DevOps Handbook review

Premier Developer

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App Dev Manager Kerry Duggento gives us a review of The DevOps Handbook.


The DevOps Handbook describes the aspects of working toward a satisfying result for a customer while handling apparently conflicting goals within the organization. You might be familiar with the authors from another work, The Phoenix Project.  They are recognized as some of original adopters of what is now considered DevOps.The book explains through case studies how companies have resolved the apparent contradictions, aligning everyone’s goals can bring about greater rewards and process improvements. It does this by explaining the theory of Lean manufacturing processes and then converts those lessons to technology.

The book focuses on “The Three Ways” – Flow, Feedback, and Continual Learning and Experimentation. It is split into 6 sections: an introduction to the three ways, a place to start, the three ways, and a section on security and compliance.

The book is filled with examples of how two well-meaning divisions of the same company can have seemingly opposing goals, causing unnecessary clogging of a system. These clogs cause slow down, revenue loss and ultimately customer dissatisfaction. Using case studies, the authors show how well-known companies faced these problems and how they created solutions that have come to be known as DevOps.

One of the most important take-aways is that the entire company must be on board with the transformation. Everyone must understand the mission and support it. A culture of trust is essential to success.

DevOps is about creating a culture of collaboration and community. Blame is counter-productive to that goal. It does not encourage team members to solve problems, but rather avoid being blamed for failures.

Nothing is perfect. When mistakes happen, a DevOps culture works towards corrective actions. Assume everyone is interested in a better outcome, and that the team is all working toward the same goal. Everyone takes responsibility. The blame lies with the system, not the individual.

The DevOps Handbook prescribes practices to promote this blameless culture and ultimately a satisfied customer. Every company and every situation are different. The challenges faced by a technology team vary by everything from technology stack to customer expectations to management style. The book is not meant as a step-by-step recipe for solving every possible problem. Rather it should change your mindset so that you can promote synergy within your company culture and ultimately embrace a DevOps culture.

This book is a great addition to anyone that is passionate about evangelizing DevOps within their company!

Other books for those interested in DevOps:

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