Book Review: Continuous Deliver and DevOps: A Quickstart Guide (1 of 3)

To further my DevOps knowledge and abilities I have been reading Continuous Deliver and DevOps: A Quickstart Guide by Paul Swartout. I’m about half way through it and wanted to get some thoughts down about the content and the book itself.

I actually started reading this book before I read the whole title. I was just looking for a DevOps book and this was the first one that popped up in the online library I was searching in. The further along I get the more I understand why it is called “A Quickstart Guide.” That doesn’t mean it can’t be valuable. It is just lacking some depth that I was looking for.

The book introduces a fictional company called Acme, and goes through the growth of a small start-up the eventually gets acquired by a larger company. Using the fictional company does serve an effective purpose to illustrate the growth and transition a company could make to Continuous Delivery (CD) and DevOps. Before reading the book I didn’t think of what it took to transition from “Legacy” development to CD and DevOps. I was just under the impression a company was one way or the other and never thought of what it took to make the transition. I’m grateful for reading the book for that reason alone. I also saw the impact DevOps has on the whole company. Sales and marketing teams have to adjust their practice and proceeds to match what DevOps is doing.

Managing a typical transition could look like this, with points to consider along the way (from pg 68 of the book)–

  1. Define a goal and vision
  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate
  3. It will change the business so make sure it has the recognition
  4. Form a dedicated team
  5. Evangelism is good PR
  6. It’s not all free
  7. You are not alone (in a good way)

What I got out of the first half of the book is that there is a distinct contrast between a small and nimble company and a potentially clunky large enterprise. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and the purpose of CD and DevOps is to create an environment that draws on the strengths of both worlds.

So the first part of the book illustrates the transition of using development and operations practices for developing “legacy” code, (code that is large, all packaged together, and released together,) to that of agile code development (utilizing CD and DevOps principles.) In previewing the second part of the book it seems to be covering how CD and DevOps is delivering code, outlines the software engineering fundamentals and best practices, and the tools used to reach your end goal. I’ll create another post in the new few days on that.

I am interested in learning the furthering my knowledge on the tools side of DevOps but now I know I need to broaden my vision and understand how the tools fit in and affect the rest of the process and company.

Author: Jonathan

Born and raised in Utah as a "Mormon." Married to Val, and the father of two beautiful daughters. Spent two years in the Philippines on a mission and a few years near Boise Idaho for work. Now residing in the beautify Heber Valley.

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