Summer is the perfect season to unwind and dive into books you didn’t have the chance to read until now–including DevOps reading material. Whether you’re lounging at the beach, enjoying a summer house retreat, or cozied up at home, we've got you covered with a great list of books that will help you master your DevOps skills in no time.

After your summer holidays, you'll return with a refreshed mind and many brilliant ideas. While we can't control your vacation experience, we can help with the latter.

The DevOps Handbook (Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis)

In today's competitive business landscape, managing technology effectively is crucial—technology leaders continuously face the challenge of finding the right balance between agility, reliability, and security. The consequences of failure have reached an all-time high, as seen in the mishap, cardholder data breaches, and failure to capitalize on Big Data in the cloud.

However, there are notable success stories among high-performing companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Etsy, Netflix, etc.) that embrace DevOps principles and consistently and confidently release their code into production hundreds or even thousands of times daily.

The DevOps Handbook continues to be an essential resource in the field as the high-level concepts it introduced are still relevant but overlooked in many organizations. It presents how teams can collaborate to deliver software efficiently, defining important DevOps concepts. With a wealth of practical advice and examples from the industry, it serves as an excellent guide for building a strong DevOps culture and improving software development capabilities within organizations.

Team Topologies (Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais)

For organizations looking to deliver value consistently and sustainably, experienced software teams play a crucial role. But how do you create the ideal team-based organization that aligns with your goals, culture, and needs?

Team Topologies, by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais, provides a practical and adaptable model for organizational design and team interaction. This model is built upon four core team types and three interaction patterns, defines teams as the foundation for successful delivery, and enables team structures and communication pathways to evolve alongside technological and organizational growth.

Whether you aim to optimize your work for flow, establish a platform team, or embark on a team-first approach to transform your business, this book draws upon a decade of team topology understanding and is a definite must-read.

The Value Flywheel Effect (David Anderson)

Traditional IT and business strategies are no longer effective in today's fast-paced technological landscape. To achieve success, the relationship between businesses and technology must evolve. In his book, The Value Flywheel Effect, David Anderson guides leaders in creating adaptable organizations that embrace strategic thinking, prioritize teamwork, and deliver results faster.

By harnessing the potential of “The Value Flywheel Effect” and leveraging the insights provided by Wardley Mapping, organizations can sense and respond to change swiftly. With advice on Serverless combined with Wardley Mapping, what’s not to like? This book helps organizations achieve momentum in cloud journeys and understand their current situation by mapping their operating landscape.

Docs for Developers (Jared Bhatti)

Well-documented projects save time for developers and software users. On the other hand, inadequate documentation can cause users to suffer from decreased developer productivity, limited scalability, low user adoption, and accessibility issues. In a nutshell: poor documentation can be detrimental to project success.

Docs for Developers, by Jared Bhatti, explains the steps needed to create exceptional developer documentation by taking you on a journey alongside a team of software developers as they embark on launching a new product. Throughout this engaging narrative, you'll gain insights, templates, and practical principles that will empower you to create, evaluate, and sustain adequate documentation—tools that can be tailored to your organization's specific needs.

Documentation is crucial in establishing effective communication and information sharing among developers. However, it's no secret that we have yet to always excel in this area. With this book, we can revolutionize our approach to documentation and equip the tools to write great documentation.

The Fearless Organization (Amy Edmondson)

In a world where innovation, creativity, and vitality are key, attracting and retaining top talent is crucial. But talent alone isn't enough if individuals can’t express themselves freely. True success relies on a constant influx of fresh ideas, diverse perspectives, and critical thinking.

While not every idea is perfect, and some questions may seem trivial, fostering open dialogue is essential to the creative process. Allowing individuals to voice half-formed thoughts, ask unexpected questions, and engage in brainstorming cultivates a culture where minor missteps are no cause for concern and mistakes are acknowledged, rectified, and learned from. Moreover, it sets the stage for groundbreaking ideas to emerge from unexpected places.

Built on the foundation of a five-year study from Google, this book delves into the concept of psychological safety within organizations, providing a practical blueprint for its implementation. While the journey may encounter challenges, concise explanations through real-world scenarios illuminate the path forward, empowering continuous learning and fostering a healthy innovation culture.

Bonus: The Unicorn Project (Gene Kim)

Unicorn Project follows in the footsteps of the Phoenix Project, using a fictional story to convey essential concepts. While the previous book focused on rescuing a single project, this one takes on a more significant challenge: transforming an entire organizational unit. It shows what you should do with your senior engineering staff through its protagonist. Spoilers: they shouldn’t be dedicated to any single project full-time.

Although the Unicorn Project may not be the best educational material (the concepts it introduces are referred to rather than exhaustively explained), it’s nevertheless a light, enjoyable read that shows the practical application of DevOps concepts and ethos.

Published: July 11, 2023