Table Of Contents
Introduction To DevOps Books Books on DevOps Culture Technical DevOps Books Books About DevOps Security  Site Reliability Engineering Books Books On CI/CD DevOps Books About Cloud System Administration Make Your DevOps Initiative Cost-Effective With CloudZero

Embracing the DevOps approach involves continuously improving your systems. You can only do that by continuously improving your knowledge and experience of this ever-evolving development and operations model.

Also, at a time when organizations are seeking indispensable DevOps expertise, you’d do well to sharpen your DevOps skills continually.

Whether you’re a CTO or a junior developer, a systems administrator, or just joining a new company, we’ve compiled this list of must-read DevOps books for you. The books cover several important categories, including: 

Introduction To DevOps Books

These DevOps books will help you gain a better understanding of what DevOps is, why it matters, and how to get started.

1. Beyond the Phoenix Project: The Origins and Evolution of DevOps

Beyond the Phoenix Project Book Cover

Authors: Gene Kim and John Willis 

Year: February 2018

Gene Kim, award-winning CTO, and researcher, and John Willis, evangelist at Docker Inc, share their foundational knowledge of DevOps here.

In Beyond the Phoenix Project, you can read about the pivotal figures, philosophies, and the Learning Organization concept that differentiate the DevOps approach from other IT methodologies.

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

The DevOps Handbook Book Cover

Authors: Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debios, and John Willis 

Year: November 2021

This influential must-read is ideal for everyone in DevOps, from developers and operations teams to IT managers and platform owners.

In this new edition, you’ll learn about 15 case studies of companies that have realized the benefits of DevOps (including Adidas, Fannie Mae, and the US Air Force), as well as best practices to help you implement it in your own organization.

You’ll learn about rapid feedback and flow, DevOps KPIs and metrics to measure, value stream mapping, and understanding your CI/CD pipeline.

3. The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

The Phoenix Project Book Cover

Authors: Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford

Year: January 2013

This classic takes an unconventional story approach to explore the core principles of DevOps and how they look and work in real life. The story follows Bill, VP of IT at Parts Unlimited.

Bill and his team are well over budget and time with their new IT initiative, the Phoenix Project — although the system remains unusable. They have 90 days to fix the mess or their entire department will be outsourced.

During this timeline, Bill and his team present the reader with various challenges, DevOps use cases, and best practices for adopting and optimizing a DevOps culture.   

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

The DevOps Adoption Playbook Book Cover

Author: Sanjeev Sharma

Year: February 2017 

In this DevOps 2017 Book of the Year, you will discover how to experiment and apply DevOps best practices at the enterprise level.

Using his experience leading IBM’s DevOps practice, Sanjeev Sharma shares actionable advice. He acknowledges the risks, limitations, opportunities, and challenges of implementing DevOps in large organizations.

He then discusses cultural, tooling, organizational, and other changes you can make immediately to improve your engineering innovation velocity.

5. The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction

The Linux Command Line Book Cover

Author: William Shotts

Year: 2009 (New Edition in March 2019)

The Linux Command Line presents practical knowledge in short and sweet chapters, describing how to use the most popular operating system for DevOps engineers; Linux.

This book teaches you how to automate repetitive tasks using shell scripts, write programs in Bash, edit files with Vi, and more, including creating, deleting, and cleaning directories, symlinks, and files.

Should you prefer, combine this read with Evi Nemeth’s UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook (Fifth Edition).

The Cloud Cost Playbook

Books on DevOps Culture

6. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

Measure What Matters Book Cover

Author: John Doerr

Year: April 2018

Before he became the legendary venture capitalist he is today, John Doerr was an engineer at Intel in the 1970s. During his time there, he worked under the legendary Andy Grove, learning the art and science of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

This approach is a goal-setting system that helps companies of all sizes prioritize where to direct their resources, track progress, and fail fast within a given time frame.

The book shares case studies of how the system has worked at bleeding-edge IT companies like Google and Microsoft so you can see its practical application. 

7. Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

Turn the Ship Around Book Cover

Author: L. David Marquet

Year: May 2013

A key characteristic of DevOps is its emphasis on sharing responsibilities while preventing silos from forming.

Developers and operations engineers used to work as separate teams, but DevOps encourages them to collaborate continuously, along with your leadership and the software customer.

You can accomplish this by empowering your technicians to make decisions before it is too late. Turn the Ship Around is a story-based guide to delegating, mentoring, and leading flawless operations while boosting team morale, performance, and talent retention.   

8. DevOps for the Modern Enterprise: Winning Practices to Transform Legacy IT Organizations

DevOps for the Modern Enterprise Book Cover

Author: Mirco Hering

Year: April 2018

While many DevOps books focus on the right tooling and methods, Mirco’s guide emphasizes the people aspect of maintaining high-performing IT systems.

He insists that cultural change is the most impactful initiative, yet the toughest to pull off. So, he shares practical insights on how to facilitate an enabling ecosystem for your engineers to thrive and propel your organization’s initiatives to success.

The perfect read for companies eager to transform their cultures from legacy to bleeding-edge.    

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

Leading the Transformation Book Cover

Authors: Gary Gruver and Tommy Mouser

Year: August 2015

IT leaders at large organizations often struggle with determining which changes to prioritize to inspire continuous improvement.

Leading the Transformation provides the execution plan your leadership needs to create, implement, and track the progress of your modern DevOps framework across teams and departments.

The book emphasizes how to coordinate work across various players — including the culture to support this transformation.    

10. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The Goal Book Cover

Authors: Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox 

Year: June 2014

Engineering and leaders who want to break out of traditional thinking and adopt working techniques in a rapidly changing world will find this 30th Edition of the 1984 classic compulsive reading.

Engineers will recognize real-life struggles in the thriller-style narrative, but will also glean insights into the best way to turn failing initiatives into thriving operations a day at a time.

Technical DevOps Books

11. The Unicorn Project: A Novel About Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data

The Unicorn Project

Author: Gene Kim 

Year: November 2019

As in The Phoenix Project, Gene Kim uses a narrative style to show how you can overcome traditional bureaucracy and endless meetings to actually develop and deliver more and better quality solutions.

In The Unicorn Project, Maxine, a former developer on the Phoenix Project, learns to overcome legacy structures and red tape with another team using DevOps best practices.

Expect lessons in locality, simplicity, customer focus, and finding unabashed joy in everyday work as a DevOps professional.  

12. Effective DevOps: Building a Culture of Collaboration, Affinity, and Tooling at Scale

Effective DevOps Book Cover

Author: Jennifer Davis

Year: July 2016

A prolific author and veteran operations engineer, Jennifer Davis, debunks the myth that DevOps is about introducing lots of new tools and specialists.

Instead, she and contributor Ryan Daniels share several practical ways to improve collaboration between individuals and entire teams, repair misunderstandings between and among your people, use DevOps tooling efficiently, and leverage what works in one area across the organization.

The book explains four pillars of effective DevOps, several well-researched case studies, and how to troubleshoot common issues within your team.

13. The DevOps 2.1 Toolkit: Docker Swarm

The DevOps 2.1 Toolkit Book Cover

Author: Victor Farcic

Year: January 2017

The author taps from his experience as Senior Consultant at CloudBees to teach the many aspects of developing, testing, deploying, managing, and monitoring services within Docker Swarm clusters.

Expect to learn the tools you need to run a cluster. Also, look forward to a quick yet detailed primer on running clusters locally on your laptop.

But it doesn’t just cover Docker Swarm, the DevOps 2.1 Toolkit also discusses Kubernetes (K8s), Docker, Registrator, Ansible, confd, Docker Compose, Ubuntu, Consul, and more.  

14. Production-Ready Microservices: Building Standardized Systems Across an Engineering Organization

Production-Ready Microservices Book Cover

Author: Susan J. Fowler

Year: December 2016

Using her experience standardizing microservices at Uber, author Susan Fowler shares five standards to gauge the production-readiness status of your microservices initiative.

