Leaving Chef

Chef, Personal Posted on

I am leaving Chef.

Chef (the company)

I started my career at Chef ("Opscode" at the time) in mid-January of 2013. Still a student, I worked full-time through my remaining semester of college developing the first edition of the Learn Chef initiative. Since then, I have served as a consultant, "community engineer", what is best described as an "evangelist", and most recently a release engineer.

Friday (August 29, 2014) is my last day as an employee of Chef Software. I am willingly leaving the company and engaging in a software engineering sabbatical.

Chef (the community)

Over the past few months, I have received an increasing amount of negativity for my work in the Chef community. I want to emphasize that the tooling I create and projects for which I am a contributor were never a part of my full-time job at Chef. I gave back to the community for the "love of the game"; I identified problems, and I did my best to improve the Chef experience. As a human, I recognize there are problems I cannot solve and questions I cannot answer. Recently my projects and projects I participate in have been the victims of vicious attacks and other select unpleasantries. Not only have I (not my code) been called offensive and derogatory names, but I have also received numerous abusive emails and two death threats in the past three months.

To that end, and for my own personal safety and well being, I will not be in attendance at the Chef Community Summit. Furthermore, I no longer plan to shoulder the burden of uncivil behavior alone. If you are interested in maintaining (or helping to maintain) any of my personal open source projects, please get in touch when I return from my sabbatical. To all of those who have been supportive and constructive of my software and tooling, I thank you.

I will not be reading, responding to, or acknowledging email during my time off; I will not have easy access to a computer. For those who have my personal contact information, I kindly request that you respect my privacy during this time.

Thank you to all those who helped review this post prior to publishing. Your support and friendship is greatly appreciated.

About Seth

Seth Vargo is an engineer at Google. Previously he worked at HashiCorp, Chef Software, CustomInk, and some Pittsburgh-based startups. He is the author of Learning Chef and is passionate about reducing inequality in technology. When he is not writing, working on open source, teaching, or speaking at conferences, Seth advises non-profits.