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This book uses child size fonts. The book feels weighty but it's highly padded. I feel it's padded for a simple reason. It's not that in-depth and much of what is stated is simple or rather obvious; or is far better explained with detail and context in Amazon and Microsoft White papers. I was recommended this book and I have and rate the lean series but this book is poor in my view. Too little depth, too fluffy and too expensive overall.
I’m a software and found this book was too high level, I guess I was expected something offering real practical advice and real world experience, especially having read the fantastic continuous delivery. This book is a summary of why things like automated testing and continuous integration are sound practices but this is already preaching to the converted.
It had some new pieces of advice and guidance for me, and I especially like how it brings all together the best and well established practices, but generally it didn’t offer me much, but maybe I’m not the intended audience? This would be a great book if you were a struggling CTO or someone stuck in the old ways of manual testing etc. If you run a failing IT company or department then by all means read this, but to the established folks already doing the right things then pick this up 2nd hand on the cheap.
Why do I like this book and why do I think it is worthy of reading, reviewing and recommending ahead of a host of other books on DevOps?
1. It is short enough and accessible enough to be reasonably recommended to and consumed by a range of roles outside of the technology function. 2. It is written by and recommended by a number of people who clearly know their onions: Jez Humble, Nicole Forsgren and Gene Kim are all multipublished, award winning authors who have been involved in the State of DevOps survey for an extended period of time. Martin Fowler (who writes a forward) is one of the founding fathers of Agile and has written profoundly on many aspects of the programming craft 3. It seeks to justify its assertions with a range of quantitative methods which are pitched at the right level…you could use these ideas both to structure a business case and as a measurement framework to report against it. 4. It explores a range of technical, organizational, managerial and cultural aspects that combine to provide a step change in software development capability. It isolates atomic drivers of improvement. It describes positive and negative feedback loops to be aware of. 5. It connects those ideas into a coherent programme and suggests how you might go about adoption.
Apart from all of the practical ideas and the way it connects them I think the most interesting thought it left me with was this. Not only is high performance in the technology space going to offer a key differentiator for businesses in the future but that high performing technology function can be a catalyst to a high performing organization full stop.
It's a study of thousands of companies, the development practices they use and whether they succeed or not.
It's the closest thing I've seen to evidence that doing things the "right" way is a key contributor to business success. Teams that deploy more often have better success. Organizations that are safe to work in (where you can raise concerns without fear of being fired) have better success.