It is an in-depth read you can follow step by step through designing, building, and deploying microservices that are fault-tolerant and performant. Get insights into catastrophe preparedness, technical debt, and driving microservices to fail in real time.  

15. Practical DevOps: Harness the Power of DevOps to Boost Your Skill Set and Make Your Organization Perform Better

Practical DevOps Book Cover

Author: Joakim Verona

Year: February 2016 (May 2018 for the 2nd Edition)

You’ll take a journey through the chapters of this book by creating a Java application and continually improving it.

The aim is to enable you to learn how to use essential DevOps tools like Jenkins, Puppet, Git, Gitlab, Jenkins Selenium, Chef, Vagrant, and others in your daily workflow.

Additionally, you get to learn how to support the infrastructure that underpins all of this at work and how Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery work as part of the system.  

16. Cloud Native DevOps with Kubernetes: Building, Deploying, and Scaling Modern Applications in the Cloud

Cloud Native DevOps with Kubernetes Book Cover

Author: John Arundel and Justin Domingus 

Year: April 2019

This is an updated second edition, available with compliments of F5 NGINX. Read it to learn about the rapidly evolving Kubernetes environment and how to use it to solve everyday problems.

You’ll also learn to use tools that are commonly used in the software development industry.

This book walks you step-by-step through a model containerized application running in K8s, from development through the CI/CD pipeline. You’ll walk away with models you can apply directly to your own use cases.

17. Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems

Building Microservices Book Cover

Author: Sam Newman

Year: March 2015

This is the third resource on microservices on this list of the best DevOps books for good reason. In today’s distributed, cloud-native organizations, microservices and containers are and will continue to be big deals.

Author Sam Newman shares practical insights with lots of examples of how to design, model, integrate, test, deploy, and monitor autonomous services. That includes managing microservices security using service-to-service and user-to-service models.      

Books About DevOps Security 

18. Securing DevOps: Security in the Cloud

Securing DevOps Book Cover

Author: Julien Vehent

Year: August 2018

Read Security DevOps if you are seeking a practical manual that details how to build, mature, and continuously improve security throughout the DevOps lifecycle.

The book deploys case studies and shares examples of how to secure everything from the infrastructure to communications between your services, deterring fraud attempts, and securing operations at scale.

You’ll also learn how to capture logs and use unit testing for security, as well as how to respond to incidents to maintain safe applications.

Other top DevSecOps books you can read include Microservices Security in Action by Wajjakkara Kankanamge and Dan B. Johnson’s Secure by Design.

Site Reliability Engineering Books

19. Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems

Site Reliability Engineering Book Cover

Editors: Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jeniffer Petoff, and Niall Murphy 

Year: May 2016

Engineers at Google pioneered Site Reliability Engineering, a concept essential to maintaining high availability and optimal performance that meets your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with customers.

In this guide, you will find a collection of essays explaining how the behemoth develops large-scale, reliable, and efficient systems so you can apply them to your own operations. 

Also available is the Site Reliability Workbook (August 2018), which further explains SRE from Google engineers’ perspective.

20. Next Gen DevOps: A Manager’s Guide to DevOps and SRE

Next Gen DevOps Book Cover

Author: Grant Smith

Year: September 2019

This book provides a handy guide for IT leaders to learn how to combine two modern IT concepts seamlessly in everyday work; DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE).

The author shares real-life lessons from working in multiple technology enterprises and startups. You’ll gain insights into how to leverage data-driven development, Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC), and automated testing to deliver robust online services.     

21. Infrastructure-as-Code: Dynamic Systems for the Cloud Age

Infrastructure-as-Code Book Cover

Author: Kief Morris

Year: January 2021

This is a follow-up to Infrastructure-as-Code: Building Servers in the Cloud from 2016. In the second edition, the author elaborates on how to work with infrastructure stacks, servers, platforms, large systems, and distributed teams.

