I just came pack from PuppetConf 2016. My main purpose was to learn about the features of Puppet 4, and how to get there. It was also an opportunity to participate in the community and the ecosystem of modules it creates. It also gave me ideas to change the culture at our company.

We are running on an earlier version of Puppet 3.3. This allows us to support our existing infrastructure, but is causing issues upgrading portions of it. I can’t use software that requires a newer version of PuppetDB. We have added a few Ubuntu 14.04 systems running Puppet 3.8, but those complain on every run. In looking to upgrade, I’m finding manifests that have errors when running. I plan on fixing all our broken doors and windows, getting puppet to not error, and not trying to run corrective action on every run. This will allow me to upgrade puppet and see if anything changes in QA. Any changes will be investigated allowing me to fix any issues with our manifests.

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Several things at the conference helped inspire me on how our company culture can change. Three authors of the DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, & Security in Technology Organizations book was there, and were giving out copies from their publisher IT Revolution. It gives advice on implementing a DevOps culture, enabling a company to be able to react to the market, try things out, and bring it to market quickly. Our company has many of the systems in place. We allow developers to deploy code on their schedule. Developers can also self service creating vms to test out ideas, and even change puppet to help support such ideas. But we could use more automation within IT. Our own infrastructure is hard to duplicate, replicate, and recover from disasters. We could also use more automation with puppet, having more tests, deploying more often, and allowing developers and others the ability to change their settings within puppet. There was also a track dedicated to Culture.

Attending PuppetConf has giving me ideas of things to try out. I look forward to the videos to be published, and check out the tracks that will give me even more ideas. After my broken windows are fixed, we will be able to explore, try new things myself, and have others be free to try things too.