What's new?

Second edition published

posted 4 Jan 2015, 06:07 by Paul Swartout   [ updated 26 Aug 2016, 16:19 ]

After what turned out to be months of work, I'm pleased to announce that the second edition of my book is now out in the wild - http://bit.ly/1CfZ2SI. It's available directly from the publisher as well as all good book sellers (Amazon, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, etc). There's even a free sample chapter available so you can try before you buy.

This labour of love has been updated to reflect the vast amount of change that has taken place within the CD and DevOps space over the past couple of years since the first edition was published. In addition I've tried to bring into play some of my experiences with applying CD and DevOps principles and approaches to mobile app development and the enterprise "cloud" as well as some additional learnings from working with others in the field.

If I'm entirely honest and open (one of the major themes throughout the book) I would say that I've actually rewritten or updated a large percentage of the original text. I have retained the original concepts, ideas and approaches but tried to make it much easier to read, understand and digest. Here's what to expect from the new edition:
  • Greater emphasis and page count has been given over to the human aspects of CD and DevOps adoption focusing on culture, behaviours, environment, dialogue and people
  • Three personas (Stan the manager, Oscar the ops guys and Devina the developer) have been introduced to help you understand how CD and DevOps can be seen from different perspectives and the impact CD and DevOps has on the different IT functions
  • All graphics and images have been updated to make them easier to understand and relate to - now with the added value of comic strips (you'll have to buy the book or download the free chapter to see what that's all about)
  • New ideas and observations relating to applying CD and DevOps principles and approaches outside of the traditional web-server based product delivery projects and processes - something that I feel will be the next evolutionary step for CD and DevOps
  • The various tools and technical approaches used for CD and DevOps adoption have been updated to reflect recent advancements in these areas - especially "cloud" based solutions
  • More focus and page count has been applied to monitoring and measuring - something that has become more important to CD and DevOps adoption
  • How the principles applied to CD and DevOps adoption can be also applied to other business areas and functions
  • Many common sense tips and tricks that can and will help you successfully adopt CD and DevOps
If you have already read the 1st edition,  this updated revision will give you additional and up to date insight and help with your CD and DevOps adoption / preparation. If you're a new reader then welcome, I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I hope you do buy and enjoy this book. Just like any author I have put many hours, lots of effort and a big chunk of my life into creating this for you. All I ask in return is that you spend some of your equally valuable time adding a reader review to the likes of http://www.amazon.com and http://www.goodreads.com as these reviews are what can make (or break) any book.

Thank you


Second edition - coming soon

posted 4 Nov 2014, 14:17 by Paul Swartout   [ updated 26 Aug 2016, 16:19 ]

The second edition is currently in the works and hopefully will be published before end of 2014 (that's the plan). This is an incremental update which brings things up to date and addresses some of the issues raised as feedback for the first edition. Here's the table of contents - just to give you a flavor of what's new / changed:

Chapter 1, Evolution of a software house introduces you to ACME systems and the evolution of their business from fledgling start-up through the growing pains following acquisition by a global corporate, to a best of both worlds.
Chapter 2, No pain, no gain introduces techniques which can be used to determine the current pain points within your software delivery process and where they stem from.
Chapter 3, Plan of attack gives you some pointers into how the success of implementing CD and DevOps can be defined and how that success can be measured.
Chapter 4, Culture and behaviors highlights the importance of the “human” factors that must be to taken seriously into account if you want CD and DevOps to succeed.
Chapter 5, Approaches, tools and techniques will give you some options around the various tools and techniques (some technical, some not so) that can help with the implementation and adoption of CD and DevOps.
Chapter 6, Hurdles along the way will give you some useful tips and tricks for overcoming or avoiding the bumps in the road during the journey that is adopting CD and DevOps.
Chapter 7, Vital Measurements focuses on the various metrics and measures that can be used to monitor and communicate the relative success of CD and DevOps adoption.
Chapter 8, Are we there yet? focuses on the sorts of things you should be looking out for once the adoption of CD and DevOps has become embedded in your day to day ways of working.
Chapter 9, The future is bright will provide some insight into how you can take CD and DevOps techniques and experience beyond the tradition software delivery process. 
Appendix A, Some useful info provides you with some more detailed information about the tools referenced within the book and some useful contacts within the global continuous delivery and DevOps community.
Appendix B,  Where am I on the evolutionary scale? provides you with one simplistic way to determine how advanced your CD and DevOps adoption is.
Appendix C, Retrospective games provides example agile games which can be used to in conjunction with the techniques covered in Chapter 2.
Appendix D, Vital measurements expanded provides some additional background and advancement of the areas covered in Chapter 7.

