Aside from the many technical manuals on our bookshelves, I bet everyone has a few that are more process or philosophically oriented which hold a special place in our hearts. To me, these are the ones we continue to go back to and that have helped develop us as engineers, software, operations, quality assurance or otherwise. In no particular order, the following are the top four, not strictly technical, books in my library.
Web Operations by John Allspaw and Jesse Robbins
Allspaw and Robbins cover many topics in this text ranging from monitoring and metrics to databases and operations development relations. I appreciate this one so much it is required reading material for anyone who joins my operations teams. In my opinion, it illustrates many best practices for an operations organization.
Continuous Delivery by Dave Farley and Jez Humble
This book bridges the gap between good software development practices and getting to continuous delivery. It made me really think about testing and quality assurance, which in my opinion is one of the most difficult parts of a continuous delivery world to wrap your head around. While there isn’t one right answer, you should really think about the role testing plays in the overall process.
The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford
“The Pheonix Project” is a relatively new addition to my library. While it may sound strange, this book was an absolute page-turner and I really related to it. It presents many Agile and DevOps concepts via a fictional story that doesn’t seem fictional because we have all been there. Despite the fact that it is fictional, the concepts presented and techniques are applicable to each of our real-world situations.
Etsy – Moving Fast at Scale
While this isn’t actually a book, but a video, to me this is a pivotal piece of information has continued to guide my pursuit of DevOps methodologies and practices, so it holds a special place on my figurative bookshelf. In the video, the guys at Esty discuss a number of topics including deployment processes, application toggles, metrics and more. Most importantly, they not only discuss the why but also the how and I find myself frequently referencing this video.
For me each one of these books or videos has played an important role in pursuit and real-world implementations of DevOps practices. What are the texts digital or otherwise that you hold dear and/or have influenced you?