This week I attended HashiConf in San Francisco. HashiConf is HashiCorp’s largest global conference held once per year.

First of all I was happy to be invited to come to HashiConf since I am an HashiCorp ambassador for 2023. I was especially happy that the conference took place in San Francisco because I have been wanting to go back ever since I visited SF back in 2016.

Product updates

One perk of being an HashiCorp ambassador is to get briefed on upcoming news for HashiCorp products, so in that sense no announcement came as a surprise to me. However, I do want to highlight the updates that I am most excited about:

  • The Terraform test abilities will be very helpful when building modules to be shared with others. Testing in infrastructure as code is a tricky thing, and if this update will solve all testing needs remain to be seen but I think it is an excellent feature. I will make a post where I deep-dive into this feature in the future.
  • Terraform Cloud ephemeral workspaces might seem like a small update, but it is a useful one. I’ve experimented with creating custom GitHub Actions to interact with Terraform Cloud in the past, but since then there have been some updates that leaves my GitHub Actions workflows unnecessary. Ephemeral workspaces is one of them.
  • Vault Radar can be used to fight the secret sprawl and help you avoid having secrets appearing where they should not. I’m familiar with GitHub Advanced Security (GHAS) and the secret scanning abilities it includes, so I know the value that features like this brings. Vault Radar extends the scope of what GHAS does. I’ll try to spend some time diving into exactly how this works to learn more.
  • Vault secret sync allows you to keep secrets synced between your Vault cluster and third-party secret managers, for instance Azure Key Vault. This feature solves the problem where some applications might only be able to use a native secret manager solution. In that case you can administer your secrets centrally in Vault but sync the secrets out to third-party systems where they are needed.

Sessions

During the conference there were many different keynotes, sessions, short hallway-track presentations, and learn-labs. I prefer to get my hands dirty so I spent a lot of time attending the learn-labs. I also attended many of the hallway-track sessions, because these might not be available in recorded format after the conference.

If you are like me, where listening to many presentations can be tiring (even though they can be captivating and interesting), then I recommend attending lab sessions. At HashiConf there was no problem to get a spot in the learn-labs, but I know from past experience that at an event such as AWS re:Invent it can be difficult to get in.

Certification

I did the Vault Associate certification while I was at the conference, and I passed with flying colors! Apart from that I also got to participate in early alpha-testing of a coming Terraform professional certification. I look forward to that certification for real!

Final words

Overall I am happy with how the conference went. I have learnt a lot and I got to interact with fellow ambassadors, HashiCorp employees, product experts, and other conference-goers. I would definitely go again next year if the possibility presents itself.

By the way, next year HashiConf will be in Boston - I’ve never been to Boston before so that would be fun!