Dipping our Toes into DevOps: Starting with Ansible and Vagrant

By Keanan Koppenhaver

Talk Abstract

Join us for a look at how we turned a set of brittle shell scripts into a powerful Ansible-based solution ensuring we can have consistent dev, staging, and even production servers on-demand. Join us to see how we cut provisioning time from a 6 hour, manual process to a 45 minute, automated one.

Talk Description

When it takes a new developer 6 hours to provision their local dev environment, it makes on-boarding unnecessarily difficult and leads to frustration from the very start. When it takes nearly an entire day before you can actually write a line of code, it kills that new-job momentum. And you can just forget about spinning up additional production resources if support is needed.

When I was given this collection of shell scripts that were to be used to provision my dev environment, I immeadiatly wondered how this could be automated, made more resilient, and be done quicker. That’s when I stumbled on Ansible and the idea of DevOps. This talk will take you through the journey of starting with no DevOps knowledge and experience, to being able to confidently spin up servers that are the same every time. And have the whole process take no longer than one cup of coffee.


This talk will be a mix of looking at the how/why of configuration management tools like Ansible, as well as live-coding showing how existing shell scripts were replaced with Ansible Playbooks.

I’ve been developing for 5 years, mostly on platforms that have made this sort of automation difficult. However, I’ve seen the light and can speak about to how embracing DevOps doesn’t have to be a huge transformation, but can be instead just started with one piece of your infrastructure. If I could make these changes at my company, anyone can take what they’ll learn in my talk and start to apply this sort of thinking piece by piece.