaris and stuff like that.

Ben [00:01:35] That's pretty cool it sounds like you've got a lot of experience for like a lot of very disparate topics which is kind of what we're here to talk about anyways. Do you want to tell us a little bit about a birds of a feather session is.

Gene [00:01:47] Yeah sure. So I think of birds of a feather session to be kind of like a little roundtable discussion with some loose coordination added on to it. So the conferences I've been to that have had them before, there's a set of topics that have been decided on ahead of time and maybe one or two ad hoc topics based on presentations that were done at the conference that seemed to generate a whole lot of interest and in each topic somebody has agreed to kind of lead maybe in a very loose sense moderated a little bit.

Ben [00:02:18] Kind of facilitate -

Gene [00:02:20] Facilitate is a really good way of putting it. And that person will usually kick off the discussion with something relevant to the topic and then encourage other people to chime in either with answering a question that they posed or talking about similar things or just generally discussing it. Kind of an example as I went to a DevOps Days in Portland a couple of years ago. One of the Birds Of A Feather Sessions was owned using Power Shell as a DevOps practitioner. And so anybody who was interested in that general topic could come and sit in and we sat around and talked about some of the different ways people were currently doing things and the tools that they had found to use for it. And you know what went well and what didn't and had more than enough to chat about for the time period.

Ben [00:03:02] It seems like a really really good way of like sort of sharing ideas with each other and even generating new ideas. It seems like a like a what would you call it a target rich environment for ideas.

Gene [00:03:14] Absolutely. By nature of being at a given conference you've already got some level of mindshare or similar challenges that you're trying to solve or similar tooling that you're using you know all depending on what the conference is sometimes a little of all of that. And so people are kind of in the same world but they've also got lots of different experiences. And this is a way for those people who have gathered with those different experiences to be able to chat with each other for a little bit without the kind of one way nature of most of the presentations at a conference, it's really a dialogue.

Ben [00:03:46] I really like that a lot that resonates a lot with me it's like a like a peer to peer dialogue not necessarily like somebody telling you how to go do your work or what not. It's like the two of you coming up or multiple of you coming up with collaboratively better practices.

Gene [00:04:03] It's kind of like the preplanned version of the hallway conversations that you end up having with people at a conference.

Ben [00:04:08] That's cool. And you you mentioned topics a little bit and you said something about like ad hoc topics and something about like planned ahead topics what like how are you you coming up with this list of topics.

Gene [00:04:20] So for Puppetize PDX what we're looking to do is gather from the community some ideas for topics and have them vote on the ideas that are proposed and then whichever one seem to be the most popular talked about the top five and we'll point those out to have those as preplanned topics and then probably also pointing to have space set up so that if there is one or two additional topics that become evident that people are really interested in from say overflowing attendance at a session or people saying "hey I'd really like to learn more about this" we'll have space where we could set up one or two additional conversations also.

Ben [00:04:59] So it sounds like you're asking people almost to submit ideas.

Gene [00:05:03] Yes. That's exactly what it is. So we'll just ask people, say "are there things you would like to chat with other practitioners in the field about?" The Power Shell example is a really good one. But say if kind of playing off of that one maybe people who work with Puppet on Windows or just do Windows Administration in general, wanted to get together and talk with some of their peers because they've got challenges that they're hoping maybe somebody else has a good answer for. You know this would be a great time to come in. Maybe they propose to talk to say, "hey I'm trying to, I'm trying to figure out how to manage this set of applications." And that's their topic idea. And other people are like "hey you know, we run that. That's a big challenge for us too. I wonder if anyone elise is doing that." So they decide they want to vote on it. And a whole bunch of people get together and chat about it. Or a few people get together and chat about it.

Ben [00:05:54] That sounds great. So Puppetize PDX is October 9th and 10th. You know when you'll be have like putting these topics out for people to start suggesting or voting or whatnot on?

