Trunk Club. Wow.

I am privileged to be able to visit so many of the Ansible meetups around the world — but rarely am I so privileged as I was last night to attend the Ansible meetup in Chicago.

Dean Strelau and Rick Pollak of Trunk Club invited us to host our inaugural Ansible Chicago meetup at their headquarters in downtown Chicago.  This is often how it happens: a company that uses Ansible volunteers to host a meetup, and gets the benefit of being seen as a technology leader in their community; we get to show the local community how a prominent user puts Ansible to best use. Everybody wins! We’ve done similar meetups in New York, San Francisco, London, and many other cities.  (And maybe yours soon! It’s easy to start your own meetup; take a look.)

Trunk Club, though, was one of the most fascinating yet. For those who aren’t familiar with the business model, check out their site for a detailed description. The short version: they talk to you about what you like, they use business intelligence to help their stylists pick out the best clothes for you, and then they send you a trunk full of clothes they think you’ll like. And then you keep what you like, send back what you don’t, and they charge you appropriately.  Great model, and lots of room in there for IT automation.

Their headquarters, though, was like nothing I’d ever seen. We went up the elevator to the top floor of their building, and it was like an immaculate department store and a swanky bar and a hi-tech startup — all in the same room.  Seriously.  There were racks full of clothes, and customers trying things on with the help of their stylists, and then, literally in the same room, tables full of well-dressed geeks at their workstations, surely working on the software that makes Trunk Club happen.  I should have taken pictures.  Next time I will.

The talk was fun, too. A little bit of intro talk, a little bit of a demo of a pet use case of mine (using Ansible to set up the ELK stack to do Twitter analysis, and hi to our Elasticsearch friends!) and a lot of good pizza and beer and conversation.

Thanks to everyone who came out, and thanks again to Trunk Club for being such great hosts.  Dean says the rooftop will be available for meetups when the weather improves; I can’t wait.

Trunk Club. Wow.