Operations Anti-Patterns, DevOps Solutions
Jeffery D. Smith
  • MEAP began December 2019
  • Publication in Fall 2020 (estimated)
  • ISBN 9781617296987
  • 305 pages (estimated)
  • printed in black & white

A lot of great insights and comments in the book on how to improve company operations using DevOps concepts.

Eric Platon
Operations Anti-Patterns, DevOps Solutions shows how to implement DevOps techniques in the kind of imperfect environments most developers work in. Part technology tutorial, part reference manual, and part psychology handbook, this practical guide shows you realistic ways to bring DevOps to your team when you don’t have the flexibility to make sweeping changes in organizational structure.

About the Technology

By emphasising shared responsibility for delivering software, DevOps transforms the way technology departments work. Looking beyond tool choice and design philosophy, DevOps demands a change in an organization’s attitude and approach. Operations Anti-Patterns, DevOps Solutions shows how you how to implement DevOps in companies still maintaining legacy systems. Its realistic approach empowers you to deliver DevOps on limited resources, while navigating the office politics and entrenched mindsets common in established businesses.

About the book

Operations Anti-Patterns, DevOps Solutions is a practical guide to implementing effective DevOps practices without mandating sweeping changes in organizational structure. Focused on process improvements you can make from the bottom up, everything in Operations Anti-Patterns, DevOps Solutions is actionable for your team—from constructing a streamlined workflow system to developing dashboards and operational metrics to measure the right aspects of performance. To better understand the behavior of both individuals and organizations, you’ll also learn the psychological reasoning behind why DevOps techniques are effective. When you’re done, you’ll be primed with realistic approaches to adopting DevOps practices that will help you survive and thrive.
Table of Contents detailed table of contents

