Pulling the Strings-logo

Pulling the Strings

Technology Podcasts

Pulling the Strings is your guide to everything DevOps, from unpacking breaking trends to sharing helpful how-tos that make your life easier. In quick, casual conversations, Puppet engineers, open source community members, and global DevOps luminaries cover what you never knew you needed to know about DevOps. Whether it’s unpacking the latest tooling to sharing tips for getting buy-in from your team, Pulling the Strings is built for the DevOps devotees in all of us.


United States


Pulling the Strings is your guide to everything DevOps, from unpacking breaking trends to sharing helpful how-tos that make your life easier. In quick, casual conversations, Puppet engineers, open source community members, and global DevOps luminaries cover what you never knew you needed to know about DevOps. Whether it’s unpacking the latest tooling to sharing tips for getting buy-in from your team, Pulling the Strings is built for the DevOps devotees in all of us.






Your Return-to-Office Plans Will Shape Your Platform. Here’s How.

Platform engineering is all about giving devs the tools they need to work independently. Work-from-home policies give people flexibility in where and how they work. It should be a match made in heaven, right? Well... it’s more complicated than that. Research, feedback, and evangelizing are critical to building an internal developer platform (IDP). But WFH can make that communication tough. And that's before you’ve even considered compliance and security (ugh, the 2FA). A human-focused IT strategy was crucial in supporting a shift to remote work during the pandemic, and it's going to be equally as important as we shift to a platform paradigm. In this roundtable discussion, Ben leads a roundtable discussion of how return-to-office plans can impact platform engineering, joined by Margaret Lee and David Sandilands, authors of Puppet's 2024 State of DevOps Report: Platform Engineering Edition. Speakers: Ben Ford,Margaret Lee,David Sandilands,Highlights: Links: Margaret.Lee@perforce.comMastodonTwitterDavid Sandilands on TwitterGet the 2023 Platform Engineering Report and sign up to receive 2024’s when it releasesRead the episode transcriptFind Us Online: puppet.comApple PodcastsTwitterLinkedIn


The Politics of Your Job: Building Trust + Subverting DevOps Hierarchies (Respectfully) with Joshua Zimmerman

Politics is everywhere in your organization. No, not THAT kind of politics – the kind that happens when you need something and can’t get it, or when you get good at something and people start noticing. Actually, politics happens just about whenever decisions get made. Joshua Zimmerman says that kind of politics is rooted in people, and with the right mindset, you can use politics to make things better in your organization – for you and your entire team. Joshua is a DevOps manager and organizer who thinks you could benefit from understanding and navigating the political landscape of your organization so you can help shape it. In fact, his presentation at DevOpsDays Chicago 2023 was all about that, and we were so impressed, we invited him on the podcast. After listening to this episode, we hope you’ll be able to figure out how decisions get made where you work, define your political structure, and leave with a few tools you can use to gain leverage with your team to make better decisions together. Highlights: Speakers: Ben FordJoshua ZimmermanLinks: LinkedIn,Mastodon,TwitterJoshua’s talk at DevOpsDays Chicago 2023on MastodonFind Us Online: puppet.comPulling the Strings on Apple PodcastsTwitterLinkedInRead the episode transcript


Who the Vox Pupuli Are and How They Work with Puppet

Great things – tools, spaces, companies, brands – are supported by great communities. The Vox Pupuli are perhaps the most prominent, active group in the Puppet community. Here’s what they're up to lately, what it’s like being one of them, and what Puppet (the community) means to Puppet (the company). The Vox Pupuli are 200+ strong; they maintain dozens of modules on the Forge; even executive leadership knows their name. On this episode of Pulling the Strings, join Puppet community members Gene Liverman, Tim Meusel, and Ben Ford for a casual discussion on what what Vox Pupuli actually do, the role of community in shaping a company like Puppet, what Vox Pupuli is focused on now, and what drives the highly engaged group. As Tim puts it, “There is no excuse to not participate.” Highlights: Speakers: Gene Liverman,Tim MeuselBen FordLinks: https://voxpupuli.org/https://twitter.com/BastelsBloghttps://puppetcommunity.slack.com/team/U3DCRQQKAhttps://hachyderm.io/@binford2khttps://fosstodon.org/@puppethttps://www.puppet.com/resources/podcasts/awesome-open-source-communityFind Us Online: puppet.comPulling the Strings on Apple PodcastsTwitterLinkedInRead the episode transcript