Look forward to learning how to define everything as code and leverage automation to accelerate engineering innovation. 

22. Cloud-Native Patterns: Designing Change-Tolerant Software

Cloud-Native Patterns Book Cover

Author: Cornelia Davis

Year: May 2019

Cornelia is the Vice President of Technology at Pivotal Software and has over 25 years of experience in cloud development.

This book teaches you how to build and maintain cloud-native systems that can handle massive amounts of traffic and treasure troves of data without breaking or costing you a fortune.

Books On CI/CD

23. Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases Through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation

Continuous Delivery Book Cover

Authors: Jez Humble and David Farley

Year: July 2010

This book goes straight to the heart of the DevOps process; the Deployment and Delivery pipeline. J

ez, an SRE engineer at Google and an instructor at UC Berkeley, alongside David, a veteran developer, also covers the ecosystem that you require to support optimal CI/CD in daily life — infrastructure management, virtualization, and automated testing.

24. Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps

Accelerate Book Cover

Authors: Dr. Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim

Year: March 2018

A trio of DevOps’ brightest influencers presents four years of groundbreaking research, linking software delivery effectiveness to business value.

This book gives you access to both the findings of these statistical methods (including several State of DevOps reports) and how to conduct them yourself so you can apply them in your organization. 

DevOps Books About Cloud System Administration

25. The Practice of Cloud System Administration: Designing and Operating Large Distributed Systems, Volume 2

The Practice of Cloud System Administration Book Cover

Authors: Thomas Limoncelli, Strate Chalup, and Christina Hogan 

Year: September 2014 

This practical guide to cloud system administration is not just for operations engineers. As opposed to many books that focus on either design or operations, this book provides clear, concise, yet detailed instructions on both in a single, complete handbook.

Also included are case studies from companies like Google, Etsy, Twitter, Amazon, and Netflix, to help you visualize how these concepts work in practice. 

In the second edition, The Practice of System and Network Administration (November 2016), the authors explore how to optimize updates and manage change.

26. Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart

Time Management for System Administrators Book Cover

Author: Thomas Limoncelli

Year: December 2005

The nature of a system administrator’s job requires you to take on many different tasks at once.

You need a time management system that ensures you are not just constantly putting out fires when you have competing deadlines, concurrent priorities, and emerging issues.

The guide provides an evergreen system that developers, operations, and managers can use in a DevOps culture to ensure their plans proceed productively.

27. The State of Cloud Cost Intelligence Report

Author: CloudZero Team

Year: 2022

For those of you who treat cost as a first-class metric, we have one more resource to help you improve your DevOps approach. 

We surveyed over 1,000 engineering and finance professionals about the state of their cloud cost spending, awareness of cost drivers, and how they optimize cloud costs. What we found was startling, and you can read all about it here

Here’s one last thing.

Make Your DevOps Initiative Cost-Effective With CloudZero

Engineers and finance professionals barely speak the same language. So, although engineers are often the first to notice technical anomalies, they rarely understand how those impact your bottom line and competitiveness since finance makes all the financial decisions.

If you are looking to improve cost awareness among your DevOps engineers and shift cost decisions left, CloudZero can help. 

As an example, CloudZero’s real-time cost anomaly detection combs through your cloud services, detects abnormal cost patterns, and alerts teams or individuals via Slack, email, or your favorite incident response tool so they can prevent overspending.


CloudZero also aggregates costs from AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, Kubernetes, Snowflake, MonjgoDB, New Relic, Databricks, etc. It then leverages a unique code-driven approach to granulate your costs down to the hour, as well as present cost per customer, environment, software feature, project, team, and more. 


Meaning, CloudZero empowers you with the intel you need to understand how your people, products, and processes are driving your cloud spend. That way, you can tell exactly what to do next to cut, reduce, and optimize your costs.

to see how CloudZero works!

The Cloud Cost Playbook

The step-by-step guide to cost maturity

The Cloud Cost Playbook cover