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Writing the first edition of this book was an order of magnitude harder than I could ever have imagined. I think this is largely because alongside writing a book I was also writing software. Trying to do both things concurrently took up vast quantities of time, for which many people are owed a debt of gratitude for their patience and support.
Writing the second edition, however, made the first one look like a walk in the park. Since the first edition there’s been a huge explosion in philosophies, technologies and enthusiastic participants in the field of TDI, all of which and whom are moving and developing fast. This has not only added massively to the amount there is to say on the subject but it has made it a real challenge to keep the book up to date.
So the gratitude is bigger than before too! Firstly, to my wonderful family, Helena, Corin, Wilfrid, Atalanta and Melisande (all of whom appear in the text)—you’ve been amazing, and I look forward to seeing you all a lot more. Helena, frankly, deserves to be credited as a co-author. She has proofed, edited, improved, and corrected for the best part of two years, and has devoted immeasurable hours to supporting me, both practically and emotionally. There is no way this book could have been written without her input—I cannot express how lucky I am to have her as my friend, colleague, and beloved.
The list of Opscoders to thank is also longer, and is testament to the success of both the company and its product. My understanding would be naught were it not for the early support of Joshua Timberman, Seth Chisamore and Dan DeLeo. However, the second edition owes also a debt of thanks to Seth Vargo, Charles Johnson, Nathen Harvey, and Sean O’Meara. Further thanks to Chris Brown, on whose team I worked as an engineer for six months, giving me a deeper insight into the workings of Chef, and the depths of brilliance in the engineering team.
Inspirational friends, critics, reviewers and sounding boards include Aaron Peterson, Bryan Berry, Ian Chilton, Matthias Lafeldt, Torben Knerr and John Arundel. Special mention must go firstly to Lindsay Holmwood, who first got me thinking about the subject, and has continued to offer advice and companionship, and secondly to Fletcher Nichol, who has been a constant friend and advisor, and has endured countless hours of being subjected to pairing with me in Emacs and Tmux, on Solaris! It must also not be forgotten that without the early support of Trang and Brian, formerly of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe—the earliest adopters and enthusiastic advocates of my whole way of doing Infrastructure as Code—I doubt I would have achieved what I have achieved.
The development and maintenance of Cucumber-Chef has been educational and fascinating—Jon Ramsey and especially Zachary Patten deserve particular thanks for this. The project has seen many enthusiastic adopters, and has evolved to do all sorts of things I would never have imagined. Its reincarnate future as TestLab is in safe hands.
I’ve been fortunate beyond measure to work with a team of intelligent and understanding people at Atalanta Systems—all of whom have put up with my book-obsessed scattiness for the best part of two years—Kostya, Sergey, Yaroslav, Mike, Herman, and Annie…you’re all awesome!
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly—to my incredibly patient and supportive editor Meghan Blanchette—thank you a million times. I think you’ll agree it was worth the wait.
I dedicate this book to my Grandfather, John Birkin, himself one of the earliest computer programmers in the UK. You taught me to program some thirty years ago, and it is the greatest blessing to me that you have been able to see the fruit of the seeds that you sowed.