For the third time in a row I attended the Configuration Management Camp in Ghent. While I was the only one of Netways last year, this time Lennart, Thilo, Blerim and Bernd joined me. Lennart already attended the PGDay and FOSDEM which took place on the weekend before, so if you want to spend some days in Belgium and/or on Open Source conferences start of February is always a good time for this.
I really like the Configuration Management Camp as it is very well organized, especially for a free event, and I always come back with many new knowledge and ideas. The speakers of the Main track reads like a who’s who of configuration management and the community rooms have a big number of experts diving deep into a solution. This year there were 10 community rooms including favorites like Ansible, Foreman and Puppet but also new ones like Mgmt.
My day typically started with the Main track and when community rooms opened I joined the Foreman while Lennart and Thilo could be found in the Puppet and Ansible room and Blerim and Bernd manned the Icinga booth. For the first time I gave a talk on the event and not only one but two. My first one was Foreman from a consultant’s perspective were I tried to show how configuration management projects look like and how we solve them using Foreman, but also show limitations, which got very positive feedback. The second one was demonstrating the Foreman Monitoring integration. In the other talks I learned about Foreman Datacenter plugin which is a great way to document your environment and will very likely find its way into our training material, Foreman Maintain which will make upgrading even more easy, the improvements in the Ansible integration or Debian support in Katello.
But the conference is not only worth it because of the talks but also because of the community. I had very interesting conversation with Foreman Developers, long-term Contributors and Beginners, but also with so many other people I got to know on other conference and met here again. And sometime this is the best way to get things done. For example I talked with Daniel Lobato about a pull request I was waiting to get merged for Ansible, he afterwards talked to a colleague and now I can call myself Ansible contributor or we talked about a missing hover effect in Foreman’s tables and some minutes later Ohad Levy had created the pull request, Timo Goebel had reviewed and merged it while Marek Hulán created pull requests for plugins requiring adjustments. And there was plenty of time for these conversations with Speakers dinner on Sunday, Evening Event on Monday and Foreman Community Dinner on Tuesday or in a comic-themed bar afterwards.
After the two days of conference were now a total number of 8 fringe events with beginner sessions and hacking space which I can really recommend if you want to improve your knowledge and/or involvement in a project. While the others left, I stayed one more day as I had managed to arrange a day of Icinga 2 consulting at a costumer in Ghent before I also started my way home with a trunk full of waffle and Kriek.

Dirk Götz
Dirk Götz
Principal Consultant

Dirk ist Red Hat Spezialist und arbeitet bei NETWAYS im Bereich Consulting für Icinga, Puppet, Ansible, Foreman und andere Systems-Management-Lösungen. Früher war er bei einem Träger der gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung als Senior Administrator beschäftigt und auch für die Ausbildung der Azubis verantwortlich wie nun bei NETWAYS.