The DevOps Handbook: Introduction Summary to Everything You Need to Know

Written by Stefan Thorpe
The #DevOps Handbook Series

Want to read The DevOps Handbook but don’t have the time? Concerned it may be too technical? Or just overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the book? No fear. I’ve read the book, filtered through the information, and have drawn all the key points together. This way you can optimize your time and learn faster.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be publishing articles which cover the individual sections of the book, each summarized into bite-size pieces. Here’s a glimpse of the upcoming chapters we’ll cover and links to each post:

We’ll begin today with the summary introduction to The DevOps Handbook and an outline of what you can achieve.

About the Authors

All credit goes to the authors and founders of the DevOps movement:

Gene Kim – Multi-award winning American entrepreneur, researcher, and author.
Jez Humble – Professional IT consultant, award-winning author and researcher.
Patrick Debois – “Godfather of DevOps,” CTO and independent IT consultant.
John Willis – IT operations veteran, author, and Evangelist at Docker.

DevOps Handbook Summary

The DevOps Handbook was five years and over 2000 hours in the making to provide a guideline for organizations of all industries and sizes to achieve the transformative effects of DevOps. Far more than just being able to deploy code quickly, DevOps is a valuable ecosystem for enabling the true coalition of development and operations. As a result of empowering DevOps, companies should succeed in creating a high-trust, collaborative culture that improves the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the business — realized in increased success in the marketplace.

Success in modern technical endeavors absolutely requires multiple perspectives and expertise to collaborate. John Allspaw, CTO, Etsy

DevOps Handbook Introduction

Whether you’re a seasoned IT technician or not, these DevOps theories and practices are designed to be utilized by anyone who influences or works within an organization’s IT value stream, agnostic to the underlying tech stack. From business leaders and stakeholders to engineers and CTOs, the Handbook is for everyone. At its core, DevOps is about the success of the overall organization, not just individual departments.

The Problem

Currently, in many IT teams, developers and operations are still at odds with one another creating conflict and friction in the work process.

The Consequences

Poor performance results, deflated employees, and rising technical debt that prevents the achievement of broader organizational goals.

Ever-increased workloads, a growing number of production changes that do not fix root problems, and outages that directly impact the customer which require major firefighting sessions to correct.

Why It Happens

Technology is now at the core of every business today no matter the business model or product. Even in low-tech industry verticals, companies rely on technology more than we appreciate.

When you’re directly involved in the IT value stream, it’s difficult to spot the downward spiral as it is happening. A spiral that occurs when developers and operations are working to “diametrically opposed goals and incentives.”

Break the Downward Spiral with DevOps

  • Deploy code quickly, safely and securely in a routine fashion without impacting customers.
  • Create fast feedback loops to immediately see if any issues arise.
  • Promote rapid learning skills in your employees with automated testing which helps your team discover and correct mistakes quickly.
  • Prevent technical debt from building by fixing problems as they are identified.
  • Enable product and feature releases in a controlled, predictable, and reversible manner.
  • Establish a collaborative culture driven by learning and positive evaluation, rather than fear and fault-finding.

In Conclusion

Publicly-listed organizations, who are employing the kind of high-performing technicians that DevOps creates, have demonstrated 50% higher market capitalization. These companies also registered “higher employee job satisfaction, lower rates of employee burnout, and their employees were 2.2 times more likely to recommend their organization to friends as a great place to work.”

As with the impact Lean practices had on the Manufacturing Revolution of the 1980s, DevOps is set to change the way all industries leverage IT.

Read the next installment now. The DevOps Handbook: Establishing the Three Ways.

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