Monday, January 12, 2015

Going Camping

Today I spent most of my day in a windowless room cut off from the internet and the greater world, with no access to electricity, writing in my notebook, while a couple hundred other people did mostly the same thing. It was called Puppet Camp, and sadly it was not a day-camp where they taught me to make puppets (though, given that this is Portland, I'm sure that's actually something I could do). Today was when a handful of people talked at me about Puppet Enterprise application, which is a configuration and automation management tool from Puppet Labs.

I like Puppet; it's pretty nifty and if I were starting up my own company *shudder* I would probably mandate using Puppet from the get-go to reduce technical debt. One of the speakers today said "There is no future where IT is smaller or less important" and I agree, but I often feel like there are companies out there that don't understand how important dedicated Operations tools and Operations personnel are. The drive seems to be, in a lot of places, to reduce the Cost Center that is the IT & Infrastructure team to as close to zero as possible. In previous iterations of this issue, it's been outsourcing and *-as-a-Service contracts and "monetizing" and "chargeback". In the current iteration, the thought seems to be that if you turn your Ops team in to developers they can produce saleable IP in their "spare" time, when they're not Opsing and can Dev some.

I spent the lunch hour chatting with several people of both flavors: devs who are learning to Ops as well as Ops who are learning to Dev, and the agreement across all camps seems to be that DevOps, like Agile, means somewhat different things depending on who's saying the word, and how much agreement there is among parties in the conversation. Which I suppose is part of the point of both DevOps and Agile: getting parties to agree to terms and goals.

I'll probably go back over my notes and have more thoughts in the coming days, but mostly I wanted to note that being off the internet for the better part of a day induced withdrawal-like symptoms in me so strong that I ended up staring at my computer for the rest of the evening, not even doing anything. Just randomly browsing through my bookmarks, uncomprehendingly.

This post has no conclusion. Maybe tomorrow I'll be more articulate.