PuppetConf 2014 – Day 3

Today was the final day of our Puppet Practitioner class. We went over classifying nodes using roles and profiles. This is something which I’ve already been implementing, and which goes a long way towards taking the pain out of classifying nodes. We also covered the MCollective framework and how it can be used. With it you’re able to execute specific classes on specific nodes, which is something I’m going to be able to put to good use for some of my clients needs.

We also covered manifest testing using the rspec-puppet and serverspec tools. I do a lot of software development in perl, which has a good testing framework that I’ve used extensively. It was a real pleasure to learn about and get to work with ruby and Puppet’s equivalent tools. It was also nice to see that there is coverage analysis data there to help me build better test cases. In my opinion, not doing this kind of testing, and not looking at coverage analysis, is one of the leading causes of poor quality code. No, the tools are not perfect, and yes, you do have to design the tests for the code, but it does allow you to test your code before it ever touches a node, and that’s a Very Good Thing™.

We wrapped up our last few class activities and then had some question and answer time with our instructor. After that, I packed up my stuff and headed down to the main hall to get registered for the actual conference. The training I’ve been taking was scheduled before PuppetConf 2014 started instead of during the conference. That means I won’t be missing any of the conference activities due to being in a classroom. So now I’ve got my swag bag, my badge, and my conference t-shirt, and will be working through a pretty solid schedule of presentations and sessions during the next few days.