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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