There are three secrets to being an extremely successful and charismatic leader. (1) Build a team that can make you look awesome. (2) Pretend to listen to that team even when you know they’re completely wrong, then overrule them. (3) Have the confidence to admit that although, with the full benefit of hindsight, you may not have been 100% correct on every little detail, you still totally nailed the big picture.


All three of those management principles were on display in the case of Geppetto. When Kenn and Henrik came up with the idea of an Eclipse-based IDE for Puppet early last year, Management politely heard them out before telling them it was one of the dumbest ideas of all time. Who would ever want to use something that? Eclipse is for old men! The kids today are all using command line, not IDEs!


As usual, the team ignored Management and did whatever they damn well pleased, working on Geppetto in secret through 15 long months of nights, weekends and vacations.


But the story turns out to have  a happy ending: Geppetto is doing really well. Unique user downloads crossed the 3,000 mark in April, and are accelerating. Many of those users probably download Geppetto and then redistribute it internally, so more could be actually using it. These are pretty decent numbers, given the size of the Puppet user community and the fact that we’ve had very little time to promote it. It may not be for every Puppet user, but those that like it seem to really like it.


And so what if Management said that an Eclipse-based IDE for Puppet was a total waste of time, and Geppetto is an Eclipse-based IDE for Puppet? From the start, Management’s vision has been that, in the future, people were going to need a lot more stuff to make things way better. And isn’t that the the key takeaway regarding Geppetto? Doesn’t it make things *way better*? Let the team sweat the details. That’s their job, not Management’s.


geppetto figure

Geppetto 2000