Resources ยป Using Chef Effortless to Build DevOps Teams

Using Chef Effortless to Build DevOps Teams

ChefConf OnlineDevOpsDevSecOps

Congratulations! You just landed a new opportunity, and architects have tasked you with building the next greatest platform on Kubernetes - and everything will be automated and deployed in containers. Now what? You need a team! Where are you going to find the experience to build this solution? Oh, and by the way - your team starts tomorrow.

Building and recruiting teams and training them for the often novel patterns inherent to DevSecOps has been a difficult perennial challenge, especially for larger enterprises with established or rigid staffing processes. DevOps has been well conversed and spread over the past decade, and a lot of core tenets and ideas are finally becoming mature. On the other hand, the technology that drives DevOps and delivering business outcomes continues to evolve at a fast pace. This doesn't lend to the availability of large pools of seasoned experts readily available for these newer essential technologies and methodologies - hiring experts in things like Kubernetes and container orchestration is really challenging. This makes it hard to assemble a productive team on day 1.

As a developer lead or project manager, staffing for opportunities comes from three likely sources: The unicorn expert, existing developers and system administrators with varying degrees of experience in the required technologies, or entry level hires with the expectation of on-the-job training. Recruiting is hard, so when it comes to building new teams it's important to invest in the right skills and talent. Each of these has their advantages and challenges:

  1. Unicorns are great at executing these complex systems, but they are extremely hard to find and often not ready to move/jump/leap when you need them.

  2. Experienced developers and system administrators bring valuable and crucial experience necessary completing your new projects. However, years of engagement and experience can sometimes make seasoned engineers reticent to make leaps of faith into new methodologies - and a focus on solving hard problems can give limited time for perspective-changing training, resulting in a longer and more expensive training ramp-up.

  3. Entry level engineers come to us fresh and moldable, but it's up to us seasoned folk to give them the right tools, attitude and patterns - and to expose them to diverse and expandable perspectives.

In addition to recruiting and training experienced engineers in the field, fostering the skills of more junior engineers through the universal applicability of the concepts in Chef Effortless results in a shorter training tail and engineers with more portable and adaptable skills. We expose them to established patterns that reinforce from the start that infrastructure and apps are -all- code, and deployment is as much a part of the development lifecycle as feature implementation and testing.

In this talk we'll share our experiences in how we use Chef's Effortless Infrastructure as a reference implementation to teach and expose newer engineers the core patterns of DevOps to be able recognize when to apply those patterns and strengthen their ability to adapt when faced with problems they haven't seen before.


Chris Todd

Chris Todd

Vice President of Engineering, TapHere!

Keith Walters

Keith Walters

Director of Partner Solutions, TapHere!