At Honeycomb, we’ve often discussed the value of making software deployments early and often, and being able to understand your code as it runs in production. However, these principles aren’t specific to only your customer-facing software. Configuration-as-code, such as Terraform, is in fact code that needs to go through a release process as well. Lacking formal process around Terraform deployment means a de-facto process that generates reliability risk. Our Terraform code used to be a mechanism of ensuring reproducibility of our environment from config, but it was still hard to debug when unexpected changes appeared in our terraform plan output. Was a diff because someone else also pushed a change from their branch that I’d be undoing? Was it because of someone pressing an AWS console button and introducing config drift? Was it because of a Terraform provider bug? Even the experts on the team were afraid to touch our Terraform configs, treating them like a haunted graveyard in which to seldom tread.

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