James and I are working on a LinkedIn Learning course entitled “DevOps for Managers” and I wanted to share some of the books we love that we’ve found helpful in preparing it! We’d love to hear books you think are indispensable for DevOps managers. We’ve generally omitted general management books like First, Break All The Rules and DevOps non-management-specific books like Continuous Delivery, trying to focus on the specific intersection of tech and management.
Here’s our list, post yours in comments!
The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win and The Unicorn Project: A Novel About Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data by Gene Kim et al. demonstrate the benefits of DevOps transformations on an organization in a story format.
Accelerate: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations by Forsgren, Humble, and Kim gathers the DORA research on DevOps into a summary of how to practice high performance leadership and management.
The DevOps Handbook: How To Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, & Security in Technology Organizations by Kim, Humble, Debois, and Willis is an encyclopedic guide to implementing the Three Ways in an organization.
An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management by Will Larson is specifically about managing modern engineering teams.
Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais focuses on team organization and the communication and outcome ramifications thereof.
Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by David Marquet isn’t DevOps specific but is a great description of how to enable meaningful decision making at the lowest level.
Measure What Matters: OKRs – The SImple Idea That Drives 10x Growth by John Doerr describes how to set goals using OKRs and avoid many of the naive goal-setting pitfalls that beset organizations that decide they want to be goal driven.
Smart & Gets Things Done: Joel Spoksly’s Concise Guide To Finding The Best Technical Talent by Joel Spolsky talks about how to attract, hire, and retain the best engineers.
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert Sutton talks about traits to screen out to ensure a collaborative organization.
Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager by Michael Lopp has a good bit of engineer-managing wisdom.
The Lean Mindset: Ask The Right Questions by Mary and Tom Poppendieck shows how to focus your thoughts and iterate towards good products, including your internal products and services.
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller is intended for Marketing but for DevOps, especially platform teams, being able to concisely define and communicate your value is key.
A Seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the Age of Agility by Mark Schwartz helps IT leaders take on Agile, Lean, and DevOps.
I’ve heard about Camille Fournier’s The Manager’s Path, Julie Zhuo’s The Making of a Manager, and Lara Hogan’s Resilient Management but haven’t read any of them yet so can’t vouch.