Gene [00:06:07] So we're looking to send out a survey to the community and posted on our slack and probably post it on social media sometime early in August. Probably going to use Google Forms. We looked at a couple of different tools and there's some other interesting tools in the space but either they cost a lot more money than the benefit you get out of them or they only kind of touched on the topic or touched on the problem space that we're trying to get information from. And turned out that something just a simple google form is going to be the easiest way to gather the info so gather that during August and then probably late in August, we'll send out a second survey say "hey these are the ones people seem to like the most or these are the topics that people submitted. What are your top one or two topics that you would like to hear?"

Ben [00:06:55] So voting like you adding your vote to.

Gene [00:06:58] So do voting kind of as a separate round since Google Forms doesn't allow you to see what other people have done and instantly vote on it. So gather in one round and then vote in a second round.

Ben [00:07:07] I like that a lot. So it seems very kind of grassroots it seems like exactly the sort of thing that an SRE would put together right?

Gene [00:07:14] Well that's the idea. That's that's what we're hoping for. And community involvement is key in something like this. Cause I mean the whole point of it is for people in our community to sit down and chat with each other. This isn't about you know, a puppet employee coming and saying this is what we're going to talk about. It's Joe Practioner or Jane Practioner or saying, "hey I'd like to talk to somebody about this" and then we talked about it.

Ben [00:07:35] Well then here is maybe a challenge like like you're you're a Puppet employee you're you're putting this together and whatnot but you're also like a practitioner you're you're somebody in the field doing this. So what would be like your topic if you had one topic to pick out and put on this list and vote up what do you think you would want to talk about and hear ideas from?

Gene [00:07:53] I think I would be most interested right now in talking with people that aren't working in a major corporation, how they're managing Windows stuff. I don't do much in the way of the Windows management since joining puppet but because of my previous role I know there is a tremendous amount of room for improving the management of Windows servers and for doing real configuration management on Windows. And I know a lot of it can be done but the documentation around it and the knowledge share around it is lacking compared to say doing the same thing on a Linux system. So learning from our community about what they're doing and then maybe helping spread that around a little bit.

Ben [00:08:33] That sounds like a great topic. I know several people who would love to be in that conversation with you, some with some really really good ideas.

Gene [00:08:40] And don't get me wrong I'm not discouraging the people from the big corporations from participating in that conversation. It's just interesting. A lot of times they've got some really great ideas but not everything not everything works the same when you've got you know 300 people focused on a problem is when you've got three people focused on a problem. Your solutions have to stay with the size of your staff that are managing it sometimes.

Ben [00:09:02] That's really true. And the solutions that are put together by somebody who's writing the documentation for a thing are not always a solution that a person in the field going "Oh wow, how does this thing work again?" will come up with.

Gene [00:09:13] Yeah absolutely.

Ben [00:09:16] Anything else you'd like to say about the birds of a feather session?

Gene [00:09:20] Just encourage people to pitch an idea even if you don't think anybody else would be interested in it. Feel free to propose it. You never know who's going to be interested in something. It's you can't ever really predict what application somebody is running in their shop, it may not even seem like something that's relevant but they may have some some interesting need that causes them to be doing the same kind of things you're doing and if you're trying to solve the same problems you can learn from each other.

Ben [00:09:44] That's true. There is no bad idea. And if your topic doesn't get voted up it just doesn't get voted up.

Gene [00:09:50] Yeah there's no there's no shame.

Ben [00:09:52] There's no way to get wrong.

Gene [00:09:53] There's no shame in that I mean, it doesn't hurt to put the idea out there and if nothing else maybe, as a byproduct of it, you might be able to find a - find out that there's other people in the community that are interested in it, maybe you can connect with them on the community slack as part of it.

Ben [00:10:07] That sounds great. Well thanks for chatting with us, Gene.

Gene [00:10:09] Thanks for having me.

Ben [00:10:12] I am looking forward to the birds of a feather session and I hope everybody listening is, too.

Gene [00:10:15] Cool, thank you.

Ben [00:10:16] All right and next up we've got Lucy Wyman. She's an engineer on the Bolt team. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, Lucy?

Luca [00:10:22] Yeah hi everyone. My name is Lucy Wyman and like Ben said, I am an engineer on the Bolt team.

