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Test-Driven Infrastructure with Chef: Bring Behavior-Driven Development to Infrastructure as Code

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Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 946
Author/s    : Stephen Nelson-Smith
Publisher   : O'Reilly Media
Category   : Miscellaneous Java
Review by : Jeanne Boyarsky
Rating        : 6 horseshoes

Regarding "Test-Driven Infrastructure with Chef":
Step 1 - Disregard reviews about version 1 of the book. It is completely different.
Step 2 - Make sure you are near a computer with internet
Step 3 - Start reading

Part of the book is higher level. The principles of good coding. Why infrastructure developers are developers and why best practices for developers still apply. Along with the benefits of test driven. This shouldn't be new to developers, but it was still a good take on the topic and worth reading. And of course, it could easily be new to the system administrator part of the audience. Chapter 2 is the Ruby you need to know to understand the rest of the book. It was a good and fast moving overview.

Then we get to the meat of the book. A series of exercises including directions, a walkthrough of the author's attempt (with lots of output and dead ends), and then a discussion on the topic.

I liked the comments about workarounds for various "annoyances." And the incremental TDD demo. I liked the quadrant approach to the different types of tests on page 166 (how's that for a teaser.)

There were two things I didn't like. One was the pages of output. That's not my learning style. The other was the insistence that you look up things in the manual before reading. I like to read on the train where there is no internet. I also found a couple of typos, but not significant.

I'm rating this as a 6 because I couldn't try the exercises or the manual with the book. If you plan to read this book at a computer, add another star.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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