At GitHub, we've been growing pretty quickly and that sort of growth presents a lot of challenges. We were feeling the pain of trying to teach everyone (developers and designers alike) how to get GitHub and all our other projects running on their laptops. The process was failure-prone, complex, and time-consuming. So, last summer, we created the first iteration of The Setup — GitHub's method of managing laptops without getting all authoritarian about it. We quickly realized that other organizations needed and wanted this environment, so we started back with the basics and re-architected The Setup into Boxen. The same tool, the same method, but written for modularity and general consumption.
We’ve since released Boxen (as of January 2013) and other organizations are using it to great success. This talk explores our design choices with Boxen, how we use Boxen internally, our recommended design patterns for managing Boxen-driven automation, and some new goodies coming down the pipeline for Boxen.