Screaming in the Cloud

Episode 5: The Last Mainframe with a Kickstart and a Double Clutch

How are companies evolving in a world where Cloud is on the rise? Where Cloud providers are bought out and absorbed into other companies?

Today, we’re talking to Nell Shamrell-Harrington about Cloud infrastructure. She is a senior software engineer at Chef, CTO at Operation Code, and core maintainer of the the Habitat open source product. Nell has traveled the world to talk about Chef, Ruby, Rails, Rust, DevOps, and Regular Expressions.

Some of the highlights of the show include:

  • Chef is a configuration management tool that handles instance, files, virtual machine container, and other items.
  • Immutable infrastructure has emerged as the best of practice approach.
  • Chef is moving into next gen through various projects, including one called, Compliance - a scanning tool.
  • Some people don’t trust virtualization.
  • Habitat is an open source project featuring software that allows you to use a universal packaging format.
  • Habitat is a run-time, so when you run a package on multiple virtual machines, they form a supervisor ring to communicate via leader/follower roles.
  • Deploying an application depends on several factors, including application and infrastructure needs.
  • It is possible to convert old systems with old deployment models to Habitat.
  • Habitat allows you to lift a legacy application and put it into that modern infrastructure without needing to rewrite the application.
  • You can ease in packages to Habitat, and then have Habitat manage pieces of the application.
  • Habitat is Cloud-agnostic and integrates with public and private Cloud providers by exporting an application as a container.
  • Chef is one of just a few third-party offerings marketed directly by AWS.
  • From inception to deployment, there is a place for large Cloud providers to parlay into language they already speak.
  • Operation Code is a non-profit that teaches software engineer skills to veterans. It helps veterans transition into high-paying engineering jobs.
  • The technology landscape is ever changing. What skills are most marketable?  
  • Operation Code is a learning by experience type of organization and usually starts people on the front-end to immediately see results.


Nell Shamrell-Harrington

Nell Shamrell-Harrington on Twitter

Nell Shamrell-Harrington on GitHub

Operation Code


Ruby on Rails


Regular Expressions





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