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Jenkins User Conference New York: my take

June 13th, 2012

In one of those days, I’ll get a small enough computer whose battery won’t die in 45 minutes, but until then, my apologies for the belated Jenkins User Conference travel report.

So, as we tour around the world bringing Jenkins User Conference near you, the last stop was New York City.

I’ve kicked off the day by recaping the community activities in the past year, including Subversion 1.7 support, new UI effort, and several new extension points in the Matrix project. From my day job side, I’ve introduced BuildHive, a new addition to CloudBees DEV@cloud that builds your GitHub repositories in a few clicks, and a new version of Jenkins Enterprise by CloudBees with high-availability features.

There are two parallel tracks that went through the whole day, including talks from people who has been around in the community for a long time. Just to name a few, there’s Monty Taylor from HP discussing how OpenStack deploys Jenkins and Gerrit to ensure that the trunk never breaks, and Mike Rooney giving advices on running mission-critical Jenkins instances. Jesse Farinacci was also there, even though we couldn’t convince him to give a talk (and you can see his recap post in jenkins-ci.org.)

But aside from those who I already knew, there were many talks from whom I call “super Jenkins admins” — those who not only deploys Jenkins for their orgs, but push it to 11, by writing custom plugins, changing the visualization, writing peripheral programs that interact with Jenkins, etc.

For JUC NY, the super Jenkins admin award has to go to Jesse and David from AtTask. There are a number of awesome things they’ve done. First, they completely took the Jenkins instance to cloud, and not only do they provision build slaves from EC2, but also provision the entire Selenium Grid and its remote agents as well. Then they implemented a custom view plugin so that developers can see which stage in the pipeline their changes are at. They’ve also integrated Jenkins to their own product, AtTask, and automatically turns test failures into tickets (and it’s smart enough to reopen the old ones when a regression occurs!)

One thing I felt as I was listening to these incredible user story talks is that it’d be nice if we have means to capture the configuration of those instances and share those with others. Kind of like how you share cooking recipes. I’m not exactly sure how to achieve it, but it should include a list of plugins, some configurations, and it’d let you import those into your instance, so that you can replicate it, play with it, and modify it easily.

And last but not least, The talk from Noah about Jenkins REST API was also very good, in that it really highlighted a part of Jenkins that’s not widely used, and it gives everyone something that they can take back to their home.

I hope this post encourages you to come to future JUCs. Please submit papers, and register from the website. I’m really looking forward to the next one in Israel, and the one after that, Tokyo, has already signed up 700 people, so it’ll be a crazy event!

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