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Summary: The Devops Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, & Security in Technology Organizations

The DevOps Handbook (2016) offers a roadmap on how to catapult your technology operations into a realm of world-class agility, reliability, and security. Dive deep into the heart of the DevOps philosophy, equipping you with insights to bridge gaps between development and operations, while fostering unmatched efficiency.

Introduction: Discover how to harness the power of DevOps.

Have you ever wondered how companies like Amazon, Google, and Netflix maintain their dizzying pace of innovation while ensuring impeccable reliability? What’s the secret that lets these tech giants push out updates at an almost unimaginable rate, keeping their services fresh, exciting, and responsive to their users’ needs? If you’ve found yourself pondering these questions, you’re about to embark on a fascinating journey into the world of DevOps.

In this summary, we’ll peel back the curtain on DevOps – a practice that has transformed the tech industry. You’ll learn all about its fundamentals, principles, and real-world applications by diving into examples of companies that have adopted this culture successfully. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a manager, or simply someone interested in the tech world, this knowledge will make you better at interpreting technological changes, improving team collaboration, and optimizing workflows.

Let’s dive in.

Book Summary: The Devops Handbook - How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, & Security in Technology Organizations

Meet DevOps.

First things first: DevOps. What exactly is it? The short answer is that it’s all in the name – a blend of “development” and “operations.” It’s all about bridging the gap between the people who write the code and the people who make sure that code runs smoothly in the real world. But DevOps is not just a job title – it’s a whole culture. It’s about a group of people with a common goal working together to make magic happen.

Picture this: two separate teams working on a massive jigsaw puzzle in different rooms. They’re working hard and making progress. But what they don’t know is that both teams are working on the same puzzle without knowing it. Sounds a bit ridiculous, right? But that’s exactly what happens when dev and ops teams work in what’re known as silos. In other words, they’re essentially working as isolated, independent teams within one – and often with limited communication or cooperation with each other.

Now, imagine what they could achieve if they worked together on that puzzle, sharing pieces and helping each other out. That’s the beauty of collaboration in DevOps. It’s all about bringing everyone together, sharing ideas, and getting the job done faster – all with fewer hiccups along the way.

Let’s look at how it works in the real world. Take Amazon, for instance. In 2011, Amazon’s engineers were deploying code 15,000 times per day. By 2015, they’d introduced DevOps, broke down the silos, and got their teams working together like a well-oiled machine. The result? They now deploy more than 136,000 times per day.

So, how can you bring this magic into your own workspaces? First, get rid of silos as much as possible. Get your dev team and your ops team together in the same room – whether that’s a physical room or a Zoom room – and get them talking to each other. Let them understand the challenges and triumphs of each other’s worlds. They’re two sides of the same coin, after all.

Second, get yourself some quality tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. These can work wonders for your collaboration game. They keep everyone in the loop, let you share ideas on the go, and give you a place to celebrate those little wins that keep us all going.

That’s the magic of DevOps and collaboration. It’s not rocket science – it’s all about people, communication, and working together to create something amazing.

The power of continuous delivery and automation.

Now that you know the basics of the DevOps philosophy, let’s dive into a key aspect of what makes it work so well: continuous delivery and automation.

Imagine this – you’re running a bustling pizza shop. In this shop, the dough is made fresh every day, the cheese is grated by hand, and each pizza is carefully crafted by your talented chefs. Sounds great, right? But then, the orders start flooding in, and your staff is struggling to keep up. The quality starts slipping, orders get mixed up, and customers are left waiting. What do you do?

Well, what if you could automate the dough making, the cheese grating, and even some of the pizza crafting? Your staff could then focus on ensuring everything runs smoothly, orders are correct, and the pizzas are up to standard. This is the power of automation – and this is exactly what continuous delivery is all about.

Think about it – if you’re constantly pushing out new code and each bit needs to be manually tested and deployed, you’d need an army of engineers working day and night. Even then, human error would still creep in from time to time. Continuous delivery is our solution to this – it’s like the conveyor belt in our pizza shop, keeping the pizzas rolling out smoothly and reliably.

Take Netflix, for example. With over 200 million subscribers binge-watching their favorite shows around the clock, there’s no room for error. Netflix uses continuous delivery to push out thousands of code changes every day. Their system is set up in a way that any piece of code can be deployed as soon as it’s ready, at any time. This helps them react swiftly to any bugs, and lets them roll out new features to keep their viewers hooked.