Ben [00:10:31] We'll be talking to her about the Bolt workshop that we're running the day before Puppetize. So what is it about this Bolt workshop that makes it valuable for people to come? What do you think?

Lucy [00:10:39] Oh my gosh. I think there's almost too much to say, like the Bolt workshop is a very comprehensive overview of everything you could possibly want to know about Bolt to get started with it. So it's about four hours, but there's a decent amount of breaks, you know a lot of interactivity. It's entirely hands-on. So it's composed of labs that you do to learn basic Bolt concepts. And by basic I mean all Bolt concepts like this workshop really covers the gamut from really early just running commands on machines all the way to applying puppet manifests without an agent, and doing really advanced Bolt work. So by the end of it you'll have a really good idea of like all of the capabilities of Bolt and how to do them and you should be pretty comfortable doing them yourself because you'll be going through all of the exercises and there'll be hands on support there from the people leading the workshop. So it's it's a really great way to evaluate if Bolt is a good option for you and everything that it can do.

Ben [00:11:43] Almost sounds a little intimidating. What sort of things do people need to know coming into it?

Lucy [00:11:47] I can see how it would be intimidating because it's so long and it's so much of Bolt but luckily Bolt is a really simple tool. So all you really need to understand going in is the concept of like remoting into another machine. So being able to SSH each into another machine and run a command. If you can do that then you can definitely understand Bolt and learn more about what it does.

Ben [00:12:10] Or WinRm. So you can use this of the same on on Windows machines. Yes absolutely. So what's an example of one of the first exercises that people might be running when they get started here?

Lucy [00:12:20] Yeah. One of the first exercises we have people do is literally just running ping on handful of Linux nodes.

Ben [00:12:28] That seems really really easy to do. Yeah.

Lucy [00:12:31] We also have one for on Windows nodes as well. So both platforms. Just making sure that the servers that we expect to be there are in fact there.

Ben [00:12:40] And you get that output back from the output of the Bolt run shows all the machines that are up and running and responding to your queries.

Lucy [00:12:47] Yeah, so bolt aggregates the output from all of the nodes and then outputs those from when you run a command. And so you can see each node and then what its ping status or ping output is.

Ben [00:13:02] So what do people need to do to register for this?

Lucy [00:13:04] When you're registering for Puppetize, you want to make sure that you click, there will be like a list of events that are happening right before Puppetize on that Monday. And one of them is the Bolt workshop. So you just want to make sure that you say that you're going to go.

Ben [00:13:20] That also seems very easy. I'm seeing a trend here.

Lucy [00:13:23] Yeah. I think if you're having trouble like automating across large infrastructure or even if you're just looking to do simple tasks on a handful of machines, Bolt is a really awesome tool for both of those cases. I think this workshop is a great use of time for learning how to make automating tasks and sharing those automated tasks with others that you work with a lot easier. So I think it's totally worth the investment of time and it will pay dividends in the time you save doing rote manual tasks.

Ben [00:13:56] That seems like a really good sort of value add to to Puppetize and doesn't cost anything so why not.

Lucy [00:14:02] Yeah totally. We've had a lot of really positive feedback from people who are already using Bolt. And so if you're really good about encouraging everyone to be able to go and learn for themselves if it's the right tool for them.

Ben [00:14:17] That sounds awesome. I hope to see you all there. All right. And next up I'll talk about something that I'm running I'm really really excited about. I've been doing a marathon kind of attached with Puppetconf for now Puppetize every year for quite a long time. And this year the Portland Marathon is kind of like reinvigorating itself with a with a new company and a new race director. And obviously we're sort of like Puppetize coming back home to Portland and we're sort of doing the same thing sort of reinvigorating and I thought that that was such a good match that I just sort of wanted to make this my race this year and I wanted to sort of invite community members.

Lucy [00:14:54] Yeah absolutely. I think running is like such a great way to build community and it's so kismet that the Portland Marathon is just the weekend before Puppetize this year and so it seemed totally perfect to have this like aligned, kind of goal of reinvigoration and then also just for the timing to be so perfect.

