I’m on a roll with book reviews this month! Another one of my new favorites, which has helped me so much already, is Grokking Continuous Delivery by Christie Wilson. This book provides an easy-to-follow introduction for people new to CD. And, it’s a handy reference guide for more experienced practitioners.
Newbies will learn the language of continuous delivery, allowing them to engage in meaningful conversations with team members about it. The “Vocab Time” sidebars are especially helpful. Excellent graphics help convey concepts such as pipelines.
The fun, relatable working example application, “Cat Picture Website”, provides a fast path to understanding each term, concept and practice covered in the book. Conversations among the characters in the Cat Picture Website team are easy to follow and illustrate typical problems teams encounter, as well as good ways to solve them. More involved and sophisticated techniques are broken down to understandable chunks.
I especially like the focus on how teams can continually improve their process, and track that progress, using things like the DORA key metrics. And I appreciate the callout to “mandatory QA phases”, the problems these cause, and advice on better ways to incorporate valuable practices like exploratory testing.
Teams who are completely new to continuous integration and continuous delivery will find step-by-step instructions on how to set up their own infrastructure and process in the “starter packs”. Realistic examples of teams developing new “greenfield” products and those coping with legacy applications are full of wise advice. The appendices give lots of excellent guidance on choosing tools to get started with CI and CD.
We’re lucky these days to have several excellent books on continuous delivery and other DevOps-related topics. I find this book a “must have” guide and reference. I’ve been referring to it frequently and it will remain one of those I always have to hand when I need inspiration or illumination.