Customer Review

82 of 107 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars barely ok and too repetitive, January 25, 2011
This review is from: Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Fowler)) (Hardcover)
I found the book extremely repetitive, to the point that after the 4th chapter I started skimming through it, as there's no point in reading it all. I don't know if the idea is to repeat phrases until the reader buys into them, or what. I'm quite disappointed that Martin Fowler put his signature on this book. Maybe they're a big happy family at Thoughtworks ... and hey, they need to make money out of Go.

I don't rate this book as just 1 star, as it has some good ideas, but it could have been written in 150 pages (max) rather than 450. Some of the concepts that are repeated until boredom are:
- Don't build the binaries at each stage of the deployment pipeline, create them once an reuse them.
- The capacity testing environment should be as similar as possible to the production environment.
- Script everything!
- Don't let builds that fail unit or acceptance test into production
- Put all the configuration in version control (network, firewall, OS, etc)

I also found the book more directed to manager who don't really know or care about the technology, but want to talk "in techie" language to their engineers. There are too few examples of how to use technology to build a deployment pipeline and most of the talk stays at a very abstract level.

My bottom line, I strongly suggest to read some blog posts and watch some presentations (check infoq) about this subject, it takes less time and it's more enriching than reading this book.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 26, 2011 9:40:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 28, 2011 2:28:24 PM PST
Jez Humble says:
While I'm sorry you didn't find the book that useful, as with all books, I highly recommend checking out the preface before buying (you can use Amazon's "look inside" feature) to determine if this book is right for you.

We point out in the preface that it's a principles and practices book that covers a broad range of topics and how they fit together, rather than a book that dives into a lot of implementation details, which it sounds like you were expecting. Having said that, I believe we cover things in quite a lot more detail than your bullets suggest.

We also point out that you shouldn't necessarily read it cover to cover, that it was designed such that you could dip in at the relevant bits for you, and that designing the book this way involved a certain amount of repetition.

If you're very experienced and technical, I'm not surprised you found the first few chapters dull and repetitive - they were the most high level, targeted at people new to the topic. That's why part 1 (chapters 1-4) is called "Foundations". Probably you would have been more interested in the later, more technical chapters - chapters 5 onwards, and for advanced practitioners, chapters 11 onwards.

I definitely wouldn't say we were only targeting managers - we only get one shot at the book, and we've tried to include both material that is suitable for management and for technical people, and to make clear what should be read for each target audience. In our experience, management and technical people need to work together in order to achieve the vision we set out in the book. Part of the goal of the book was to arm technical people with useful arguments to be able to take to their management to get buy-in to implement these ideas.

Perhaps you're right that the material relevant to you personally could have been written in 150 pages - but unfortunately that's the problem with writing a book - it's impossible to customize it meaningfully, especially in a book like this which targets a broad audience and covers a broad range of material.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2011 1:34:25 PM PDT
T. Beaulieu says:
Nice response.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2011 11:44:05 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2014 2:49:40 PM PST
LTSpike says:
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Augusto
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