Book review and interview

posted 30 Jan 2013, 11:48 by Paul Swartout   [ updated 26 Aug 2016, 16:19 ]

Last week I was interviewed by Manuel Pais for a book review published on InfoQ. I was a little concerned about the review as other reviewers have not been overly positive however major kudos to Manuel who had taken the time to read the book for what it is - a quick start guide. The book was never intended to be the be all and end all - with only 150 pages to play with and such rich and diverse subject matter it would be pretty good going if one could achieve that. Some people seem to get this but some don't. 

Having read some other reviews - such as those by Carlos Miguel Alvarez Paraz and those on goodreads.com - it got me thinking about a number of things:
a) was the approach too broad?
b) was the target audience was too wide?
c) could I have spilt the content into 2 books - one covering theory and one covering practical examples?

All in all I'm happy with my work - I like to think of it as small but perfectly formed. It's not an opus, it's not the definitive guide to all things CD and DevOps and it is by no means the only thing you should read if you're involved in or simply interested in CD and DevOps. If you want to delve into the detail, there's shed-loads of information available - you just need to know where to start from.

The way I see it is that there's a vast amount of rich and varied information available to anyone who has a browser, a search engine and some time to read. What I thought was missing was something you could pick up, browse through at your leisure - even on the loo - and more importantly understand. The majority of the information you find about CD and DevOps are quite low-level and specific. As a manager trying to unpick what CD and DevOps was all about at a non-technical level I found it quite hard to get a simple and concise answer - you need something simple and concise if you are to sell the concept to others, especially when those others are managers. I'm from a development and ops background so I was able to piece together the various nuggets of information however it wasn't easy: the odd blog here, forum there and of course the odd book or two. Lots of information but in various forms, somewhat inconsistent and at times contradictory.

I firmly believe the more people who are exposed to CD and DevOps the better - both are proven to work and bring huge benefit to any business delivering software products. As I said in my interview with Manuel my motivation for writing the book "was to share my insights with others and hopefully boost the mainstream awareness of continuous delivery and DevOps". If the book helps in this regard, then that's great. As a value add (how management speak is that) I've also included a page on this website to list / document the various sources of information that may help you.

So .. after considering the above questions I feel the answers are:
a) maybe but I wanted as many people as possible to get exposure to CD and DevOps
b) as (a)
c) possibly but that may have diluted the message that the non-technical human factors of CD and DevOps are as important as the technical aspects and both are intertwined.

If you have read my book and have a view then please jump into the discussion group and give some feedback



2013 A new year, a new website

posted 5 Jan 2013, 13:05 by Paul Swartout   [ updated 26 Aug 2016, 16:19 ]

After spending a large amount of 2012 writing my book - as well as doing my day job - I thought it would be worthwhile getting myself on-line and share some rants, raves and wisdom (OK maybe just rants and raves). Hence my new website (www.swartout.co.uk) - it's small, simple and I hope perfectly formed (or at least it's a start). I initially just wanted somewhere to blog and for people to discuss the book - following a suggestion from https://twitter.com/ronniek - but it sort of expanded into a website quite literally overnight. As with any agile project it will evolve over time - if you have any suggestions on what should be added / removed / changed please feel free to let me know. 

For my first blog post I was all geared up to publish an article I had written for my publisher way back in Nov - I thought they had forgotten about it - but low and behold they published it on their article network a few days ago (http://www.packtpub.com/article/continuous-delivery-devops-faqs) which is great but doesn't give me much content for my very first post and - unless you hop over to the link above - means there's not a vast amount for you to read this time around.

Over the coming months I hope to make up for that. I've got lots of ideas, suggestions and observations rattling around in my head and now that I have a vehicle to share these with others I'm going to make damn sure I do. I just need to pull them into some sort of cohesive order before I do this - so bear with me.

Happy new year to all and please keep an eye out for new posts.


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