What CentOS, RHEL, and HashiCorp’s BSL Mean for the Future of Open Source

Open source has always moved fast. Today, it moves faster than ever, driven by both community demand and corporate interest. On this episode, Perforce’s Javier Perez and OSI’s Stefano Maffulli discuss the impact of recent license changes and the historical push-and-pull between consumers and providers in the world of open source. Highlights: Speakers: Javier PerezStefano MaffulliLinks: https://www.puppet.com/community/open-sourcehttps://www.maffulli.net/https://twitter.com/jperezp_boshttps://opensource.org/programs/https://opensource.com/article/22/10/defining-open-source-aihttps://devops.com/friend-or-foe-chatgpts-impact-on-open-source-software/Read the episode transcriptFind Us Online: puppet.comPulling the Strings on Apple PodcastsTwitterLinkedIn


The Platform Engineering Pitfall You Aren’t Looking For (Yet)

In the past few years, developer experience has become one of the biggest concerns at the C-level. Gartner found it’s the top value factor for adopting IDPs, performance engineering, CI/CD, and more core aspects of platform engineering. In 2021, McKinsey said it should be “the cornerstone of talent strategy” – and still, it’s a sticking point for a lot of software orgs. Turnover, burnout, skill gaps – symptoms abound that can often be contributed to bad DevX. Justin Reock is Field CTO at Gradle, makers of Gradle Enterprise and Gradle Build Tool. He’s focused on the developer experience at an intersectional level – where right-brain creativity, left-brain productivity, and ‘joyful activity’ combine to make development better for the people who do it. In conversation with David Sandilands, Senior Solutions Architect at Puppet, Justin shares his perspective on where platform engineering is headed and how the future of platform engineering – up, down, or flat – depends on using tools to engineer the developer experience. Speakers: David SandilandsJustin Roeck, Highlights: Links: Download Puppet’s 2023 State of Platform Engineering ReportOrganizational Physics by Lex SisneyFind your nearest devopsdays eventJustin Reock on TwitterJustin Reock on LinkedInDavid Sandilands on LinkedInDavid Sandilands on TwitterRead the episode transcriptFind Us Online: puppet.comApple PodcastsTwitterLinkedIn


“Write a Book About Puppet 8,” They Said. “It’ll Be Fun,” They Said.

The opportunity to write a Puppet 8 book landed in David Sandilands’s lap when he had just started at Puppet and with a child on the way. About a year and a half later in mid-2023, “Puppet 8 for DevOps Engineers” launched via Packt. This is the story of everything that happened in the middle. Speakers: Ben Ford, David Sandilands, Learn More About Puppet + DevOps [10+ YEARS OF DEVOPS REPORTS] Highlights: Links: Puppet 8 for DevOps EngineersPuppet Best PracticesBen Ford on TwitterDavid Sandilands on Twitter


It's Always Audit Time: Compliance is Coming for Your Department (Yes, Yours)

So your organization failed a compliance audit and got slapped with fines and penalties. Bummer! You pay the fine, spend a few days fixing your configurations, run a scan, and get ready to do it again come the next audit. But that approach doesn’t work anymore: The risks are too high, and fixing months of configuration drift at the drop of a hat (let alone hunting down all the paperwork for auditors) certainly isn’t your team’s favorite thing to do. Demo Puppet Comply + CEM for cross-department visibility and automated compliance The broad scope of today’s compliance management requires a coordinated effort from more than just the security team. In this episode of Pulling the Strings, two Puppet compliance experts make the case for cooperation among security, compliance, ops, and just about everyone else in your organization. They discuss the crumbling walls between security, compliance, and ops, as well as tools organizations use to ensure continuous compliance. Highlights: Speakers: Ben Ford,Claire McDyreRobin TatamLinks: Try Puppet Comply + CEM to give your whole team the power to tackle complianceRead Claire’s content on the Puppet blogRead Robin’s content on the Puppet blogRead the episode transcriptFind Us Online: puppet.comApple PodcastsTwitterLinkedIn


