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The Top 10 Books on DevOps You Need to Read

I’ve been doing DevOps for a few years now, and I think I’m pretty good at it. Over these years I’ve read some books that really helped me along the way, here they are.

1. The DevOps Handbook

This book is the first one most DevOps professionals start with. I’ve read it 3 times so far, and every time I pick up something new. It’s a great start that gives a great overview of DevOps.
What you’ll get from itA good generalized knowledge of DevOps. A great place to start.

2. The Phoenix Project

Another classic you must read. What makes this book different is the fact that’s in novel form, which means after you go through the DevOps Handbook to learn the basics, this book will show the application of the theories and principles in an entertaining story form. It’s much easier to digest and get through. If you read nothing else in this list these two books will give you a solid foundation.
What you’ll get from itApplication of the principles you learned in the DevOps handbook.

3. Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps

This book is the result of 4 years of research by Puppet and some of the top minds of DevOps, Dr. Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim. This is a real world application of the theories and principles outlined in the previous two books.
What you’ll get from itReal world lessons from real organizations implementing DevOps.

4. Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation

The names “Jez Humble” and “David Farley” will become familiar to you after a while, these are solid experts in the field and this book is some of their best work.
What you’ll get from itA solid foundation in continuous delivery and creating a great deployment pipeline.

5. Effective DevOps

With O’Reilly books you can always expect quality, and this book is no exception. This covers the big picture of DevOps and provides some actionable suggestions for building up your DevOps organization. Very well written.
What you’ll get from itA well laid out structure to move your organization into DevOps, including tools, culture guidance, and case studies.
More Info: Effective DevOps

6. Measure What Matters

No matter how well you feel things are going, if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t matter. This book goes in depth into setting goals, measuring them, making changes and achieving them. It really hones in on the iterative process that drives DevOps.
What you’ll get from itIn-depth insight into measuring and improving process flows.

7. Site Reliability Engineering

This is a collection of essays from Site Reliability Engineers from Google who focus on the entire lifecycle and introduce effective patterns and principles for keeping things running fast and resilient.
What you’ll get from itInsight directly from Google into how DevOps helps their organization succeed.

8. Site Reliability Workbook

This is a follow up to the previous one that gives real examples and a framework to design your SRE strategy.
What you’ll get from itReal-world examples and application of everything you’ve learned from the handbook.

9. Infrastructure as Code

This is such a simple concept but one that has many nuances and principles, it takes a deep understanding to get things right.
What you’ll get from itA deep understanding of Infrastructure as Code and how you can leverage it the right way.

10. The Goal

Want to read something that will help your modern DevOps structure that was originally written in… the 1980s? Yes, it sounds crazy, but this book is the grandfather of DevOps books and really focuses on process refinement to a microscopic degree. It’s the inspiration for number two on this list and is written in the same “novel” format.
What you’ll get from itA deep understanding of process. You can use what you learn here in many processes besides DevOps, and in nearly any industry you work in.
More Info: The Goal
If you’re looking to start a career in DevOps or just ramp up your skills, this is a great set of books for laying a strong foundation.
Technical knowledge is important for application, but DevOps is more than just tools, it’s a culture change. By better understanding the foundations you’ll be more effective in getting your organization where it needs to be.

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