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March 30, 2023

Essential Reads for the DevOps Beginner

By IT Revolution

The most frequent question we get asked is how a team or organization can get started with DevOps. It all sounds great when you listen to or read a case study of a DevOps transformation. But when it’s time to actually get started, it can be hard to figure out where to begin.

But don’t worry. We have you covered. 

The first step in any journey is to get prepared through research.

If you haven’t already, you want to build your DevOps knowledge stack. After all, a deep understanding of the concept will help you be prepared to adapt DevOps to the unique situations of your organizations. DevOps is not a one size fits all solution. It’s not a framework or checklist you can apply in a weekend. And moving the operations desks into the same room as developers isn’t going to get you anywhere.

DevOps is a mindset change, a shift in ways of working. And you need to understand the whys and hows before you get started down your own path. So, here’s your essential DevOps reading guide to get you started.

Start Here: The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win 

I don’t think it’s any secret, but this is the book that launched DevOps into the mainstream. But what makes it the enduring book for practitioners starting their DevOps journey is the fact that the book is a novel. What better way to learn than through a story? The book clearly walks you through the Three Ways of DevOps, how to identify your core chronic conflict, describes the four types of work, and more. 

Bonus Read: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt

This is the bible for implementing continuous improvement in manufacturing. It is the inspiration for The Phoenix Project and a huge influence on DevOps. 

Next Up: The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations

Okay, you’ve read The Phoenix Project, so you understand the use case. But now you need help with the intricacies of actually applying it to your unique situation. That’s where The DevOps Handbook comes in. Brought to you by the same people who took the DevOps movement mainstream, this detailed handbook has every answer to every question you might have about DevOps. And don’t worry, it goes beyond just bringing Dev and Ops together. It shows how to integrate security, audit, product management, and more into a seamless process. Plus, it’s full of case studies to show you how others have made it work.

Bonus Read: Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation by Jez Humble and David Farley 

This is essential reading for anyone who wants to dive deeper into how to implement CI/CD in their organization. And don’t forget, without CI/CD, you can’t have a DevOps transformation. While The DevOps Handbook adequately lays out the basics of CI/CD, this book will help you become a true CI/CD expert.

Last: Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations

You’ve read the stories, and you’ve studied the handbook, but how do you convince the business that DevOps will deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier? Where are the numbers? Where are the statistics that prove the theory? Don’t worry; we have you covered. Accelerate, based on four years of groundbreaking research via the State of DevOps Reports, provides all the evidence you need to prove that DevOps really does work. You’’ll discover the four key metrics to measuring delivery performance and what capabilities your organization should invest in to drive higher performance. 

Bonus Read: Site Reliability Engineering: Practical Ways to Implement SRE

In this great read, members of the SRE team explain how their engagement with the entire software lifecycle has enabled Google to build, deploy, monitor, and maintain some of the largest software systems in the world.

These are the essential reads to get you started on your DevOps journey. But if you want to go further and deeper, stay tuned for our list of Essential Reads for the DevOps Expert.

- About The Authors
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IT Revolution

Trusted by technology leaders worldwide. Since publishing The Phoenix Project in 2013, and launching DevOps Enterprise Summit in 2014, we’ve been assembling guidance from industry experts and top practitioners.

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