Ben [00:15:17] It's funny you say that I've been running for a very long time and I honestly I wasn't very, I was not in shape when I started. And it was I was sort of like brought into it by a friend who sort of bullied me a little bit into running a race with her. And it was really kind of empowering because I sort of discovered that this was this was not a thing that you had to like you didn't do it at anybody else's pace you ran at your own pace and you set your own goals and you set your own like limit. It's almost like building a sprint and whatnot and setting your own goals for that sprint. And it really worked well for me because I could decide if if I wanted to put in two minutes or whatever that number is. And it just sort of resonated. It's a great way for me to like think about the things that I'm working on and give me a mental space to come up with solutions where I'm not like actively staring at the computer and banging on the keyboard and getting more and more frustrated. It's sort of like meditation space a lot of people go out for a walk, I go out for a run.

Lucy [00:16:20] Absolutely. Oh my gosh I have so many thoughts running is absolutely a, like, I wouldn't call it an escape for me by a find that without running a search you just feel really like grouchy and claustrophobic and just really stressed like running is such a release for me of all that stress. And it's often where I have a lot of my best ideas. We ran like an internal Bolt Write the Docs where we spent a whole day just working on updating our documentation and thinking about how to improve our process and that whole workshop idea was born when I was on a run. I think it's a really great point that like you don't have to start being Usain Bolt like we - I think everyone has kind of this idea in their head of what it means to be a runner or what a runner looks like or what a runner acts like and they think well I don't run like that or I don't look like a gazelle as I run up the street and going to the marathon really makes you realize that there is no such thing as a runner or like a runner body type or a runner mentality or anything like that like if you're out there, you're an athlete, you're a runner.

Ben [00:17:37] I think it's kind of funny that the word Bolt has come up a couple of times and that sort of ties back in as I was coming up with the idea for this. I was thinking about what are we going to call this team. How is it going to work. And there was another tie in that I thought felt really well and that's Bolt is like Bolt is another name for running right? Running really fast and Bolt the product is a really fast kind of tool it's a fast way to get ramped up it's a fast way to get started managing your infrastructure. So we called this team Team Bolt and it is open for registration so if you go to the Portland Marathon web page you just say you're a member of a team type in Bolt and it'll come up and you can just select and join. We are providing running tees for anybody any attendees of PuppetizePDX who runs with a with Team Bolt. So just make sure you put in the email address so that I can contact you and get your t shirt size and everything and we'll get those printed up and ready for you as we get started with the race probably the night before or the day of. We'll figure that out.

Lucy [00:18:31] Yeah. We would love to have anyone join us. Like I think that it's easy to be like oh well it's for Puppet people and like if you're listening this you're a Puppet person - come run with us. You don't have to do the full marathon you can do the half. I think they might even have shorter distances as well. I don't think the distance you sign up for matters you can be a part of Team Bolt. And like we would absolutely love to have you participate with us. I think that's so much the point of running. It's not just the individual, it's like improving yourself, and like I said releasing that stress but it's also the community and the fun of like running with other people.

Ben [00:19:10] So you can either walk or you can run and there's two distances available there's the half and the full whichever one you select you can totally be just going up with a Team Bolt and run with us. I have put together a training plan. It's pretty easy to follow. It's actually even just a google calendar. So if you go to our Web site you'll find a description of like how the training plan runs what the different intensity levels are how to get involved and there's links directly to the calendars you can import them onto your own calendar and you can get reminders every day. And I'm also tweeting out everyday details about the run. There's a channel in our slack called very appropriate PDX Marathon where you can meet up with other people who are running and talk about it and just kind of share some of your wins and your losses and kind of encourage each other a little bit. And if you are hearing this late, then you can still get involved. You can still follow the training plan. Just don't like hop in and like start from today. You just kind of go back and look and see where you fit in your fitness level whether you're running a 5K or whether you're running a 10k now or whether you're starting from the couch and just kind of ramp up at about that same pace so that you get to the end at about the same time that we do. I don't feel like it requires a lot of fitness to begin with. I think that as long as you're running somewhere in between like a like a 5k which is about three miles or at 10k which obviously is double that I think that you are totally at a shape where you can join in and run the half. And like always I mean we have to put in this little disclaimer If you're worried about that you should check with your doctor and make sure. But if even if you're not if you'd like to walk it, if this sounds like something that you would want to get involved with. We would love to have you.

