Yeah, so one nice advantage of our infastructure being 100% open source
is that you can (and should) be able to install and test and play with
it anywhere. :)
For puppet/ansible type things, if you have even a single
fedora/rhel/centos machine you should be able to have ansible or puppet
manage it locally. You don't need more than 1 machine to start out
The biggest issue we have with on-ramping new folks (IMHO) is that most
of us 'full timers' don't have time to do a lot of one on one
mentoring, so instead we try and have new people ask questions of
everyone and try and do as much as possible themselves to get going.
This means people who need more help or people who aren't very self
starter tend to have a harder time getting involved.
I've been thinking of ways to improve things. I'm not sure test
instances would really be that much help, as it should be easy to use
any machine to play around with things.
1. At our weekly meeting each week, we block off 15min and do a
quick/short session where we talk about a particular application or
tool and explain how it works, where docs are and what we want to
do/need help with on it.
or, if thats too quick/not enough use:
2. Setup bi-weekly/monthly classroom sessions. Longer sessions, but the
same idea of going over a tool/app/thing we want to get help on/bring
people up to speed on. Or even a workshop/"office hours" where we go
over specific easyfix tickets or the like.