Facebook engineers open source ‘cookbooks’ for Chef framework

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Facebook is opening up its cookbooks — but these recipes won’t taste good from the kitchen. Chef is Facebook’s engineering framework, and Facebook engineers have decided to open source that technology.

Phil Dobowitz, a Production Engineer at Facebook, blogged about the company opening up its cookbooks:

People have been amazingly supportive of the tools we released, the ideas we presented, and the changes we proposed. We released some tools we thought were useful to the community, but we didn’t consider releasing our cookbooks because we believed they were too Facebook-specific. But a central theme in our talks was our cookbook design, and people started asking for them.

So recently we revisited that assumption about our cookbooks. In looking at how we built them, we realized that we had developed a different way of writing community-style cookbooks that succeeded — at least within Facebook — at doing what community cookbooks had failed to do outside of Facebook. And we started to wonder: Could this approach be applied not just to other organizations wanting to leverage our model, but also to writing community cookbooks the entire world can use?

The Facebook engineering team shared three things, Dobowitz wrote:

  • A model we believe would build better community cookbooks
  • Some docs and example cookbooks we’ve open-sourced
  • Several tools we’ve just open-sourced

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