So, how can you harness the power of continuous delivery magic in your DevOps team?

First off, start thinking about automating your . Look at your current deployment process and ask yourself where you’re spending the most time. What are the steps that keep tripping you up? Once you’ve identified these bottlenecks, think about how you can automate them. There’s a wide array of tools out there to help you automate everything from testing to deployment – figure out which ones would work best for your team.

Next up, foster a culture that embraces continuous learning and improvement. The world of tech is always evolving, and so should your processes. Regularly review your processes and look for areas of improvement. Remember, it’s not about making massive leaps, but rather about making consistent, incremental changes. And if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, just remember the pizza shop. Find your bottlenecks, automate what you can, and keep that conveyor belt of code updates rolling smoothly.

The Three Ways.

Just like any robust philosophy, DevOps also has its guiding principles. Meet the Three Ways – flow, feedback, and continual experimentation. These are integral to DevOps, providing a valuable framework that forms the foundation of all things in the DevOps universe.

First up is the principle of flow. Imagine you’re on a whitewater rafting trip. You, your team, and the raft are all trying to navigate the rapids and get down the river as quickly and safely as you can. But here’s the thing – you’re not just focused on your own performance or how fast you can paddle. The goal is to make sure the entire raft makes it to the end. It’s the performance of the whole system that matters. That’s what the first principle is all about.

Take Nordstrom, for example. The company had a goal – they wanted to respond more swiftly to changes in the fashion industry, keep up with customer expectations, and maintain their competitive edge. But they realized that to do this, they had to get their product teams and operations teams to work together more effectively. They had to improve the flow.

So, what did they do? They decided to tear down the barriers between departments. They moved away from siloed teams, where each team was focused on their own tasks and challenges, to a more integrated approach. Instead of separate development and operations teams, they created cross-functional teams that included business stakeholders, product managers, developers, testers, and operations engineers.

In this new structure, everyone was involved from the get-go. They could see the full lifecycle of their products, from concept to customer. This increased their shared understanding of the system, improved cooperation, and boosted their ability to react to changes. The result? A better, faster, and more aligned response to business needs.

Onto the second principle: Feedback. Just like a team of chefs taste-testing a new recipe and adjusting the seasoning as they go, we need to be constantly checking our work and making corrections where necessary.

Look no further than Google, home of the Site Reliability Engineers, SREs. This dedicated team ensures Google’s operational success. How? Well, SREs operate at the heart of Google’s product teams, embedding themselves to ensure constant, high-quality feedback.

But Google’s feedback strategy isn’t just about putting out fires. Before any new service goes public, it must pass the “Launch Readiness Review”, or LRR, and later the “Hand-Off Readiness Review”, or HRR. These stages act as safety checks, enabling lessons learned from all previous launches to be incorporated, thereby cultivating a culture of continual learning and improvement.

And the beauty of it? Even before an SRE is assigned, developers are required to manage their service in production for at least six months. This experience allows developers to walk a mile in Ops shoes, guided by the LRR and HRR, enhancing empathy and cross-functional understanding.

So, the second principle of DevOps isn’t merely about feedback – it’s about a proactive, all-encompassing, feedback-driven culture. This is a secret sauce in Google’s success recipe.

And finally, we have the third principle – continual learning and experimentation. Think about your favorite musician or athlete – they didn’t get to the top of their game by playing it safe. They took risks, they experimented, they learned from their failures, and they kept practicing. The same applies to the rest of us.

Nationwide Insurance is a great example of a company that has embraced this principle. They’ve done so by hosting internal technology conferences, providing platforms for their teams to learn, share knowledge, and innovate together. Such internal conferences demonstrate that fostering an internal culture of curiosity, risk-taking, and learning from failures can drive innovation and improvement, keeping the companies at the forefront of their industries.

So, how can you take these principles and put them into action?

Start by encouraging a culture of systems thinking in your teams. Get everyone to see the big picture and understand how their work contributes to the overall product. That way, they’re not just focused on their own tasks, but on the success of the entire project.

Secondly, make feedback your best friend. Set up regular check-ins and reviews, and make sure everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns. Remember, feedback is a gift, not a curse.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes. Create a safe space where your team can take risks, learn, and grow. Remember, it’s not about never failing, but about never stopping learning.

