AnsibleFest London 2015
Yesterday a few of us from the technical team attended the first AnsibleFest in Europe, a one-day conference about all things Ansible. Wirehive have been active users of Ansible since the early days of the project and we all like to keep up-to-date with developments.
It was a great turnout with 325 people – including an attendee who flew in from South Africa. It was a shame not to see Michael DeHaan, the project’s founder, as he recently announced that he was leaving Ansible Inc to pursue other ventures. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael for his hard work, especially in the area of community involvement, often reaching out to people in the far corners of the web.
The morning started off a little slow and was perhaps better suited for people who had not yet discovered configuration management tools. The afternoon however was full of insight, from using Ansible on Windows, to deploying OpenStack, to Ansible internals.
It was great to put a face to a name of one of Ansible’s contributors Brian Coca. He recently joined Ansible Inc as he was doing such a stellar job contributing to the project and the community, they offered him a job.
James Cammarata gave a talk about what is coming up in Ansible core V2. They are doing a major refactor of the core’s internals in an effort to clear out some technical debt and to make testing easier. While not a particularly exciting announcement for end users, it is an important task to do before the project becomes any larger and the task even more daunting.
He also spoke of their work on improved error reporting, introducing a new feature called ‘blocks’ that will enable error handling similar to exceptions (inspired by Python’s try/except/finally), and pluggable execution strategies to change the way playbooks are executed. They are striving for 100% backwards compatibility and he seemed quietly confident that they will achieve it.
The event closed with a happy hour, giving everyone a chance to mingle and share a beer before battling with the second wave of London’s rush hour. Nothing tastes as good as a free beer!
In summary, we gained confidence in Ansible as a project, having learnt of their backwards compatibility aims and commitment to improving unit testing and reducing technical debt. We hope to see more events around Ansible in the near future!