“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”
Isaac Newton (1676)

DevOps draws on many different disciplines as it attempts to synthesise a new operating model for IT service and product delivery. In order to understand “the big picture” it helps to read widely and deeply on the underlying literature that forms the foundations of DevOps. In order to get you started we’ve put together this list of our favourite books on DevOps, Continuous Delivery, organisational culture and a host of other topics.

The DevOps handbook - DevOpsGuys Reading ListThe Devops Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations

What is it about?

The DevOps Handbook is the DevOps practitioner-based follow up to The Phoenix Project novel.

Why do we recommend it?

Lots of great case studies and guidance from DevOps practitioners, out there, doing DevOps in the real-world.

The Phoenix Project - DevOpsGuys Reading ListThe Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

What is it about?

The Phoenix Project tells the story of Bill, the IT Manager at Parts Unlimited, and his DevOps journey to save a sinking project (and the company!)

Why do we recommend it?

The seminal novel of DevOps! Written in part as a homage to Goldratt’s “The Goal” it introduces many of the key DevOps concepts in a easily readable form.

Start With Why - DevOpsGuys Reading ListStart With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

What is it about?

Why. What. How. The key stages in any endeavour. But Sinek explains why “Why” is the secret to both employee and customer engagement, and ultimately, success.

Why do we recommend it?

Love it since his first TED talk and meeting him at a London dinner. We urge all our clients to really understand their “Why” before starting their DevOps transformation and aligning their team behind their goals.

Lean Software Development - DevOpsGuys Reading ListLean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit

What is it about?

A great resource for people trying to look beyond Agile software development (especially Scrum) and see extend the Agile concepts to the entire SDLC.

Why do we recommend it?

It’s the Poppendieck’s. Just read it.

The art of business value - DevOpsGuys Reading ListThe Art of Business Value

What is it about?

“The Art of Business Value explores what business value means, why it matters, and how it should affect your software development and delivery practices.” <- This!

Why do we recommend it?

Lots of people in the DevOps community talk about “Business Value” or “Customer Value” but sadly few can articulate what they mean or what’s the difference. Schwartz’s book is a good place to start.

The principles of product development flow - DevOpsGuys Reading ListThe Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development

What is it about?

How to create flow in your product development process to get a 5x to 10x improvement in performance.

Why do we recommend it?

Prepare to have your mind blown. Reinertsen’s book is one of my personal favourites as he explains, from first principles, why small batch sizes are crucial, why variability should be embraced and why analogies from manufacturing are not always valid.

The Goal - DevOpsGuys Reading ListThe Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

What is it about?

“The Goal” outlines the principles of the Theory of Constraints, in an easily readable novelised format (the format shamelessly copied by “The Phoenix Project”.

Why do we recommend it?

If you have read “The Phoenix Project” you need to read “The Goal”, its direct ancestor.

Drive - DevOpsGuys Reading ListDrive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

What is it about?

Why do people do what they do? Why don’t they do what you want them to do? Pink outlines 3 reasons – Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose!

Why do we recommend it?

DevOps is all about cultural change – and Pink provides some deep insights into how to mobilise people on the Transformation journey via the principles of Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose. Worth reading in conjunction with “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.

Continuous delivery - DevOpsGuys Reading ListContinuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases Through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation (Addison-Wesley Signature)

What is it about?

The seminal guide to continuous delivery.

Why do we recommend it?

First published in 2010 it’s pretty much essential reading for any DevOps practitioner, particularly if you come from more of an Operations background and want to “shift left” and learn more about continuous delivery of working software.

The lean startup - DevOpsGuys Reading ListThe Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses

What is it about?

A guide to digital entrepreneurship that has some great lessons on innovation, learning and building products customers really want.

Why do we recommend it?

Pretty much the bible of every Silicon Valley start-up it clearly articulates the value of short feedback cycles – launch an MVP then BUILD, MEASURE, LEARN.

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