Lucy [00:20:50] Yeah all fitness levels I think should feel welcome like walking 13 miles or walking and running like you don't have to run the whole thing. I think all of that is totally doable. But again stay safe.

Ben [00:21:01] It sounds really intimidating. I think if you just look at the number 13 miles that's a lot. But in all honesty if you like if you've ever had like a step tracker or something and just like paid attention to how much you walk you probably walk about half of that any regular day. So it's sounds like a huge number but it's really just saying hey you know what. In this day I'm gonna do about twice what I did yesterday.

Lucy [00:21:24] I think the energy of the race really carries you too, like when I did my first half marathon I had only ever run 10 miles up to that point and found doing a half marathon like those last three miles felt I wouldn't say easy but it was definitely - but I don't think I could have run a half marathon just like on my own on a Tuesday morning. But at the race at the end like seeing everyone else running and hearing the music and getting the water and the gummy bears I totally had the energy.

Ben [00:21:55] When seeing everyone cheer as your go past, that's super energizing. My personal favorite is when the little kids come out they like stick their hands up and they all want high fives.

Lucy [00:22:04] Yeah. Yeah actually. So on my bib I put Batman last year and kids got really excited.

Ben [00:22:11] That's awesome. Well I hope to see you well there and I hope this has encouraged you a little bit to think about even just getting out and running and trying it out yourself. We would love to have you run with us.

Lucy [00:22:23] Absolutely. Run, walk, barrel role, however you want to get there.

Ben [00:22:26] And next up we'll be talking about our hackathon. The day before Puppetize will be running an all day hackathon here in the office. To help us with that, we have somebody here to talk about the hackathon that they did internally. Nick could you go ahead and introduce yourself. Yeah.

Nick [00:22:40] Hi Ben I'm Nick Lewis. I'm a senior software engineer on the Bolt team here at Puppet.

Ben [00:22:44] So yeah Nick how did how did that internal hackathon go? What what were you trying to get out of it?

Nick [00:22:49] So we're trying a couple of things. One is the hackathon in general and the other was the specific hackathon that we were doing this time. We're trying to start a program of doing periodic hackathons with the goal of taking some time every couple months or quarterly to step outside the box a little bit and stop focusing on our immediate work and look at other places that we can you know exercise our creativity or you know get an opportunity with a new technology or a new language and an opportunity to do something different and have a little fun. This hackathon in particular was focused on sort of flipping the bit on our open source contributions. So we we have a lot of open source projects that we steward here at Puppet and we get a lot of benefit from the open source community. And this was an opportunity for us to give back to the community in that way. So rather than working on our own open source projects we took the time to find other projects that are maybe related to our space or that we use as direct dependencies or even just things that people were interested in hacking on. And anyone who was interested could participate and we took a couple of days to try to find opportunities to make both code and non code contributions to various open source projects. So we had a number of people contribute to pull requests to a couple of libraries that we work on. Some people just did research on how to other open source projects run their pull requests their communities etc. And so I think we learned a lot about places that we can continue to contribute in the future and also what we got some experience and what it feels like to be on the other side as the Open Source contributor.

Ben [00:24:22] I like that a lot. I like the idea of participating rather than just being a member of the community. So moving on to our Puppetize hackathon once we heard about how successful this had gone for the engineering team we kind of thought that it might be really useful to ask them to help us out with this hackathon and to bring some of their expertise in running that. And so that's what Nick's here to talk about today. He'll tell us a little bit about some of the plans that we have for the upcoming hackathon. Maybe some of the ideas and some of the things that we're still working on fleshing out. So what do you think this will end up looking like, Nick?

