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Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations Paperback – March 27, 2018
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"A must read! In a sea of books about technology approaches, Accelerate stands out in its clarity and practicality." (Karen Martin, Author, Clarity First and The Outstanding Organization)
"Excellent! As well as conclusively showing that DevOps outcomes are faster, cheaper AND safer, this book is an excellent case study for robust survey design and analysis." (Adrian Cockroft)
"This is the kind of foresight that CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs desperately need if their company is going to survive in this new software-centric world.Anyone that doesn't read this book will be replaced by someone that has." (Thomas A. Limoncelli, Co-Author of The Practice of Cloud System Administration)
“'Here, do this!' The evidence presented in Accelerate is a triumph of research, tenacity and insight, proving not just correlation but a causal link between good technical and management behaviours and business performance. It also exposes the myth of “maturity models” and offers a realistic, actionable alternative. As an independent consultant working at the intersection of people, technology, process, and organisation design this is manna from heaven!As chapter 3 concludes: 'You can act your way to a better culture through implementing these practices in technology organizations'. There is no mystical culture magic, just 24 concrete, specific capabilities that will lead not only to better business results, but more importantly to happier, healthier, more motivated people and an organisation people want to work at. I will be giving copies of this book to all my clients." (Dan North, Independent Technology and Organization consultant)
"The 'art' of constructing a building is a well understood engineering practice nowadays. However, in the software world, we have been been looking for patterns and practices that can deliver the same predictable and reliable results whilst minimizing waste and producing the increasingly high performance our businesses demand.Accelerate provides research backed, quantifiable and real world principles to create world class, high performing IT teams enabling amazing business outcomes.Backed by the two leading thought leaders (Kim and Humble) in the DevOps community and world class research from PHD Forsgren, this book is a highly recommended asset!" (Jonathan Fletcher, Group CTO, Hiscox)
"In their book Accelerate, Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene Kim don't break any new conceptual ground regarding agile, lean and DevOps. Instead, they provide something that might be even more valuable which is a look inside the methodological rigor of their data collection and analysis approach which lead them to their earlier conclusions on the key capabilities that make IT organizations better contributors to the business. This is a book that I will gladly be placing on my bookshelf next to the other great works by the authors." (Cameron Haight, VP & CTO, Americas, VMware)
"Accelerate does a fantastic job of explaining not only what changes organizations should make to improve their software delivery performance, but also the why, enabling people at all levels to truly understand how to level up their organizations." (Ryn Daniels, Infrastructure Operations Engineer at Travis CI and author of Effective DevOps)
"With this work, the authors have made a significant contribution to the understanding and application of DevOps. They show that when properly understood, DevOps is more than just a fad or a new name for an old concept. Their work illustrates how DevOps can improve the state of the art in organizational design, software development culture, and systems architecture. And beyond merely showing, they advance the DevOps community's qualitative findings with research-based insights that I have heard from no other source." (Baron Schwartz, Founder & CEO of VividCortex and Co-Author of High Performance MySQL)
About the Author
Dr. Nicole Forsgren does research and strategy at Google Cloud following the acquisition of her startup DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) by Google. She is best known for her work measuring the technology process and as the lead investigator on the largest DevOps studies to date. She has been an entrepreneur, professor, sysadmin, and performance engineer. Nicole's work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. Nicole earned her PhD in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona, and is a Research Affiliate at Clemson University and Florida International University. She lives in San Francisco, CA.
Jez Humble is co-author of The DevOps Handbook, Lean Enterprise, and the Jolt Award-winning Continuous Delivery. He is currently researching how to build high performing teams at his startup, DevOps Research and Assessment, LLC, and teaching at UC Berkeley. He lives in California.
Gene Kim is a multiple award-winning CTO, researcher, and co-author of The Phoenix Project, Beyond The Phoenix Project, The DevOps Handbook, and The Visible Ops Handbook. He is founder of IT Revolution, hosts the DevOps Enterprise Summit conferences, and speaks around the world. He lives in Portland, OR with his wife and children.
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As DevOps engineer and developer with 30 years of experience, I find hard to stomach the notion supported by this book that developers should be free to choose their tools. The book goes on to assure us that the upside of doing so far outweighs the downside. I strongly disagree.
