I was lucky enough to attend the ChefConf London event last month and I'll be honest, I attended without having ever touch Chef before... I had heard of the product and was roughly aware of it's capabilities but I hadn't ever used the product.
I know some people might think going to a vendor's conference without ever having used their product is a bit cheeky but for me that's how you find out about things, right? You go to new places, you meet new people, you try new things.
Inspired by what I heard at the conference I went in search for learning material and stumbled across Learn Chef Rally. This is Chef's official self paced learning platform.
Learn Chef Rally
Learn Chef Rally is divided up into tracks and within the tracks are modules. Each track aims to teach you a group of skills, so for example there is a track called "Getting Started" or "Writing Cookbooks". Within the tracks are hands on exercises, articles and videos. And generally at the end of each module the are learning check points, there is a small quiz to test your knowledge. Once you complete the module and answer the questions correctly the system marks that module as complete.
At the end of each track you'll receive a badge to mark the completion of your learning path, you can opt to share this achievement on your social media profiles and let your friends and colleagues know where you are with your Chef journey.
I really like the way they've broken the modules and learning tracks up, and they make sense. You can mostly dip in and out of the modules and tracks as your learning develops. So of the tracks expect you to know certain things or have completed certain modules but they do call that out though.
Some of the learning material is a tab out of date unfortunately, there have been new Chef versions since the material has been written so at times it's been tricky to follow the guide as I've been using the latest version of the products. In fairness to Chef they do often call out at the start of the tracks which version of operating system they wrote the instructions on and what Chef product numbers they use, so with a bit of extra care following the instructions you can use the versions they've used.
Within their "Chef on Microsoft Azure" some of the Azure references are out of date as well, but the way the Azure platform moves it is hard to keep up with documentation.
I've heard rumours that once you complete a certain amount of training on the website you get a one time link to a Learn Chef Rally swag store, I haven't reached that level yet... Overall though it's a great resource and I've learned a lot going over it the last few days. I fully subscribe to the Never Stop Learning mentality and I'm really enjoying my journey and I'm actually considering sitting the Chef Basic Fluency exam at some point. So reader, what are you doing to Never Stop Learning?