Scaling Chef Emotionally

Tuesday, 10 October, 2023 - 16:5017:30

Brett Pemberton, Slack


Slack has used Chef to configure our fleet since the get-go, including several periods of hypergrowth - things from the initial launch through to pandemic times. This growth also meant scaling the number of Engineers who wanted to successfully use Chef in their own way.

Most of the time we were able to sustain a scalable and flexible Chef Infrastructure and codebase to satisfy ourselves and our Engineers. Sometimes not.

We'll talk about the path we took scaling Chef to handle this, the emotions we felt and the decisions we had to make to be able to create a culture of safely pushing changes while still allowing ourselves to break things along the way.

Brett Pemberton, Slack

Brett has been professionally swearing at computers for the last two decades. He's spent the last 6 years doing so at Slack, with love. He only sometimes breaks things. He has recently moved to the Countryside and discovered that applying SRE Principles to a Flower Farm does not always bring success.

@conference {292101,
author = {Brett Pemberton},
title = {Scaling Chef Emotionally},
year = {2023},
address = {Dublin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video