Brittany Woods

Automater of the things. Lover of tea. Haver of opinions. Shade Queen.

ChefConf 2019 - Bridging the Great Divide: Using Chef As a Spark for DevOps

14 May 2019

For the full article, please see the published version on

In the current state of things, businesses are leaning more than ever on the intelligence of their collective tech teams to drive innovation within their respective organizations. These teams are always comprised of developers and operations professionals. With the foray into automation and the desire for companies to do more with less, it has never been more critical that all individuals, regardless of team, come together to do amazing things. Of all of the services available, Chef is a great example of a suite of tools that want to empower teams to do just that: come together and innovate. Overcoming these is all about bridging gaps. These gaps can be simply redefining how teams think about each other, to more complex things like knowledge gaps.

The first gap that always seems to come up when bringing teams together and driving business value is nearly always the duties gap. For too long we have sat on opposite sides of the coin. In operations in particular, too often do we see ourselves as the ones that have to deal with the aftermath of unfortunate problems within code, but the fact of the matter is we should all care about our systems, we should all care about our code, and we should all be ensuring the longevity of both.

Once you’ve moved past the first hurdle, then comes the gap in knowledge. Scripting has become pretty common as companies press for automation, but in some instances, it becomes necessary to build existing team members up. Using tools like Chef, entire teams and entire companies can begin caring about a shared thing: the configuration, health, and state of their infrastructure and applications; and in doing so those same teams can begin speaking a shared language. In this case, the shared language is Chef’s Recipe DSL, Inspec, and Habitat.

Using tools like Chef, it’s easy to start getting Dev and Ops teams working together and on a more even playing field. This becomes a big driver for innovation and is, in many cases, a true recipe for success within the company. During my career, I’ve been both involved in these transformations and a spectator. Chef allowed me to cross the bridge myself, and I’d love to share with others how that can be scaled out to entire organizations. Want to learn more about bridging these gaps and driving the DevOps within your org? Come see the Bridging the Great Divide: Using Chef as a Spark for DevOps session at ChefConf 2019!