What It’s Actually Like to Build a Puppet Module

Modules are the basic building blocks of Puppet. They're made to solve common challenges, extend functionality, and optimize your use of Puppet. They're also reusable and shareable – you can find thousands on the Puppet Forge – and best of all, anyone can make them. But what does that really mean? On this episode of Pulling the Strings, Ben Ford sits down with Yeshua Hall to talk about Yeshua’s experience building the Puppet module known as zend_common, initially released in December 2022. Highlights: Highlights: Speakers: Ben FordYeshua HallLinks: How to Start Automating in a Few Steps with BoltDownload zend_common on the Puppet ForgeYeshua Hall on TwitterBen Ford on Twitterepisode transcriptFind Us Online: puppet.comApple PodcastsTwitterLinkedIn


“How Long is a Piece of String?”: All the Ways New Puppet Training Simplifies Complexity

Supposedly, Albert Einstein once said, “If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, then you don't understand it yourself.” That might be a bit harsh, but it holds true for teaching just about anything: You’ve got to meet learners where they are. That’s why Puppet recently launched new on-demand training courses and more. There’s a new, engaging way to learn how to do things with Puppet without going down too many rabbit holes. On this episode of Pulling the Strings, Ben Ford interviews Principal Training Solutions Engineers Jain Waldrip and Tom Chisholm about designing training with “highly calibrated visuals,” the exciting new avenues for Puppet learners, and much more. Highlights: Speakers: Ben Ford,Jain Waldrip,Tom Chisholm,Links: on-demand Puppet training coursesPE Console Overvieweducation@puppet.comPuppet Community Slackepisode transcriptFind Us Online: puppet.comApple PodcastsTwitterLinkedIn


Diving Into the 2023 State of Open Source Report with Javier Perez

“It doesn't matter how small the contribution is – I think everyone benefits from the different environment, the different culture, of open source communities.” From ‘free software’ to the Mars Rover, the scope of open source is expansive, growing, and offering new challenges to organizations and practitioners alike. Now, Perforce Director of Product Management Javier Perez is excited to share the latest findings from the 2023 State of Open Source Report with the context of his 26+ years in the software industry. Look into the past and peer into the future with this exciting discussion between two open source evangelists. Join Javier and host Ben Ford, Developer Relations Director at Puppet by Perforce, as they discuss the history of open source, examples of open source software dating back to the 1950s, the communities that have formed around open source, where open source software is headed, and highlights from the highly anticipated 2023 State of Open Source Report, which asked ~900 global respondents about their use of open source software. Highlights: Speakers: Ben FordJavier PerezLinks: Get the 2023 State of Open Source ReportFollow Javier on TwitterRead the episode transcriptFind Us Online: puppet.comApple PodcastsTwitterLinkedIn


The Future of Platform Engineering

In this episode, join special guests Nigel Kersten, KasparvonGrünberg, Fatih Degirmenci, and Ronan Keenan as they discuss the recent surge in popularity of platform engineering and how these teams are fast becoming vital to enterprise success. In this panel discussion they explore:


Creating Community with an Employee Resource Group (ERG)

Creating and maintaining community is hard, especially when you don't bump into each other in the hallways on the regular. And community is vital, especially when it advocates for you and helps create a safe space to bring your whole self to work. Todd and Melissa share their experiences with Puppet's Pride ERG and how they're using it to work towards systemic change. Learn More: https://slack.puppet.com@mcasburnLinkedIn@ShawnTErvinLinkedIn


Managing your configuration management system shouldn't be hard

Managing the configuration of an entire ecosystem is not an easy thing to do, and bootstrapping the system that manages that configuration is even more challenging. Edwin from Puppet’s Solutions Architects team shows us a tool they've built that aims to simplify that task. Learn more: https://slack.puppet.comEdwinForge pageProcess Mappinghere


CentOS 8 is EOL, so now what?