There is a thing called 'technical debt,' which is the sum of time and effort one has to pay to keep up with the tools one is 'married' to. To master a tool one has not only to learn the first version encountered but also those that follow in its evolution, and track new and discontinued capabilities during the course of the tool's life. This happens whether you learn C, Python, Java, or any other substantial language and tool in which one needs to remain proficient.
Now imagine multiple projects using languages and tools at the whim of the team members. The overall list of technologies in use would be a long open-ended list in no time. What skill requirements do you pass on to HR to recruit new talent? How many candidates will be a good match for your large list of technical requirements?
The argument in favor of such dangerous freedom is that otherwise developers may have to use tools they hate.
Choosing the staff and the tools of a project requires careful consideration. It's at this point that you choose the best possible match. Consult the team members if you will, but it should not be up to them to decide, but to the project leader. Otherwise imagine if Team A chooses Confluence for documentation, while Team B uses Office 360, and yet Team C goes for TEX. After a few years you will have a rainbow of documentation formats. How is that better than having a consistent one?
Developers like to use the tools they mastered, when not looking to learn a new one, and yes that is important, but what you do is to group people with skills pertinent to the project from the outset, so nobody will hate it.
This notion that developers should be the ones choosing a project's technologies, really broke the spell of this book for me. How could they say that, and what sort of measurements did lead to such result?
Note that I make no claim to be as skilled when it comes to research as is Forsgren. Hands down, she has an impressive resume and experience which makes me look like what you scrape off the bottom of your shoe in comparison. When I approach this book and the research, I am concerned regarding the use of Snowball research. However, I recognize how hard it is to conduct research in the workplace and the so-called "real world" outside the laboratory. When reading this book, my main point would be to keep in mind what the authors openly say, to their credit, that the research presented does not lead itself to predictive or causal analysis. However, it can be used to draw inferences that those implementing DevOps can find very valuable. Use this book to expand your ideas of how to improve software delivery.
“The most innovative companies and highest-performing organizations are always striving to be better. High performing companies have 46 times more frequent code deployments, 440 times faster lead time from commit to deploy, 170 times faster mean time to recover from downtime, and 5 times lower change failure rate (1/5 as likely for a change to fail).”
The reasons for embarking on this DevOps journey of acceleration and transformation are many. Leaders who want to realize this level of performance will get more loyalty and work out of their current people and attract awesome new ones. They will build better, more secure software--and a mature software delivery capability provides a competitive advantage to any business. This book provides evidence and research to back these assertions.
Accelerate offers clear and compelling guidance to begin this shift no matter a company’s current level of maturity, covering the spectrum of roles from leaders to doers, from coders to architects to managers. If you are pressed for time, chapters are focused and easy to consider in turn, and provide excellent implementations recommendations.
Leaders will be especially inspired by Part 3, a case study about a real Transformation. It all started by the willingness to change.
DevOps is a cultural movement that feeds value delivery and growth within an organization. If you are responsible for any aspect of building secure, resilient rapidly evolving distributed systems, buy this book! Read it on your next plane ride and begin your journey of differentiation and transformation with the inspirational and executable guidance it offers.
Top international reviews
It had some new pieces of advice and guidance for me, and I especially like how it brings all together the best and well established practices, but generally it didn’t offer me much, but maybe I’m not the intended audience? This would be a great book if you were a struggling CTO or someone stuck in the old ways of manual testing etc. If you run a failing IT company or department then by all means read this, but to the established folks already doing the right things then pick this up 2nd hand on the cheap.
It's a study of thousands of companies, the development practices they use and whether they succeed or not.
It's the closest thing I've seen to evidence that doing things the "right" way is a key contributor to business success. Teams that deploy more often have better success. Organizations that are safe to work in (where you can raise concerns without fear of being fired) have better success.
So, the messages will help an organisation to keep or move on track, creating a better flow of products, process, and crucially staff's experience in work, if the environment is right in the readers' organisation. It may even help to create that generative organisational culture, as described within.
I've been following Puppet's State of DevOps reports for the last few years. This book explains what matters and why in DevOps. While so many focus on the tools, you won't see much of tools here. Instead, you'll understand, how and why organisations streamline their development and deployment practices. Culture and leadership are as important as tools.
It was interesting to read the science behind the research findings and the rigorous research methods used which was predominantly done by surveys, which I'm a big fan of.