PuppetCamp Europe 2010

To me puppet has always been a major evolutionary step up on the sysadmin tool chain. I consider it important enough to be ranked alongside version control systems and virtualisation as one of those mental leaps that leads to better management and enables more flexible solutions than you could offer before understanding it.

While I’m quite a long term member of the puppet community I’m no where near as active as I should be, but even I couldn’t miss the chance to attend PuppetCamp Europe, and I’m glad I didn’t! I finally got to meet some of Europes most prolific puppet module releasers in person, discovered that Brice is every bit as nice and as scarily smart in person as he is on-list and that the new PuppetLabs people are a very impressive bunch. Even I’ve still not had the chance to buy James some of those beers he’s racked up over the years on the list.

Puppet may be an open source project but a very high proportion of its development and community support has always come from Puppet Labs, so it’s critical to both the product and the users that their staff be as good with the community as they are with the code base, and having met half-a-dozen of them I can honestly say it feels like the project is in safe hands. Jeff gave an excellent talk on using Puppet in environments with strict compliance rules, Markus had a razor sharp grasp of what people were really asking (and gave the answer to what they wanted, not just what they asked) and Luke made the event for many of us, he very patiently gave a lot of advice and information not just about the now but also about the historical whys and theoretical hows.

I had an excellent time (Ghent itself is a lovely place to visit for a couple of days) so I’d like to thank Patrick for organising the event, Luke and Puppet labs for Puppet itself and the participants for making PuppetCamp Europe 2010 such an educational and enjoyable experience.