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"If you are a developer of moderately sized software, you need a deployment system in place. Quick, what are the benefits and drawbacks of the following such systems: Puppet, Chef, Salt, Ansible, Vagrant, Docker. Now implement your deployment solution! Did you even realize which systems had no business being in that list?"

I'm not understanding this, you can deploy with Puppet, Chef, Salt, Ansible, Vagrant and Docker. With Vagrant you can deploy a bare image and use Chef (or one of the others) or you can just deploy a fully setup box file (like with Docker).

While you are right you can deploy with any of those, Vagrant and Docker are virtualized containers, the other ones are "configuration management" tools, I guess that's what the OP meant.

I hope I'm not actually expected to know what any of those is.

If you're a developer and want to stay relevant I suggest you read up.

With distributed systems becoming the norm rather than the exception, developers will need to understand how and where their code runs in production (and how it gets there) to be able to debug issues or write better behaving code.

This may be a simple oversight and I hope I don't sound too pedantic but you may need to broaden your definition of developer a bit. Developers who work on OS, games, embarked systems or professional applications (think CAD) are not very likely to need these anytime soon. More knowledge is always good so I'll check some out anyway!

You're right, I should've narrowed the scope to client-server or perhaps "the web" (although the exact lines are blurry).

Vagrant can help developers who make OS and Games :). It can be used for simple testing on another OSes and environments.

are you saying the average developer is going to have to work with distributed systems in the near future (few years)?

I would say there's a strong tendency towards that, depending on how one exactly defines 'average' and 'distributed'. Using a distributed datastore and/or a messaging queue in ones app is pretty common already, logical next step is for app components to follow the trend.

If you're working or wanting to work as a Devops engineer or as a full stack engineer then you might want a new attitude about new stuff.

I currently work on an estate of thousands of unix hosts. We don't use anything on that list. Real engineering is not about jumping on bandwagons.

It would take about an hour to be conversant in all of them.

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