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Using Ruby to Automate Your Life

by Seth Vargo


You probably use Ruby everyday, so why not use Ruby to automate some common tasks? What if you could spin up an EC2 instance and have it automatically configure your web server, database, users, and more? What if you could effectively capture and replicate your production environments reliably and consistently? What if you could then give developers production-like environments as Virtual Machines, with no additional work? What if you could set up your new laptop with multiple Ruby versions, your favorite software, and even change the desktop background - from a single command? The good news is - you can!

Chef is a configuration management and automation tool that solves these problems and many more. In this talk, you'll learn common just how easy it is to capture your infrastructure in Chef. Save time and money by using Chef's Ruby DSL to "define" your laptop.

How many times have you bought a new laptop and realize just how much stuff you installed over the years? If you're using Chef, run a single command and all your favorite Applications, Preferences, and even passwords are back in place. And the best part - because Chef is written in Ruby, you get to continue using the language you love!

Additional Notes

Disclaimer: I work for Opscode, but this is not a sales pitch. I'm demonstrating a tool that can save time and money. Plus is really fun!

I think this talk is really valuable information to Rubyist. Many similar Ruby conferences (like Mountain West) have created a separate track for "DevOps". This new movement is really gaining light in the community and I think showcasing a tool in the DevOps world would be a nice change of pace.


Seth has been a Ruby developer for more than 5 years. Although a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon, Seth has been involved in the Ruby community for quite some time. He as written projects such as bootstrap_forms and powify. He recently became involved in the Chef community, contributing to Chef core and writing/maintaining open source tools like berkshelf, fauxhai, chefspec, strainer, and more. He also maintains a variety of popular community cookbooks and regularly hangs out in IRC, Twitter, and github.