By putting all three principles into practice, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of DevOps.

All things lean management and monitoring.

Alright. Let’s tie this all up with the final pillar of DevOps – lean management and monitoring. This is all about cutting out the fluff, getting rid of waste, and delivering value – it’s about running your operations like a sleek sports car and not an old steam engine.

Think of it like cleaning your garage. You don’t need that broken lawnmower or those old paint cans, do you? Clearing all that junk out not only makes your garage look neater, but it also gives you more space to do what you actually want to do, like fixing up your bike or setting up a home gym.

In the tech world, Toyota is the godfather of lean management. Their production system is all about reducing waste, smoothing out workflows, and continuously improving. And guess what? It’s not just for cars. Tech companies around the world have been inspired by Toyota’s methods, helping them streamline their processes and deliver better products faster.

But what does lean management look like in DevOps? Well, it’s about visualizing your work, limiting how much you take on at once, and keeping an eye on the length of your queues. It’s like being a great DJ – you’ve got to read the room, manage your playlist, and make sure you don’t overload the dancefloor.

But lean management isn’t itself enough – and this is where monitoring comes in. Think of it like your body’s nervous system, constantly checking up on things and letting you know if something’s wrong.

Take Etsy for example, a major player in the online marketplace. They’ve got a great alerting system that notifies relevant teams if certain predefined thresholds are crossed, indicating a potential problem. These alerts are designed to be informative and actionable, providing enough context for the teams to start investigating immediately.

So – how can we apply lean management and monitoring in our DevOps journey? First off, get visual. Use tools like Kanban boards or Jira to see what everyone’s working on and spot any bottlenecks.

Next, remember to limit your work in progress. It’s like spinning plates – the more you have going at once, the harder it is to keep them all up. So, focus on finishing what you’ve started before taking on more work.

And finally, invest in good monitoring tools. It’s like having a top-notch security system for your home – it gives you peace of mind, alerts you if something’s up, and helps you fix problems before they turn into catastrophes.

Lean management and monitoring might not be the most glamorous part of DevOps, but that doesn’t make them any less vital – they’re the oil in your engine. They’ll help you stay alert, and keep your DevOps journey cruising along smoothly.


DevOps is a culture that fosters collaboration between development and operations teams, often exemplified by successful tech giants like Amazon and Google. Central to this ethos is the breaking down of silos, promoting constant communication, and using collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. The application of continuous delivery and automation, as practiced by Netflix, streamlines processes and reduces human error. The secret sauce for DevOps can be found in the Three Ways: flow, feedback, and continual learning and experimentation. Companies like Nordstrom and Nationwide Insurance have adopted these principles to create a better response to business needs, encourage feedback-driven culture, and foster an environment of curiosity and risk-taking. Finally, the concept of lean management and monitoring, inspired by Toyota’s production system, aids in waste reduction, workflow smoothening, and the identification of potential problems, ultimately creating a more efficient work environment.

About the Author

Gene Kim is a multiple award-winning CTO, researcher and bestselling author, and has been studying high-performing technology organizations since 1999. He was founder and CTO of Tripwire for 13 years. He has written six books, including The Unicorn Project (2019), The Phoenix Project (2013), The DevOps Handbook (2016), the Shingo Publication Award winning Accelerate(2018), and The Visible Ops Handbook(2004-2006) series. Since 2014, he has been the founder and organizer of IT Revolution and the DevOps Enterprise Summit, studying the technology transformations of large, complex organizations.

Gene Kim is a multiple award-winning entrepreneur, the founder and former CTO of Tripwire and a researcher. He is passionate about IT operations, security and compliance, and how IT organizations successfully transform from “good to great.” He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Jez Humble is co-author of several books on software including Shingo Publication Award winner Accelerate, Jolt Award winner Continuous Delivery, and The DevOps Handbook. He has spent his career tinkering with code, infrastructure, and product development in companies of varying sizes across three continents. He works for Google Cloud as a technology advocate and teaches at UC Berkeley.

Jez Humble is an award-winning author and researcher on software who has spent his career tinkering with code, infrastructure, and product development in organizations of varying sizes across three continents. He works at 18F, teaches at UC Berkeley, and is co-founder of DevOps Research and Assessment LLC.