Nick [00:24:55] So I think it's going to be a mix of concepts from open spaces and birds of a feather sessions with kind of an open space for anyone to talk about or hack on really any idea that they have. I think we will have tables set up staffed with employees for various projects that we have at Puppet. So if there's any, you know, if you're interested in Bolt or you want to know what Wash is or you want to hack on Puppet types and providers there will be someone there who is an expert in that topic who can talk to you about it and that might be you know bounce some questions off of them ask like, "hey why does it work this way" or "what if we did that.? Would it be possible to use Puppet like this?" Or maybe I have an idea for a new type that I want to write. Can you help me implement that or it might even be like I want to add this major new like integration point to a project. So whatever it is from like idea to implementation there will be people around who are interested in working on that with you or talking through it.

Ben [00:25:48] I really like kind of picture that it's pretty free flowing you can show up you can do what you want but there will be people there to support and help you if you need it or if you don't really know what you want to work on you can get a little bit of guidance you can gather and talk with people about ideas and sort of collaborate brainstorm on what possibilities are. The last config management camp I went to we actually ran a hack day the last day of the conference and somebody literally just sat down and asked Eric for a couple of ideas on how to do a thing. Some pointers to some docs maybe some questions that he could direct to engineers and came out with an entirely new feature for the puppet SSL SSH system. That was a pretty cool story and I kind of think that we're gonna get more stories like that come out of this hack day.

Nick [00:26:32] Yeah I agree. I think one of the things that we learned from the hackathon that we did internally is that people need some anchor points sometimes and I think if we say Okay come and it's a hackathon and you can do whatever you want then there's sort of the tyranny of the blank page which is I can do anything. First I have to figure out what I'm doing. But if you give people a little bit of a push which is like well here's you know a half dozen topics that you can discuss and you can talk about anything you want if you're if you're not interested in those. But go sit at one of those tables and start having a conversation. And we've done things like this in the past. At Contributor Summit some things like that and it's amazing how the conversations can evolve. People like someone will come up with maybe just a question the simple like how does this tool work. Like can I do X and then you'll give an answer and then someone else will be hey what if in addition to X you could do Y you go oh well that leads me to this other idea and then pretty soon you have someone start hacking on the thing that you just came up with.

Ben [00:27:28] And sometimes those questions are the most important thing. Like I've seen times where where an engineer was asked a question and they go oh hang on I never thought about that let me go write that down and then the you know a week or two or however many sprints later there's a new feature or something come out of it. So I'm really excited about this. I'm really excited to see what comes out. I'm excited to see if any new projects come out of this or if people just come up with new ideas and see what comes downstream. Do you have anything that you are hoping to see out of this?

Nick [00:27:56] I think the thing that I personally am most interested in these events is the conversation and what are the ideas that people are having? How are they viewing the tools? What do they wish that they could do or what what's the - it's exciting to see kind of the creativity that the users have for the tools that they're using. Beyond simply applying this to solve a problem immediately but I'm trying to look for how can I apply this these same patterns and these same tools to new problems.

Ben [00:28:24] It's almost like a giant Uback study just watching people try to solve a problem with the tool. Yeah definitely. So who do you think should come to the hackathon.

Nick [00:28:32] I would love it if everyone came to this hackathon honestly. I think that there's a lot of benefit that you can get out of it no matter what your what your relationship is with the projects or with the tools and with you know with programming even. Obviously if you want to come and literally hack on some code then this is a great event for you. But I think even if you want to come and say hack on ideas this is a great opportunity to come and talk to, both get some face time with the developers who work on the tools that you're using and to discuss problems that are relevant to you with other users who are experiencing those same problems.

Ben [00:29:03] Yeah with such a large open venue and so many people here kind of if it were milling around talking sharing ideas it's not like you'll be monopolizing somebodies time. It's not like a classroom where everybody has to stop and listen to you if you have a question. So yeah I think that sounds really great get everybody here. Everybody who is interested in hacking on things everybody who's just interested in ideas and people who'd want to just like pick the brains of our engineers. Well I'm excited to see what comes out of this. Thanks for coming in and giving us your expertise Nick and thanks for helping out.