1 The DevOps ingredients

1.1 What is DevOps?

1.1.1 What DevOps is not

1.2 CAMS, the pillars of DevOps

1.3 Another DevOps book?

1.4 How this book is organized

1.5 Summary

2 The paternalist syndrome

2.1 Introducing the gatekeepers

2.2 Examining the gatekeepers

2.3 Curing paternalism through automation

2.3.1 Capturing the purpose of the approval

2.4 Structuring code for automation

2.4.1 Approval process

2.4.2 Automating approvals

2.4.3 Logging process

2.4.4 Notification process

2.4.5 Error Handling

2.5 Continuous improvement

2.6 Summary

3 Operational blindness

3.1 War stories

3.2 Changing the scope of development and operations

3.3 Understanding the product

3.4 Creating operational visibility

3.4.1 Creating custom metrics

3.4.2 Defining healthy metrics

3.4.3 Failure Mode Effects Analysis

3.5 Making logging useful

3.5.1 Log aggregation

3.5.2 What should I be logging?

3.5.3 The hurdles of log aggregation

3.6 Summary

4 Data instead of information

4.1 Start with the user, not the data

4.2 Widgets, the dashboard building blocks

4.2.1 The line graph

4.2.2 The bar graph

4.2.3 The gauge

4.3 Giving context to your widgets

4.3.1 Giving context through color

4.3.2 Giving context through threshold lines

4.3.3 Giving context through time comparisons

4.4 Organizing your dashboard

4.5 Dashboard rows

4.5.1 Leading the reader

4.6 Naming your dashboards

4.7 Summary

5 Quality as a condiment

5.1 The testing pyramid

5.2 Testing structure

5.2.1 Unit testing

5.2.2 Integration tests

5.2.3 End-to-end tests

5.3 Confidence in your test suite

5.3.1 Restoring confidence in your test suite

5.3.2 Vanity metrics

5.4 Continuous deployment versus continuous delivery

5.4.1 Feature flags

5.5. Executing pipelines

5.6 Managing the testing infrastructure

5.7 DevSecOps

5.8 Summary

6 Alert fatigue

6.1 War Story

6.2 The purpose of on-call

6.3 Defining on-call rotations

6.3.1 Time to acknowledge

6.3.2 Time to begin

6.3.3 Time to resolve

6.4 Defining alert criteria

6.4.1 Thresholds

6.4.2 Noisy alerts

6.5 Staffing for on-call

6.6 How to compensate for on-call

6.6.1 Monetary compensation

6.6.2 Time Off

6.6.3 Increased work from home flexibility

6.7 Tracking on-call happiness

6.7.1 Who is being alerted?

6.7.2 What level of urgency is the alert?

6.8 Other on-call tasks

6.8.1 On-call support projects

6.9 Summary

7 The empty toolbox

7.1 Why internal tools and automation matter

7.1.1 The improvements made by automation

7.1.2 Business impact to automation

7.2 Why organizations don’t automate more

7.2.1 Automation as a cultural priority

7.2.2 Staffing for automation and tooling

7.3 Fixing your cultural automation problems

7.3.1 No manual tasks allowed

7.3.2 Supporting “no” as an answer

7.3.3 The cost of manual work

7.4 Prioritizing automation

7.5 Defining your automation goals

7.5.1 Automation as a requirement in all your tools

7.5.2 Prioritizing automation in your work

7.5.3 Reflect automation as a priority with your staff

7.5.4 Time for training and learning

7.6 The skill-set gap

7.6.1 But if I build it, I own it

7.6.2 Building the new skill set

7.7 Approaching automation

7.7.1 Safety in tasks

7.7.2 Designing for safety

7.7.3 Complexity in tasks

7.7.4 How to rank tasks

7.7.5 Automating simple tasks

7.7.6 Automation of complicated tasks

7.7.7 Automating complex tasks

7.8 Summary

8 Off-hour deployments

8.1 War story

8.2 The layers of a deployment

8.3 Making deployments routine affairs

8.3.1 Accurate pre-production environments

8.4 Frequency reduces fear

8.5 Reducing fear by reducing risk

8.6 Handling failure in the layers of the deployment process

8.6.1 Feature Flags

8.6.2 Fleet rollbacks

8.6.3 Deployment artifact rollbacks

8.6.4 Database level rollbacks

8.7 Creating deployment artifacts

8.7.1 Leveraging package management

8.7.2 Configuration files in packages

8.8 Automating your deployment pipeline

8.8.1 Safely installing the new application

8.9 Summary

9 Wasting a perfectly good incident

9.1 The components of a good post-mortem

9.1.1 Creating mental models

9.1.2 The 24-hour rule

9.1.3 The rules of the post-mortem

9.2 The incident

9.3 Running the post-mortem

9.3.1 Who to invite to the post-mortem

9.3.2 Running through the timeline

9.3.3 Action items and follow up

9.3.4 Documenting your post-mortems

9.3.5 Sharing the post-mortem

9.4 Summary

10 Information hoarding: only Brent knows

10.1 How information hoarding happens

10.1.1 Non-intentional hoarders

10.2 Communicating knowledge effectively

10.2.1 Structuring your communication

10.3 Making your knowledge discoverable

10.3.1 Structuring your knowledge stores

10.3.2 Creating learning rituals

10.4 Using chat effectively

10.4.1 Establishing company etiquette

10.4.2 Beyond just chat

10.5 Summary

11 Culture by decree

11.1 What is culture?

11.1.1 Cultural values

11.1.2 Cultural Rituals

11.1.3 Underlying assumptions

11.2 How does culture influence behavior?

11.3 How do you change a culture?

11.3.1 Sharing a culture

11.3.2 An Individual can change a culture

11.3.3 Examine your company’s values

11.3.4 Creating rituals

11.3.5 Using rituals and language to change cultural norms

11.4 Talent that matches your culture

11.4.1 Old roles, new mindset

11.4.2 The obsession with senior engineers

11.4.3 Interviewing candidates

11.4.4 Evaluating candidates

11.4.5 How many candidates to interview?

11.5 Summary

12 Too many yardsticks

12.1 Tiers of goals

12.1.1 Organizational goals

12.1.2 Departmental goals

12.1.3 Team goals

12.1.4 Getting the goals

12.2 Consciousness around what you work on

12.2.1 Priority, urgency, and importance

12.2.2 The Eisenhower decision matrix

12.2.3 How to say no to a commitment

12.3 Structuring your team’s work

12.3.1 Time-slice your work

12.4 Unplanned work

12.4.1 Controlling unplanned work

12.4.2 Dealing with unplanned work

12.5 Wrapping it all up

12.6 Summary

What's inside

  • Creating a post-mortem framework to analyze projects and incidents
  • Monitoring and managing team time
  • Building cultural touchstones that assist with team building
  • Automating change management
  • Techniques for adopting automation to power your workflows
  • Strategies for monitoring your applications and streamlining your incident management processes

About the reader

For team leaders and managers who want realistic ways to improve their development practices.

About the author

Jeff Smith has been in the technology industry for over 15 years, both as management and individual contributor. He has managed DevOps transformations at Centro, an ad-tech firm, and Grubhub, an online ordering platform.

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