DevOps – A Crash Course

by Matt Stratton on November 12, 2014


It seems that about once a week, I get a message like this one:

“So, I need to learn about this DevOps thing…where do I start?”

In the interests of not having to keep sending the same email over and over again, I thought I would create a little blog post where I compile links to my favorite books, podcasts, talks, etc, for easy re-use. I’ll be adding to this post over time as I come across new stuff.

WARNING – this post is basically a copypasta of an email I keep sending, and therefore is not comprehensive, and probably a bit more editorialized that it should be. For now, I wanted to get all the links up, and I’ll deal with the prose later.


The Phoenix Project – this is your “why” for DevOps, told in the form of a novel. Stop what you are doing, read this, and then come back. We’ll wait.

Continuous Delivery – in some ways, a definitive work for DevOps. You don’t have to do CD to do DevOps, but you should read this book anyway.

Lean Enterprise: Adopting Continuous Delivery, DevOps, and Lean Startup at Scale - another book by Jez Humble, and worth reading if you think DevOps is just for startups (spoiler alert: it’s not).


Podcasts are a great way to learn about new stuff, and I love them. This is NOT a comprehensive list of DevOps podcasts, by any means

Arrested DevOps – I co-host this podcast with Trevor Hess, and our intent is to be a “DevOps 101″ – introducing concepts and discussions for someone new to DevOps, and then you can “graduate” on to the harder stuff listed below.

DevOps Cafe  – these dudes are hardcore and how I started learning about DevOps. Pretty intense and you might want to level up on some other stuff before you listen to them because a lot of it will not make sense without background. I still only understand about half of what John and Damon are talking about.

The Ship Show – Pretty broad in topic, so you might want to cherry pick through episodes for the DevOps stuff. Paul is a REALLY good interviewer and when they have on good guests I always learn a lot.

ADO Episodes in particular

These are three episodes of my podcast you should listen to if you don’t listen to any others.

How To Eff Up DevOps

DevOps at Etsy: Not a Unicorn, Just a Sparkly Horse

DevOps Mythbusters


Justin Arbuckle, “Hunting the DevOps Whale in Large Enterprises” (this is about how Justin helped implement DevOps at GE Capital, and is one of my favorite talks, even if it’s a little weird)

ChefConf 2014 Keynote by Adam Jacob  (Adam talks about a lot of things with building humane systems, and is a great speaker, and I’m not just saying that because he’s our founder)

10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr  (this was from Velocity 2009 and really was a lot of the genesis of DevOps)

Jez Humble, “DevOps Culture and Practices To Create Flow”

Michael Ducy “The Goat and The Silo” (slides

J. Paul Reed – Three Destructive Myths of DevOps

Michael Ducy “Why You’re Destroying DevOps”

Sascha Bates “Magic Pixie Dust Not Included”

Heather Mickman & Ross Clanton “DevOps at Target”

Nathen Harvey “DevOps – No Horseshit”  (this is just a fun little video)

Pete Cheslock “How To Fail At DevOps With One Weird Trick”

Andrew Clay Shafer “No One True DevOps”  (I can’t find the video of this)


What Is This DevOps Thing Anyway?  (Patrick Debois is kind of the “godfather” of DevOps and this is a blog post of his from about 4 years ago that summarizes some of the initial thoughts on it)

DevOps – The title match  (this is a blog post by lusis that everyone loves quoting)

Hipster DevOps Happens To The Best Of Us  (OK, fine, I wrote this post)

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