Patrick Debois is the Director of DevOps Relations and Advisor at Snyk. In 2009 he coined the word DevOps by organizing the first devopsdays event, as is now often known as one of the grandfathers of DevOps. He organized conferences all over the world to collect and spread new ideas.

Patrick Debois is an independent IT-consultant who is bridging the gap between projects and operations by using Agile techniques both in development, project management and system administration.

John Willis is Senior Director of the Global Transformation Office at Red Hat. Prior to Red Hat, he was the Director of Ecosystem Development for Docker. John was one of the earliest cloud evangelists and is considered one of the founders of the DevOps movement. John is the author of 7 IBM Redbooks, as well as co-author of the The DevOps Handbook and Beyond the Phoenix Project.

John Willis has worked in the IT management industry for more than 30 years. He has authored six IBM Redbooks for IBM on enterprise systems management and was the founder and chief architect at Chain Bridge Systems. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

John Allspaw has worked in systems operations for over fourteen years in biotech, government and online media. He started out tuning parallel clusters running vehicle crash simulations for the U.S. government, and then moved on to the Internet in 1997. He built the backing infrastructures at,, Friendster, and Flickr. He is now VP of Tech Operations at Etsy, and is the author of “The Art of Capacity Planning” and “Web Operations” published by O’Reilly.


Technology and the Future, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Culture, Business, Industries, Information Management, Computers and Technology Industry, Business Management, Programming, Nonfiction, Computer Science, Software, Technical, Management, Leadership, Engineering

Table of Contents

Imagine a World Where Dev and Ops Become DevOps: An Introduction to The DevOps Handbook

Part I Introduction
1- Agile, Continuous Delivery, and the Three Ways
2- The First Way: The Principles of Flow
3- The Second Way: The Principles of Feedback
4- The Third Way: The Principles of Continual Learning and Experimentation

Part II Introduction
5- Selecting Which Value Stream to Start With
6- Understanding the Work in Our Value Stream, Making it Visible, and Expanding it Across the Organization
7- How to Design Our Organization and Architecture with Conway’s Law in Mind
8- How to Get Great Outcomes by Integrating Operations into the Daily Work of Development

Part III Introduction
9- Create the Foundations of Our Deployment Pipeline
10- Enable Fast and Reliable Automated Testing
11- Enable and Practice Continuous Integration
12- Automate and Enable Low-Risk Releases
13- Architect for Low-Risk Releases

Part IV Introduction
14- Create Telemetry to Enable Seeing and Solving Problems
15- Analyze Telemetry to Better Anticipate Problems and Achieve Goals
16- Enable Feedback So Development and Operations Can Safely Deploy Code
17- Integrate Hypothesis-Driven Development and A/B Testing into Our Daily Work
18- Create Review and Coordination Processes to Increase Quality of Our Current Work

Part V Introduction
19- Enable and Inject Learning into Daily Work
20- Convert Local Discoveries into Global Improvements
21- Reserve Time to Create Organizational Learning and Improvement

Part VI Introduction
22- Information Security as Everyone’s Job, Every Day
23- Protecting the Deployment Pipeline and Integrating into Change Management and Other Security and Compliance Controls

Conclusion to the DevOps Handbook:
A Call to Action
Additional Material
Additional Resources
Author Biographies


The book [The Devops Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, & Security in Technology Organizations] is written by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis. The book was published in 2016 and is a follow-up to the authors’ previous book, [The Phoenix Project]. The authors are experts in the field of DevOps and have extensive experience working with companies that have implemented DevOps practices.

The book is a comprehensive guide to implementing DevOps practices in technology organizations. It covers topics such as the three ways of DevOps, creating a culture of continuous experimentation and learning, integrating product management with DevOps, and creating a culture of psychological safety. The book also provides practical advice on how to implement DevOps practices in organizations of all sizes.

The authors argue that DevOps practices can help organizations achieve world-class agility, reliability, and security. They provide numerous examples of companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Etsy, and Netflix that have successfully implemented DevOps practices and achieved significant improvements in their software delivery performance.

Overall, [The Devops Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, & Security in Technology Organizations] is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning about DevOps practices. The book is well-written and provides practical advice on how to implement DevOps practices in organizations of all sizes. It has been well-received by critics and readers alike and has become a must-read for anyone interested in software development.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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