The best DevOps books (to adorn your desk)

Books are the fount of all knowledge, right? You can absorb tons of knowledge from a book, especially when it’s written by experts in the field. But choosing a technical book can be kind of tricky. So which DevOps books are worth picking up?

We’re not going to bore you to tears with a million books here. Instead, we’re going to recommend the very best books in the field of DevOps.

So, if you want to:

  • Understand DevOps technical practices

  • Implement DevOps in your own team

  • Pursue a DevOps career

  • Learn from the thought leaders and experts in DevOps

Then this list of recommended books is for you!

When you’re looking for DevOps books, you’ll generally find that they that fall into one of two categories:

  • Technical books which talk about the technical side of DevOps: getting software into production and running it with reliability

  • Cultural books which cover the cultural angles of DevOps: team communication, collaboration and building stuff that works

We think that DevOps is all about bringing both of these sides together! So it’s worth reading at least one book in each list, so you can get the full picture.

This is a blog supported by you, the amazing reader! Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase then I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to fund my free tutorials (yassssss!)

Books about DevOps technical practices 📐

If you’re a systems administrator, developer, engineer, or consider yourself working in the ‘technical’ side of DevOps, then these books are a really good bet.

(You’ll appear really smart at work, and you will sound like you know what you’re talking about.)

These are the books about:

  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (pipelines)

  • Site Reliability Engineering – designing for, and improving, reliability

Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation

The foundation of DevOps is your software pipeline. If you’re not getting your software into production reliably, then you’re doing it wrong.

This is a great book to understand first principles, and what makes a good end-to-end CI/CD pipeline.

The book includes chapters on collaboration, automated testing, and how to release applications without downtime.

In short, this book will help you to understand exactly what you need to do to implement a solid deployment pipeline, and includes examples to get you started.

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Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems

If you’re running services that need to scale, this is the book for you.

As you can probably imagine, the folks at Google know a thing or two about running reliable services. This is their knowledge, distilled into a book.

Once your software is in production, you need to manage it. This book covers things like monitoring, load balancing and how to design applications. You’ll learn the principles that Google uses to run scalable services.

It’s aimed at SREs and people who run services at scale, usually with the help of monitoring and automation. It’s not full of code and solutions, but practices which you can adopt, whichever technology you’re using.

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Books about DevOps cultural practices 🧬

These books separate the technology from the outcome. What I mean by that is, they don’t dive straight into tools like containers or Kubernetes.

Instead, they talk about architecture, processes and practices.

  • These are good for you if you’re a manager, architect or tech lead looking to find out more, or maybe begin to implement DevOps in your own team.

  • These books are more evergreen 🌲 – their content is still relevant now, a few years after publishing (which as we all know, in technology terms, is a very long time)

  • These books help to understand the goals of DevOps, which helps to understand the why.

The Phoenix Project

Wanna read a novel about IT? Hey, stop, wait, come back, where are you going…

It’s not often that people want to read fiction books about I.T. (seriously, it’s just not exciting enough to write a novel about – people don’t get murdered in I.T…. well, rarely at least.)

But if I was buying just one DevOps book, it would be this one. It accurately (and humorously) tells the story of a typical “I.T. org”. You’ll relate to at least one or two of the characters (perhaps you’re sitting next to one of them right now).

By the end of the book you’ll actually know more about DevOps than you expected.

So yes, this is a fiction book, but not as you know it. Many people have begun their understanding of DevOps with this book.

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Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps

Excellent book for tech leads who want to know how to improve software teams.

Dr Nicole Forsgren from Google has done several studies of how DevOps is used in organisations. This book tells the story of how People, Process and Technology go together.

You’ll learn about concepts like lead time, and how to measure outcomes and gather DevOps metrics, to help you improve performance of your team and the things that you build.

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DevOps Culture and Practice with OpenShift

I have to recommend this book because I know that it works. I’ve worked with teams which use the exact practices given in this book.

The book is huge. A tome. A bible. It’s filled with illustrations from Ilaria Doria and goes through a ton of cultural and technical practices that you can add to your team.

The book focuses on OpenShift, but since it covers a ton of non-technical practices too, you’ll be able to take something from this book and adopt it in your team, whether you use OpenShift or not.

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Now get reading!

You’ve seen our list of DevOps books. Which book are you going to pick up?

Or do you have any suggestions for other books? Get in touch and let us know.

Tom Donohue

By Tom Donohue, Editor | Twitter | LinkedIn

Tom is the founder of Tutorial Works. He’s an engineer and open source advocate. He uses the blog as a vehicle for sharing tutorials, writing about technology and talking about himself in the third person. His very first computer was an Acorn Electron.