Although you may need to preinstall favorite programming environment, Ansible modules are accessed via shell calls and therefore any executable on the remote system built for use with Ansible may be used as an Ansible module.
Ansible is still relatively new, as far as server automation tools go. This is the reason that many users have found it's documentation lacking in some parts. Although this is mitigated by the fact that it's very easy to learn to use.
Chef has a steeper learning curve than many of its competitors, making it a more difficult tool for the non-devs of a team (such as sysadmins) to work with. For some teams, the added cost of teaching Chef to the team may outweigh the benefits.
Due to it's out of order execution you can easily get into race condition between different modules. You have to be very careful declaring pre-requisites for the tasks so they don't step on top of each other. On the other hand when you get this lets you deploy things much faster than straig...