Book Review: The Phoenix Project

There will not be spoilers in this post.

The Phoenix Project is a fictional novel on DevOps, IT and Business Transformation.

Bill Palmer, the protagonist, took on an upper management role at “Parts Unlimited”. Along with the new role, he inherited IT Operations and the company’s struggling mega project, “Phoenix”.

Thin the line between IT Ops and Dev teams

The integration between IT Operations and Development teams should be extremely tight. There are a lot of benefits in doing so. Feedback loops of operational monitoring metrics can be brought to the developers’ attention quicker. Infrastructure as Code brings the infrastructure configuration closer to the developers.

DevOps culture is really all about shifting many of the infrastructure and security tasks nearer to the development stage.

Management buy-in and top-down approach will make this culture change easier.

DevOps existed more than 10 years ago

One of the co-authors, Gene Kim, mentioned a talk during the 2009 Velocity Conference by John Allspaw from Flickr back then, and subsequently CTO of Etsy. This talk was titled “10+ Deploys Per Day”.

It still blows my mind that Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment and DevOps practices have been spoken about in conferences back in 2009!

Should you read this book?

If you have worked or are working in IT Operations, you should definitely give this book a go. I found myself relating to so many of the problems that the protagonist was facing. I could not put this book down. I urge management folks to read this book as well.

Remember the time when a deployment failed and brought down the entire system? Or the time when you were in “fire fighting mode” through the night?

However, keep in mind that this novel is ultimately fictional. Relate to the issue and ask yourself if these problems exist in your organization. Do not follow blindly what the book says.

Do reach out to me if you would like to discuss more about this book.

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