CentOS has become the de facto standard operating system for many organizations since it’s basically the same thing as RHEL, rebranded and without commercial support. CentOS was originally a community project, but over time Red Hat has become more influential in its direction and has shifted it to a "Stream" model, effectively moving CentOS 8 from being a downstream release (built after RHEL) to an upstream release (built before RHEL). This isn't exactly suitable for production use and thus many users are looking for alternatives. Paul joins us today to share insights and give some advice on how you can evaluate your options and migrate your infrastructure as painlessly as possible. Learn more: https://slack.puppet.comblog postPaul's module


Automating your way to compliance across your entire cloud infrastructure

Cortez worked his way up through the ranks as a cloud security and compliance engineer, managing hundreds of production applications. Now he's taking those grueling lessons and teaching the team at Relay how to automate away tedium and toil. Join us as Cortez shares stories from the field and some of the motivation behind Relay's cloud compliance enforcement capabilities. Learn more: https://slack.puppet.comhttps://relay.shhttps://pup.pt/ideas LinkedIn


Practice and prepare for your next security threat

The recent log4j fiasco reminded us that not only is it important to stay updated and current with security news, but it's also critical to have safe ways to deploy configuration updates or orchestrate reporting/remediation scripts across your infrastructure as quickly as possible. Jeremy and Nick join us today to share best practices and automation suggestions. Learn more: https://slack.puppet.comhttps://github.com/puppetlabs/log4jscannerhttp://forge.puppet.com/puppetlabs/log4jscannerhttps://puppet.com/security/@living_synUpdate: the GI Joe quote our hapless host massacred was – "Now you know; and knowing is half the battle."


How Puppet's open source DNA is paving the path ahead

Puppet has been open source since day one and our success has largely been built on community contributions. One could even say that it's part of our DNA. Now the question is where do we take it from here? Puppet CTO Abby Kearns and Chief Architect Chip Childers have a long and storied history with open source. Join us to hear their thoughts on how Puppet will map out the open source roadmap ahead. Learn more: Puppet Community SlackPuppet Toy Chestwritten contentmodulesopen source at Puppetintroduces himself to the communityMedium pageAbbyChip


The best part of the PowerShell Gallery is that it's on the Puppet Forge

The DSC configuration engine is the standard way to manage Windows systems, and it’s incredibly powerful. Now it's easier to use too, because all the PowerShell Gallery DSC resources are only a `puppet module install` away. Mike and Bill are here to tell you the whole story, from building the integration and the publication pipeline to deploying DSC Resources for customers and debugging them in the field. Learn more: Using PowerShell DSC Resources with PuppetPuppet & DSC: Puppetizing and DebuggingPicaroonshttps://slack.puppet.com


A paradigm shift: Puppet and ServiceNow integrations

User research shows that a huge number of our customers were using ServiceNow alongside Puppet Enterprise. It only made sense to teach the tools how to integrate with each other so that users didn't have to switch between them. Molly and Milad join us from Puppet's Integrations team to tell us how they put user experience front and center when building the new extensions. Learn more: https://slack.puppet.comhttp://puppet.com/integrations/servicenow/https://pup.pt/ideast/ideas


Learn at your convenience with Puppet Practice Labs

Learning new tools is hard enough on its own. But then you often have to install software, set up a working environment, download a dev kit, or more. Our Education team recently released the new Puppet Practice Labs, which let you learn the Puppet ecosystem at your own pace and remove all these impediments from your progress. The labs run right in your browser and require no extra downloads. And best of all, they're free and you can access them any time. Many are even short enough that you could run through one over your lunch hour. Join us to chat with the team about how they built the platform and how you can best use it. Learn more: Boost your skills with Puppet Practice LabsPuppet CompassPuppet Idea Portal.