Opscode provides a new avenue for learning Chef aimed at equipping new users with what they need to start building "Infrastructure as Code". The content leads users through a quickstart, common cases, screen casts, and troubleshooting. Opscode calls it "#learnchef", which is also the name of the IRC channel new users can join on freenode to ask questions and get further information.
Seth Vargo, #learnchef Lead @ Opscode, expresses Opscode's motivation behind creating this new learning avenue as follows:
We created #learnchef to be a fun, inviting, and engaging entry point for Chef. It was established with a single goal in mind: What's the fastest way for a new user to go from zero to converge? We are filling a gap that has existed in Chef for a long time. Everything from the content, design, and the campaign was created with the end user in mind. From the How-To Screencasts to the Common Use Cases, we hope new Cheffers find the #learnchef campaign intuitive and exciting from the start.
The #learnchef quickstart provides three sections: "Workstation Setup", "Using Chef Repo", "Converge a Node". The operating system being worked on determines the setup, information is provided for Mac, Linux, and Windows. Additionally, Opscode provides a starting chef repo through GitHub
to help users begin downloading, editing, and creating cookbooks. The content explains how to use the installed applications to converge a VirtualBox virtual machine node using a Chef repo combined with community cookbooks and user created cookbooks.
Short screencasts provide supporting content for the quickstart guide. Material covered includes: Chef repo creation, installing applications, managing ".pem" files, and registering with Hosted Chef. A troubleshooting section provides guidance on dealing with common errors and problems including: 401 unauthorized error, 403 forbidden error, and other workflow problems.