Chef Community (Contributor) Summit 2017

I had a blast at the Chef Community Summit held at Chef Software’s HQ in Seattle, over the last two days. This year three smaller summits are being held, one in Seattle, one in NYC and one in the UK, and the smaller size made for better open space discussions. We still had some international attendance.

Although the open space discussions were great, the highlight for me was Hack Day. On Monday evening I wasn’t sure what I’d be working on — unlike everyone else who seemed to have something in mind. But then I remembered that I had submitted a Chef issue (bug report) in 2015, and on checking saw that it had been accepted as something that should be fixed, but had not yet been worked on by anyone. So I decided to fix it 🙂

Funny enough, I submitted the issue only steps from where I wrote the code to fix it. At the time in early 2015, I was co-leading a Chef Fundamentals training class in a conference room on the same floor at the Chef Software HQ, and something one of the students had done, highlighted the issue I reported — which had to do with data bag naming and ability to search data bags with particular names.

The first thing to figure out was the correct approach to fix the problem. I had suggested a way to fix it in my issue report (don’t allow those particular data bag names on data bag creation), but a Chef employee had suggested something else (a way to support those data bag names). I dug into the code and found that the other suggestion, although it sounded good, was not really feasible; I discussed it with him and others, and they agreed. Which was good, because my fix was a pretty easy way to solve the problem.

At the time of writing this post my fix has not yet been merged — the first submission of code + unit tests was approved, but then I discovered a second place where a similar fix had to be done, and have since submitted the code and unit tests for that too. The second check-in needs to be reviewed.

Still, I am confident that I will soon officially be a contributor to the Chef codebase, however minor a contribution it is 🙂 One has to start somewhere. And soon will also contribute to the web docs at