Nick [00:29:33] Absolutely. Thank you Ben.

Ben [00:29:34] All right and next up we've got Ken here who's going to be talking about entirely different kind of experience here. So Ken what do you do here at Puppet?

Ken [00:29:43] So I'm a site reliability engineer here on the infrastructure core team. I herd a bunch of our servers for record virtualization behind our CI and development environments and do a lot of other ops stuff.

Ben [00:29:56] And what else do you do Puppet?

Ken [00:29:58] Yeah. So one of the other things that I do here is kind of like a hobby slash company cultural give that sort of thing is we have a corner of the office set aside for a few pinball and arcade machines that I've been maintaining here for about as long as I've been at the company.

Ben [00:30:14] Right on. That's pretty cool. And are these pinball games operational?

Ken [00:30:18] Yeah it would be kind of pointless if they weren't. It's all it's all stuff that I've generally bought as you know non-working project then restored and done the work to get them to spec again and brought them into the office and they're all playable and we've got a couple different groups of people who kind of you know will gather up at lunch for some kind of low key competitive place from time to time and throw a few games in between meetings stuff like that.

Ben [00:30:43] Well that sounds like a lot of fun. So if you've been following our podcast for very long you might remember Tim Vox Pupuli a project management coordinator talking about pinball at the Contributor Summit and he kind of like poked us a little bit to say hey that was a lot of fun. Maybe we should try doing that again. So we are. We'll be running a pinball tournament just kind of like low key after hours. Not very big kind of an intimate venue. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that, Ken?

Ken [00:31:09] Yeah. So it's going to be a small thing emceed by Erik Sorenson over at ground control which is one of the better pinball houses in Portland. They've got dozens of machines that they've been curating a pretty impressive collection.

Ben [00:31:22] Cool. So who do you think that this might appeal to is? Is this like anybody and everybody or?

Ken [00:31:28] Yeah I imagine it'll be like a similar crowd to some of the ongoing competitive events that run weekly in Portland. There's one called Flip city which is kind of a public tournament that has a lot of just walk-in players that they've never played competitively before and also has like the kind of people who will go on to like national competition and just everyone in between. But it's very accommodating and open to folks of all skill levels. So I'm hoping that's the thing we're putting together we'll have that same kind of vibe to it where you know it might be folks who play a lot or folks who have never looked at the machine before. But they can all come and you know have a good time a scheme where they end up on the bracket and playing some pinball.

Ben [00:32:06] That sounds really neat and I hear that there's something interesting about the software that Eric will be using to run this tournament.

Ken [00:32:13] Yeah. So it's called brackelope and it's something developed by a longtime pinball scene person in town. Isaac Ruiz he put it together I believe to run pinball tournaments initially but it's also ended up being used for all kinds of kind of bar League competition stuff if you like it like the tournament list on there there's hundreds of events now it's kind of fun to go through and see what else people have you know adopted this thing for. But he's really good guy. I see him a lot a lot of tournaments both as someone who who's running things and also you know square up against him. And it's always always good to run into him.

Ben [00:32:50] All right that sounds like a lot of fun. We'll make sure to get information out about the pinball tournament so you know when and where and how to get there. And I hope to see some of you there.

Ken [00:33:00] Yeah. Likewise it should be a good time.

Ben [00:33:02] All right. And there we have it folks a whole list of interesting fun exciting events that will be running alongside of PuppetizePDX PDX. We've got the birds of a feather session that Gene will be coordinating. We've got a a Bolt workshop the day before and we've got the Portland Marathon that we will be running in the weekend before. Nick Lewis is helping us do a an all day hackathon here in the office. And then there's the pinball tournament after hours down at ground control, nice little intimate venue. Maybe somebody will come out of this being the pinball champion. You can find all of this and more at the Puppetize agenda. And then just click on the agenda page and you'll find all the information that you need. And with that I'll be signing off. And I hope to see you here.

Share via:
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.