Just as DevOps is a process of continuous improvement, so is learning about it. The enterprise market is definitely at critical mass for adopting this practice, with at least 63% already having implemented DevOps, and at least 27% planning to do so within the next year.

And, as with every other technological method, DevOps concepts continue to evolve. It’s therefore essential to stay on top of the latest trends, no matter where you are in the adoption curve.

Before you read anything else, find out where the market is headed in 2018 with the Database DevOps Survey >>

Feed the Read Need

After a thorough search, we’ve narrowed down a long list of our top picks, made more revealing by direct quotes from the authors. You’re certain to find the right book for your skill level and professional needs, and you’ll be surprised at how simultaneously captivating and practical these are.

From storybook drama to deep detail, our list of the top 10 DevOps books will keep you informed and  entertained.

1. The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations

Authors: Gene Kim, Patrick Debois, John Willis, and Jez Humble
Published: October 6, 2016
In a nutshell: A must-have guide for all levels of DevOps pros

Anyone familiar with DevOps will have heard of Gene Kim and the other authors of this outstanding book, which is basically a one-stop shop for anyone involved in transforming an IT organization to make it more productive and profitable. It includes a guide for planning and executing DevOps, best practices, case studies, and even a history of the process.

2. The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

Authors: Gene Kim, George Spafford, and Kevin Behr
Published: October 16, 2014
In a nutshell: A unique and entertaining book about DevOps implementation

This fictional story about a not-so-fictional organizational challenge is half drama, half DevOps bible. Through the tale of Parts Unlimited, the Phoenix Project explains the importance of forging a culture of innovation, risk taking, and trust. In this endeavor, the book emphasizes the necessity of non-functional requirements, feedback, and continuous improvement.

As described by author George Spafford: “I think the Phoenix Project is useful for people to understand different perspectives and start discussions because they can draw comparisons in the book without finger-pointing.”

3. The DevOps Adoption Playbook: A Guide to Adopting DevOps in a Multi-Speed IT Enterprise

Author: Sanjeev Sharma
Published: February 28, 2017
In a nutshell: A handbook for all organizations contemplating or in the process of diving into DevOps

Not every organization is the same, so the DevOps Adoption Playbook provides advice for a range of enterprises, based on their business goals, state of IT development, and particular technologies and platforms. This is a very practical directory that describes how to handle various scenarios, both on the level of the individual and in teamwork.

According to author Sanjeev Sharma: “Development teams that excel do so not just because they have the best developers, testers, development tools, training, processes, or even the best leaders and coaches. They excel because they also know what to do when they face various situations and challenges. They have a playbook of potential solutions or ‘plays’ for a variety of scenarios. The book ‘DevOps Adoption Playbook’ provides such a set of plays.”

4. Leading the Transformation: Applying Agile and DevOps Principles at Scale

Authors: Gary Gruver and Tommy Mouser
Published: August 1, 2015
In a nutshell: An excellent publication for executives facing the challenge of moving from legacy systems to Agile and DevOps

Executives will love this practical methodology for boosting development and delivery for enterprises, particularly those struggling to implement DevOps and catch up with modern systems. The book uses a great mix of theory and detail to focus on how to coordinate the work of teams in large organizations, based on the practical experience of those with the big picture viewpoint.

As author Gary Gruver illustrates: “Getting large organizations to embrace new ways of developing and deploying software is a big challenge. In ‘Leading the Transformation,’ I wrote down everything I wish I had known before I started transforming these processes so others could avoid the mistakes I made along the way.”

5. The Digital Quality Handbook: Guide for Achieving Continuous Quality in a DevOps Reality

Author: Eran Kinsbruner
Published: April 28, 2017
In a nuthsell: The devil is in the details, and to solve the ones that come with DevOps, this book provides a step-by-step reference.

Development life cycles; testing results, coverage, and facilities; and the limits of open source. These are just a few of the factors that organizations must deal with when implementing continuous quality. To the rescue comes this outstanding volume, with each chapter devoted to resolving a particular challenge through practical examples and procedures.

