Pro Puppet 2nd Edition - Initial Impressions
The kind people at Apress provided me with an alpha review copy of Pro Puppet and while it’s not the finished product you can already get a good feel for the books tone and coverage.
I quite liked the first edition of Pro Puppet and this update is more evolutionary than revolutionary. All chapters from the previous edition are present and the biggest addition is the very welcome chapter on using Hiera in your modules; even if it’s oddly placed at the end of the book. The updates to the material are nicely woven in to the existing chapters and for a book with this many authors the writing style is nicely consistent.
Pro Puppet is quite wide in its coverage of puppet and it’s ecosystem and provides a nicely hands on approach that encourages you to type along with the text, exposing you to a number of approaches and tools that will stay in your toolbox. The flip side of this is that the coverage is quite shallow in some areas, for example rspec-puppet is introduced in the ‘Tools and Integration’ chapter but it not used to test your new providers in ‘Extending Facter and Puppet’.
I think Pro Puppet is an ideal first book for someone who has already gained some hands on puppet experience and is looking for a way to improve their abilities while learning more about the surrounding tools. After reading this you’ll be in a good position to puppetise your systems while knowing enough to be able to dip in to the online docs as needed to supplement your reading.
In summary Pro Puppet 2nd Edition is a good book that covers a lot of ground. It’s very well suited for people that learn by doing but it’s not an essential upgrade if you’ve read and used the previous edition.