The DevOps Cookbook

by John Allspaw, Patrick Debois, Damon Edwards, Jez Humble, Gene Kim, Mike Orzen, and John Willis

The DevOps Cookbook Project aims to catalog and codify the practices of high performing DevOps organizations that result in extraordinary performance. Our goal is to create a prescriptive playbook that organizations can follow to replicate the extraordinary culture and outcomes enabling IT Operations can operate at scale and win in the marketplace.

About

The DevOps Cookbook Project aims to catalog and codify the practices of high performing DevOps organizations that result in extraordinary performance.  Our goal is to create a prescriptive playbook that organizations can follow to replicate the extraordinary culture and outcomes enabling IT Operations can operate at scale and win in the marketplace.

One of the valid complaints about DevOps is that it’s difficult to describe.  Currently, DevOps is more like a philosophical movement, not yet a precise collection of practices, descriptive or prescriptive (e.g., CMM-I, ITIL, Agile, etc.).  At this early stage, DevOps is more of a vibrant community of practitioners interested in replicating the performance outcomes and culture as exemplified in the seminal John Allspaw/Tim Hammond 2009 Velocity presentation about doing “ten deploys a day” at Flickr.

The intent behind The DevOps Cookbook Project is to catalog what the “high performing DevOps organizations” all have in common, and then provide prescriptive guidance so that other organizations can replicate their results.  Very much like the “Visible Ops Handbook,” we are attempting to describe all the necessary and sufficient steps to create the culture, values, processes, procedures, and daily work behind their transformations.

We describe what is required from each of the major stakeholders, including Development, Test, Product Management, as well as IT Operations.  We will present the common constraints and conditions that apply each of the patterns, as well as the modifications that must be done to existing patterns.  Examples include Dev patterns (e.g., Agile and continuous integration and release processes) and IT Operations patterns (e.g., release, change, incident and problem management, monitoring, escalation, escalation of preventive project work, etc.).

Our hope is that this work will significantly increase the success of DevOps initiatives, accelerate its adoption curve, and ideally, lower the activation energy required for DevOps transformations to start and finish.

This research is the continuation of Patrick DeBois’ pioneering work in the DevOps community, as well as Mike Orzen, John Willis, and Gene Kim’s decades long passion for studying and creating high performing IT organizations.

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