Author Eran Kinsbruner explains: “As quality in the digital space has shifted left and become the responsibility of all Agile team members, a guide that offers practical tips and methods to shift quality and UX into the build and CI cycles is a great tool, especially for developers.”

6. Database Reliability Engineering: Designing and Operating Resilient Database Systems

Authors: Laine Campbell and Charity Majors
Published: November 23, 2017
In a nutshell: With a five-star Amazon review rating, this book is a favorite of the people in the trenches who deal with database architecture and operations.

Database Reliability Engineering is for developers, system administrators, and junior-to-mid-level DBAs who are part of the infrastructure-as-code transformation and looking to become database reliability engineers (DBREs). The book covers essential DBRE concepts and database persistence options as a way to acclimatize readers to the architecture and operations of any current database.

As author Charity Majors points out: “Operations engineering is about what happens when computer science meets reality. Laine and I have battle scars from running databases and we want to help. This has everything we have learned about keeping data safe, the engineering process, hygiene, and ultimately delivering business value.”

7. The DevOps 2.1 Toolkit: Docker Swarm: Building, testing, deploying, and monitoring services inside Docker Swarm clusters (The DevOps Toolkit Series)

Author: Viktor Farcic
Published: January 22, 2017
In a nutshell: Learning by doing is the philosophy of this eminent tome about Docker and DevOps.

“You won’t be able to complete it by reading it in a metro on the way to work.” This is how Viktor Farcic describes his detailed guide about Docker Swarm clusters.

Using actual development exercises that evolve as the user progresses, this book (with five stars from Amazon) is one of the best ways to learn about what goes on inside Docker Swarm. Readers also find out how to apply this knowledge to different hosting providers (AWS, Azure, etc.).

Author Viktor Farcic elaborates: “As always, this book is very hands-on, but the goal is not to master a particular set of tools. It is to learn the logic behind them so that you can apply them to your job no matter what your development path.”

8. Practical DevOps

Author: Joakim Verona
Published: February 16, 2016
In a nutshell: For those new to DevOps, this is a great starting place to learn about a complex and vital practice.

The book covers all the basic knowledge for DevOps newbies. It briefs us about the DevOps, architectural, and continuous delivery concepts, and then takes a practical turn by describing how to create a sample enterprise Java application for use throughout the book. Practical DevOps also discusses code storage, build servers, testing, deployment, monitoring, and administration.

As author Joakim Verona describes: “I think the book has an interesting mix of agile methodology background and technical detail. I’m working on a second edition now.”

9. Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems

Author: Sam Newman
Published: February 20, 2015
In a nutshell: A comprehensive treatment of vital issues related to creating, managing, and extending microservice architectures

Microservices require vast expertise to create properly. In Building Microservices, we examine the challenges faced by an imaginary firm as a means to explain essential concepts related to modeling, integration, testing, deployment, and monitoring. The book is also replete with examples and real-world recommendations to deal with organizational and technical barriers.

10. The Practice of System and Network Administration

Authors: Thomas A. Limoncelli, Christina J. Hogan, and Strata R. Chalup
Published: November 14, 2016
In a nutshell: If any DevOps book can be considered a classic, this is it. Currently in its 3rd edition, the Practice of System and Network Administration is a must-have for any professional.

The first version of the Practice of System and Network Administration was released more than ten years ago, and is still going strong. This book has set the standard for the administration of computer systems and networks, and this most recent addition has been heavily revised to account for the massive developments taking place in the DevOps world. However, the Practice of System and Network Administration still sticks to its original premise based on six essential concepts of effective IT administration.

Don’t Be A Fuddy Duddy. Go Study!

There are so many great DevOps books out there, far beyond DBmaestro’s picks for 2018.  We’re excited to see what new works will be hitting the shelves this year.

What’s your favorite DevOps book? If you have a recommendation of your own, comment below!